IPSWICH (H); THE REVIEW

11/02/19

A perfect way to essentially consign your rivals to relegation and bolster your own title winning chances. Tom Parsley and Jon Punt on review duties for a performance which wasn't vintage Norwich 2019, but was enough to beat them lot.

Random star performer

Buendia was key throughout. He wound up the Blues and the Argentine's flicks and tricks were getting right under the Suffolk knuckle draggers' skin. He also went route one in the wind up merchant stakes second half, nonchalantly squaring up (and looking up) to Knudsen on the touchline just as a scuffle had died down, originated by the 437th clattering challenge he's taken this season.

Most of what went well for City started from the boots of 5 foot 7 of football heaven, who for the second week in a row pulled off a ridiculous Cruyff turn in his own box to escape trouble and start an attack which but for a better final ball would have yielded a goal. It's important to note that Pukki's two goals were dictionary definition one touch Finnish finishes and it's only proper that a striker whose golden season in front of goal will have these two derby exclamation points added onto what will hopefully become a promotion-earning performance.

Trybull had another afternoon of suddenly appearing from nowhere to reclaim the ball and was our most effective midfielder, his aggressive slide tackles where he also retains the ball and often turns them into a pass are becoming legendary. It's hard to see Tettey displacing him in the 'enforcer' role for closing stages of the season.

Moment of the match

With barely a minute played, Mario Vrancic rose in the face of 3 incoming snarling 6 foot plus blue oafs and took the inevitable crunching collision face first in order to nod the ball back invitingly to his waiting colleagues at the back post. Onel hammered home and while he wheeled away in celebration, signalling pandemonium for 25,000 yellow friends, the Pirloesque Bosnian lay dazed and flat out in the 6 yard box.

Plenty of crucial challenges from Godfrey and Zimmerman followed, of course there were Pukki's goals and some kind of dugout disturbance. However, Mario's brave contribution not only set a relatively comfortable and routine win on the way, it summed up everything about where we've come to and how much has changed. This time last season the slight on Vrancic was his lack of physicality and speed of thought. Here he was charging forward after the initial attack was rebuffed and creating the chance for Norwich to take the lead. Eventually a twisted ankle led him to bow out before the break, but he had already contributed enough in this opening period to take his fair share of the credit for cementing a decade of derby dominance.

Farke watch

Have you seen the wink yet? You've got to see the wink. While a former manager and two benches worth of staff and players lost their heads, he was a cool customer, hands in pockets, comfortable with the chaos around him, and confident that when it died down his team would handle their business in a more efficient and professional manner than when the floodlights caused the last bizarre lengthy Carrow Road delay.

Only a few months ago this correspondent (Tom) thought that it was only a matter of time before Farke was found out. Didn't rate too many aspects of what I saw last season. Turns out that was a bedding in period whilst he learned the league and his squad. Too many achievements have been recorded this season now, even if the unthinkable happens and this club only finish 3rd-6th (that's not happening, we are going to win the league), he has already proven me and every other nay-sayer wrong. He has created (with Webber) a team who are willing to pass it out from the back under pressure, in a derby, away at top of the league, it doesn't matter. Try your flicks Emi, turn a tackle into a 360 turn Tommy T, it happens every game which means it's encouraged or at the very least, never reprimanded.

Hands up Daniel, being proved wrong has never felt so good

Biggest positive to take

City didn't play as well as they can by some distance but still scored 3 goals, against their fiercest rivals (can we really call them that when they've not troubled us since colour TVs came out or something).

The last two games have shown that this squad looks like they are going to score every time they are within 20 yards of goal. So it doesn't matter if that's not as many times as one of your better performances. Because we're Norwich City, we'll score when we want.

How do you stop Nodge if you're Preston, Rotherham and others on the horizon? Kick Emi up on the air? Onel is dynamite the other side. Double up on Stiepermann? Trybull and Vrancic/Tettey will come snapping in, mop up and get the ball back to Marco's feet and we'll get playing again. Kick it forward fast coz you can't match up technically to our midfield? Good luck getting through Zimbo and Godfrey who lay every pound of flesh on the line to block anything ball shaped headed toward Krul's goal. Get it down the wings? Good luck, there's lb30m+ worth of fullbacks there who will rob you and be crossing it in at the other end within seconds.

Weekend whinge

Nope, not today. Days like today are why you put up with the meaningless 0-0s, relegations, nothing midtable seasons like 17/18 and having to go to Selhurst Park. We're not complaining about a thing. We are grateful and blessed to be so heartily embedded with the club during what feels like a huge surge of positivity and progressiveness.

Atmosphere rating

So much to talk about here. The march from Wetherspoons was raucous despite the rain, with club officials joining the parade and club legends leading it. Holt, Hucks, Kensell and Tom Smith all in fine voice. Then Delia starting a couple of chants as what felt like thousands descended on Carrow Road. Absolute unity off the pitch, which complements that on it.

The Pride of Anglia banner went off without a hitch and seemed to be universally well received. Thanks to everyone who helped, donated or just said kind words. None of this happens without the support of the Yellow Army. Oh, and huge thanks to ACN's Ben Stokes for his patience when we needed him to tweak the original design and for his excellent vision when creating it. He's a keeper.

The in game atmosphere itself was strange, with fans almost thinking the job was done after Onel's opener. The roof was raised however after Pukki's exploits which sealed the points.

Sidenote - Ipswich's fans were excellent. They tried as hard as they could to give their lads a hand. All that Lambert PR bullshit is paying off.

As much as 'Allez Allez Allez' was starting to grate (a - you never 'conquered Europe', wrong trophy and b- we thought it was Norwich who only had one song?) they stuck with their side throughout, even in the face of certain defeat.

Summary

The perfect derby day. To play within ourselves, yet still display the clinical attributes which have been a cornerstone of the season so far was wonderful. Barely out of second gear and you blow your rivals out of the water with ease. It might be a long time for them in League One if Marcus doesn't loosen the purse strings. Those expecting another Lambert miracle would do well to remember he inherited a squad that was actually capable of the job already at Norwich. That lot aren't, and by quite a way.

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