Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries' 4-1 title-clinching Reading win
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Here is Paddy’s verdict on Daniel Farke’s side, who recovered their poise to batter Reading, and the Championship, into submission.
• Tim Krul
Nowhere near Michael Olise’s deep cross headed home by the unmarked Josh Laurent at the back post. Got his body behind John Swift’s 25 yard free kick.
Excellent starting position to cut out the midfielder’s clip in first half stoppage time. Spectator for the second period. 7
• Max Aarons
Decent penalty shout when Omar Richards rashly lunged in on the byline in the 14th minute. Booked himself for a strong tackle that took the ball on Lucas Joao.
Dart through the middle trying to latch onto Emi Buendia’s pass but Rafael Cabral was out sharply. Attacking adventure teed up both Todd Cantwell and Xavi Quintilla after the break. 7
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• Andrew Omobamidele
Between him and Kieran Dowell allowed Laurent a free header. Excellent awareness to block Olise’s shot in the 25th minute.
Sensed the danger again in the second period to shut down Ovie Ejaria on a Reading counter. Super impressive first team impact. 7
• Grant Hanley (C)
Halted the dangerous Olise with a block in the 37th minute. Used all his experience to entice a challenge from Dejan Tetek inside his own area with the Royals threatening.
Harried Joao back towards his own goal before a touch teed up Teemu Pukki to curl over. 7
• Xavi Quintilla
Clearly a popular member of the squad judging by the celebrations that greeted a wonderful free kick which, to all intents and purposes, sealed the win and the title.
Tug back on Tetek led to the free kick that brought Reading’s goal. But quality in the final third all day.
Fine spot for Buendia, who stabbed wide. Corner on the left saw Kenny McLean’s thumping header tipped over before his own diving effort was stopped by Cabral. Arguably his best day in a Norwich shirt. 8
• Kenny McLean
Had a verbal spar with the referee for most of a fractious first half period. Best moment was the perfectly-timed run and near post header from Xavi Quintilla’s corner three minutes after the interval, tipped over by Cabral.
May have a sore head on Sunday. 7
• Olly Skipp
Worrying injury exit and even more worrying early diagnosis relayed by Daniel Farke. If it is his last game in yellow, what an impact. Harshly booked for a coming together with Olise.
Perhaps merited an earlier booking for hauling down Swift, who rifled the free kick over. 7
• Emi Buendia
Took a very early sore one in a meaty challenge with Richards. Scooped off-target on a burst into the area following Pukki’s harassment of Lewis Gibson.
Cabral was down quickly to make an excellent one-handed stop from a powerful shot outside the box in the 27th minute. Less precise immediately after the restart, when he wriggled free but dragged wide on his right foot. 7
• Kieran Dowell
A first brace in yellow and could have added to his tally. One blemish for Reading’s goal after leaving Laurent unattended.
More than made up for that when he reacted to pounce on Cabral’s mishit clearance following Pukki’s pressure. Appeared to lose his footing at a crucial moment from Pukki’s square pass. Cabral brilliantly foiled him on the angle at the near post in the 47th minute.
Made no mistake just past the hour mark in a similar area. Wonderful first time pass set Pukki free in the 75th minute, only for the striker’s attempted lob to be parried by the Reading keeper. 9
• Todd Cantwell
One assist for Kieran Dowell’s second goal with a well-executed chip. But two key interventions for two other Norwich goals.
Made the run down the right and the first time cross that, allied to Pukki’s pressing, caused panic in the Reading rearguard to bring City’s equaliser.
Then was shoved to the floor by Alpha Semedo as he approached the area for the free kick whipped home by Quintilla. Cabral pushed away a sharp effort in the 49th minute. Skied over Aarons’ cut back on the hour mark. 8
• Teemu Pukki
If at first you don’t succeed. Tom Holmes will not want to see Pukki for a long time. Reading’s centre back underhit a weak pass with Pukki in attendance that was finished by Dowell.
Then he tried the same trick five minutes from the end from longer range but Pukki was on it like a flash to round Cabral and smack into the empty net. Holmes did clear one first half shot off the line. Cabral also smothered a rebound from Buendia’s initial strike.
Second half chances flowed just as freely. Curled over from Grant Hanley’s pass, and went for the lob when Dowell put him clean through. 7
• Tettey (for Buendia, 82) n/a
• Vrancic (for Dowell, 83) n/a
• Hernandez (for Cantwell, 86) n/a
• Hugill (for Quintilla, 87) n/a
• Mumba (for Aarons, 89) n/a