Norwich v Burton Albion – The ACN verdict

24/09/16

A sunny 3-1 home win that takes us top of the league. Plus Ipswich lost. Footballing afternoons don’t get much better do they? Andrew Lawn and Jon Punt look back on an afternoon that resembled an old sofa, comfortable, more frayed than it should be, but still something to cherish. Random Star Performer The Burton […]

A sunny 3-1 home win that takes us top of the league. Plus Ipswich lost. Footballing afternoons don't get much better do they? Andrew Lawn and Jon Punt look back on an afternoon that resembled an old sofa, comfortable, more frayed than it should be, but still something to cherish.
Random Star Performer

The Burton fans. The committed few tried to sing a bit and there was one amusing red head who got progressively more angry and red as the game went on, all of which were good. Contrary to the rumours you couldn't even smell the Marmite on them either, which was a shame.

However the travelling Albion faithful win this for applauding the Barclay at full-time. It certainly wasn't the cauldron of noise some would want but it was better than it could have been and it was decent of their fans to applaud an improved effort from the Yellow Army. Although if they knew it was better, how did they?!

Moment of the match

Probably harsh on housewives favourite Ivo, but one of the Murphs take the spoils once again. Jacob's goal was pivotal, it was such a crucial time to score. After parity had been restored in a rather calamitous way Norwich needed a slice of luck. Cue massive deflection which effectively won us a game we were in real danger of throwing away. Football matches are often decided by fine margins, Norwich are starting to assert themselves in the vital moments.

Referee watch

Jeremy Simpson (yes there are still people around called Jeremy nowadays) wasn't all that great. First by letting Akins be an absolute dongle in not picking up the ball for his own throw. He followed that by being borderline amusingly inconsistent, ignoring clear yellow card offences and deciding to issue warnings instead. He then completed a poor afternoon by sending off their defender for an unfortunate block. Penalty? Probably. Card? Never.

Only problem being, what's the point in awarding us penalties nowadays? It's been so long since we had one that we literally have no idea what to do with them. Bit of advice boys, don't aim for the keeper.

Biggest positive to take

On 1 September 2016, rubber mattress protector sales hit record highs in the fine city of Norwich. Such was the anticipated level of bed wetting at our inability to sign another striker you wondered if we'd ever score again. Well Alex Neil's side have proved thus far we have goals all over the pitch.

The two full backs are even weighing in now and you feel there's plenty to come from the likes of Murphy 1 & 2, Howson, Brady, Wes and Dorrans. That's before you start talking about our actual strikers. And no Kyle, we don't mean you. All we need s a few cheeky set pieces to be diverted into the net off Klose's nose or Russ' kneecap and we're flying.

Weekly Whinge

If you want to be really picky (and we have to given this relatively new format for match reviews) we conceded another extremely sloppy goal. Pinto and Klose were dragged woefully out of position, Russell Martin conceded possession too easily and the multiple opportunities we had to avoid the situation went untaken. We're not going to keep getting away with this kind of defending and probably won't on Wednesday. But we did, so it's all good, right?

Maybe not. I'm not sure anyone wants to hear this given the Pitch War (us neither) love-in, but goal aside Ivo Pinto wasn't at his best. In fact we'd go as far to say he was pretty ropey. It was interesting to note he was troubled by the pace of journeymen Lloyd Dyer, nearly everything purposeful Burton produced was down their left flank. Good job Mr Pinto scored really, it glossed over a mediocre performance. Don't worry though, his devilish good looks mean we'd still take him home to meet our mothers.

Atmosphere rating

Improving, as to be expected given Norwich's upturn in form, although the caveat is we retook the lead almost instantly after losing it. Had we not it could all have turned sour quickly, especially if you listen to the gobby lass who sits near us. However moments like the Pinto song make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The nerves are starting to fade into distant memory for most and with this comes more noise. A decent effort given a large number of supporters may have just expected us to roll Burton over; in reality it was never going to be that easy. 72 footballs.

Summary

A comfortable 3-1 win in the sun that takes us top of the league. These days don't come along every season so savour it. Could have been more comfortable, but make no mistake, Burton are durable and industrious. They won't be on the wrong end of many hidings this year, yet had we been less profligate this could have been comprehensive without us really getting out of 2nd gear.

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