Scoreline is an injustice to Norwich City

I don’t think I’d be too far wrong in suggesting that whoever first coined the phrase “Football can be a cruel game,” had probably just witnessed a game like the one at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Because apart from actually scoring - a pretty crucial element in football, granted - City did just about everything else that could have been asked of them.

The team were bright and lively for most of the 90 minutes, they moved the ball well and were adept enough to exploit the spaces in wide areas, and they effectively snuffed out everything that their opponents could muster from an attacking perspective.

All that was missing was a goal. Had one arrived for the Canaries at any point before Robert Koren put the visitors ahead with a very fortunate goal with just eight minutes left, it would have surely led to yet another City victory.

The longer the game progressed, the more City were able to increase the pressure that they put the Hull defence under.

With Wes Hoolahan pulling all the strings, both full-backs pushing forward at will and crosses raining into the visitors goalmouth from both sides of the pitch, it got to the point on several occasions where the visitors were effectively hanging on by their fingernails.

It seemed as though virtually every City outfield player seemed to have had a shot at goal at some point in the game, and there were also numerous occasions when the ball flashed across the Hull goalmouth just crying out for a final touch.

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It was agonising to witness so many potential scoring opportunities go begging.

You could say that Norwich ought to have tested the Hull goalkeeper more than they did given their undoubted dominance and territorial advantage, but by the same token you can bet your bottom dollar that they will win many more games than they will lose if they can continue to play like this on a regular basis.

Because one goal could, and probably would have led to two, three, four or more for the Canaries at the weekend if they could have just managed to get their noses in front.

Sometimes you’re just not meant to win. It happens.

And the frustration that invariably manifests itself when you watch it all play out like it did on Saturday is naturally compounded if the opposition promptly break your hearts by nicking all three points in the manner Hull did, by scoring a couple of goals from virtually their only two efforts on target in the second half.

That’s football for you.

You just have to take it on the chin and regroup.

However, if City can reproduce the same performance again against Leicester tomorrow night and also in future matches, they will not go far wrong.

• NEIL’S MAN OF THE MATCH - LEON BARNETT: Wes Hoolahan impressed with his close control and ability to turn away from defenders, particularly in the second half, and Andrew Crofts looked so assured and confident again at the base of the diamond and tackled like a tiger when the ball was there to be won. But it’s Barnett who gets my vote for producing another solid display at the heart of the City defence. He won most of his tackles, was commanding in the air and he also came close to scoring on a couple of occasions.