Play like this and there is little to fear
The Canaries travelled to Bristol City on the back of a seven-goal thriller four days earlier against struggling Leicester and a victory that had elevated them to a hugely impressive third place in the Championship table.
It’s been an astonishing start to life back in the second tier for the Canaries, and they are showing absolutely no signs that they are about to relinquish their healthy position in the table.
Apart from the opening 20 minutes in which they had to absorb a bit of Bristol pressure and generally struggled to find their rhythm, City demonstrated just about everything that you want to see from a side that is playing away from home.
The Canaries defended extremely well as a team, with all 10 outfield players prepared to do their defensive stint.
And, from an attacking perspective, they looked very dangerous and likely to score every time they entered the final third of the pitch.
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It was very disciplined, very controlled and extremely effective play from City, and by half-time they were absolutely full value for the comfortable two-goal lead they enjoyed.
The second half was more or less a repeat of the first half, with Norwich being very professional and able to maintain the shape of the side so well that it enabled them to assert their authority on their opponents.
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City were happy to get men behind the ball and encourage Bristol to attack them. And with the home side being forced to push men forward in a desperate attempt to try to claw their way back into the contest, it meant they left huge spaces in midfield for the Canaries to exploit once possession had been regained.
Accordingly, the hosts were caught out on numerous occasions by City’s incisive counter-attacks and they could easily have lost by a much greater margin.
The Canaries looked so assured and in control of proceedings. They were solid and strong and they played with a positive attitude and refreshing fluency to their play, almost in the same manner as when they are dictating proceedings at Carrow Road. It was fantastic to witness.
Looking ahead at the fixture list, it promises to be a particularly stiff test for the Canaries over the coming weeks, with matches against teams that are expected to be contesting the battle for places at the top end of the table.
However, if they can maintain this current vein of form, or more specifically if they can maintain the standards they have set in this brilliant start to the season, – namely, aggression, determination, creativity and togetherness – it really isn’t anything for them to be overly worried about.
It was just about as emphatic an away victory as it gets.
And this 2010-11 campaign just gets better and better.
• NEIL’S MAN OF THE MATCH – SIMEON JACKSON: Every player on duty for the Canaries could be pleased with his performance on Saturday such was their superiority, and many of them were deserving of the man of the match award. But it has to be two-goal hero Jackson, who took each of his goals so well. He also worked extremely hard for the team all afternoon and used his pace to particularly good effect, and more importantly demonstrated that if he gets the chance to run in behind defences and shoot for goal there is every chance he will severely punish teams.