Norwich City simply destroyed Scunthorpe
It isn’t bad when, just as you’re about to enter the final stages of the campaign, you promptly deliver just about as emphatic a performance as it’s possible to get.
City were absolutely awesome on Saturday – no other way of describing it. They ran all over Scunthorpe and smashed them to pieces.
Forget that the visitors played most of the game with only 10 men, because with the Canaries in this sort of form it wouldn’t have made much difference if they had played with 12.
Norwich started brightly and with positive intent right from the start, and it set the tone for the rest of the game.
Indeed, there were so many positive aspects of Norwich’s play that it made a comfortable home victory a nailed-on certainty once the excellent Grant Holt opened the scoring after just 10 minutes.
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And those positive aspects are worth listing – primarily because it doesn’t tend to all come together like this too often. So here goes.
City were impressively controlled and purposeful in possession. They were relaxed and confident. They produced impressive off-the-ball movement, so the man on the ball always had plenty of options available to him.
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The Norwich players were composed, they were patient when they needed to be, and there were numerous examples when the quality of their play had the crowd purring with delight.
City were very determined, they were ruthless and showed their opponents no mercy at all – a tell-tale sign of a team with a strong winning mentality – and they were clinical in front of goal.
I could go on. Suffice to say that this was just about as comfortable as it gets at professional level.
In fact, apart from the obvious fact of another three precious points being added to the total, it’s quite difficult to decide what was the most pleasing thing to emerge from Saturday’s game.
Was it Dani Pacheco’s movement, positioning and technical ability, looking every inch the quality player he was expected to be?
Or Grant Holt smashing home his 19th, 20th and 21st goals of the season? Maybe Simeon Jackson coming off the bench and grabbing himself a hat-trick was the icing on the cake?
Or David Fox spraying the ball about the pitch for 90 minutes like Glenn Hoddle once used to? Or the fact that the back four and John Ruddy in goal were completely watertight? Or even the majestic display from Henri Lansbury once he entered the fray? Or any one of the many alternatives?
Take your pick.
Of course, we can be certain that there will be much sterner tests to come in these crucial final seven matches.
But as the old saying goes, you can only beat what is put in front of you.
But on Saturday, City didn’t just beat their opponents. They absolutely destroyed them.
• NEIL’S MAN OF THE MATCH – GRANT HOLT: How do you decide on a man of the match after that? I suppose you could put 14 names into a hat and pull out a winner. Because City were that good at the weekend, and every single player on duty duly produced the goods. But if pushed, I suppose Holt gets the nod. He worked his socks off yet again, he frightened the life out of the Scunthorpe defenders and he bagged himself another hat-trick. Job done.