Six things you might have missed from their 3-1 victory over QPR
Following a weekend where Norwich City placed one hand on the Championship trophy, Connor Southwell takes a look at six things you might have missed after their controlled victory over QPR.
1. Business like Canaries
Norwich City have been in the rare position of being on the receiving end of back to back defeats in the last two matches.
Despite those results arriving against the backdrop of promotion to the Premier League being secured, some supporters still expressed concern about losing to two sides who may end up joining City in the top-flight next season.
Two seasons ago, as City won the title, they beat Aston Villa twice. That is something they failed to replicate in the Premier League during the next season.
That's before the mitigating factors are taken into account, there is so much water to flow under the bridge before City kick off the 2021/22 season.
This was the perfect reply. City were back to their business like best and, beyond a 20-minute spell where QPR threatened, they were in complete control and showed their quality once more.
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- 8 Norwich City transfer rumours: Cardiff man once again linked
- 9 When will Norwich City learn their Premier League fixtures?
- 10 Rosenborg set for talks with Tettey
2. Oh Teemu
It was almost like watching poetry in motion as City carved through QPR with a slick passing move.
Farke quipped after the final whistle that it would have been the 'best team goal western Europe has seen in over a decade' had Teemu Pukki managed to direct his shot into the net rather than past the post.
The Finnish international has been so reliable and prolific since arriving at City. His goal return is enough to place himself alongside some prestigious names in the club's history. 25 goals shows how incredible he has been this season.
Very few people following the game would have expected Pukki to squander that chance. He had clearly left his shooting boots back in Norfolk.
After that, City have a new contender in the contest for 'almost' goal of the season after his impressive flick against Luton Town.
3. Playing away
In the strange and sterile environment of behind closed doors football, many speculated whether home advantage would be eroded due to the absence of supporters.
City's victory in the capital means they now look on course to take points from matches on the road than at Carrow Road. The last time that happened was during the regular season in 2014/15, when Alex Neil's men won 44 points on the road compared to 42 at home.
Not only that, but City have become the first team in English football history to win 15 matches away from home in the second tier.
The reasons for that success remains unclear but opponents are under more pressure to attack Daniel Farke's men at home rather than at Carrow Road, leaving more space from the exploit.
It is yet another record that this current crop of City stars have broken.
4. A tonne up for Todd
Todd Cantwell is living the dream as a Norfolk boy, every week he is representing the club of which he has been a part of since he was eight years old.
He has become the first player born in the county to reach 100 appearances for the club in over thirty years, with Dale Gordon being the last 33-years ago.
That journey hasn't always been smooth for the Dereham born midfielder, but his talent isn't in question. Cantwell is being nurtured into a top talent. He has the capability to make gliding past an opponent look like art.
By his own admission, he lost his way in a whirlwind of speculation this summer, but alongside the technical proficiency and talent he is bringing to City's attacking approach, he has added energy to his game.
He heads into the Premier League a more refined and better footballer. Once again his style and colour will upset opposition supporters, but the midfielder has the talent to help the Canaries remain in the top-flight.
The whole of Norfolk should be incredibly proud of the 23-year-old.
5. Kenny's the king of consistency
There will be certain players who claim the headlines every week, Emi Buendia has been magical. Teemu Pukki prolific. Grant Hanley imperious.
But few have been more consistent than Kenny McLean.
Last season, Daniel Farke labelled the Scottish international 'irreplaceable' after his performances in the Premier League. Many City fans were bemused by that remark, but he has backed up his head coach's verdict.
As the spotlight shines on Oliver Skipp, McLean has maintained a high level of performance throughout the season. He doesn't demand plaudits. He keeps running and grafting.
McLean adds dynamism and energy, a fact that was graphically illustrated by his desire to rob QPR of possession in the build-up to the third goal. Sometimes his technical quality gets overlooked, his cross to set-up Max Aarons was perfect.
Skipp may not be a City player next season, but in McLean they possess a reliable and quality player capable of both rolling up his sleeves and threading through a pass.
6. One more step
44 games down. 93 points acquired. City need two more to secure the title.
A win at Carrow Road next weekend would be enough to see them officially crowned champions, an honour befitting of a side who have graced the division with such fine football.
This weekend's win has seen them place one hand on the trophy, all the motivation is there to finish the job next weekend.
Although those who matter most, the supporters, aren't there to witness it, there would be something romantic about City finishing the job in a kit they have designed to pay homage to their fans who haven't been able to recognise their brilliance from the stands.
In a rough week for football, that would be a positive reminder of the type of club City try to be, one that is aware of its role in the community.