Norwich City 4 West Bromwich Albion 0
Report of match 12th May 2013
Reporter Mark Burchett
Canaries crush the Baggies!
Norwich City arguably saved their best performance until the last home game of the season!
Goals from Robert Snodgrass, Grant Holt, a Gareth McAuley own-goal and Johnny Howson crowned a rampant display to crush a West Brom side that were never allowed to play their own game.
Norwich City were boosted by the return of keeper John Ruddy for the first time since the 1-1 draw at Everton in November 2012! His calm presence in goal gave the whole side an assurance throughout the game and he deservedly kept a clean sheet.
City immediately took the game to their visitors, knowing only a victory would guarantee their Premiership place for next season. But as so often in recent games, although they controlled the early possession they were struggling to create any clear cut chances.
The break-through came in the 25th minute after Ben Foster pushed out Anthony Pilkington's testing shot. From the corner it was played patiently to Holt out wide, whose cross was nodded down by Ryan Bennett. Although Wes Hoolahan's shot was blocked by Foster and it fell kindly for Snodgrass, the Scottish midfielder still had to execute a large amount of skill to score from a very tight angle.
As the half drew to a close Hoolahan once again kept the pressure on West Brom, with a rasping drive from over 30 yards that Foster produced as spectacular reaction to, with a one-handed save. From the resulting corner the Baggies struggled to clear the danger before Foster claimed the ball under pressure from the lively Hoolahan.
HALF-TIME: City 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
Steve Clarke was clearly not happy with how poorly his side coped with the Canaries and made a double substitution before the second half got underway, bringing on Billy Jones and Chris Brunt for Steven Reid and Markus Rosenberg, respectively. He switched from three attacking players up front to a more traditional 4-4-2 spearheaded by Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long.
It had a momentary improvement as Lukaku found space in the home defence to get in a right-foot shot, albeit off-target, before the Canaries went back on the offensive. Pilkington could have done better with Holt's knockdown from just 6 yards out and Holt himself also came very close at the far post as he was being put under pressure by Olsson.
But the Canaries deservedly scored twice within three minutes to remove any remaining doubt about their Premiership future. The first was a gift-wrapped present from Foster, who horribly sliced his attempted clearance of Hoolahan's ball in, leaving Holt one of the easiest goals he has probably ever scored.
Then Snodgrass delivered the perfect cross that Ryan Bennett headed goalward but it came off Gareth McAuley's head last before hitting the net, which ironically is the fourth own-goal the former Ipswich defender has scored for Norwich!
Having more than played their part in a triumphant performance Hoolahan and Snodgrass were substituted in the 77th minute, earning a standing ovation; with Alexander Tettey and Elliot Bennett straight replacements. Shortly afterwards, the City boss made his final change giving Luciano Becchio, on for Holt, a rare chance to get his first goal since signing from Leeds in the January transfer window.
Despite conceding four goals, Foster was almost single handedly keeping his side in the game, but he could do nothing about the best goal of the game. Becchio combined well with his former teammate Howson, to set him up to score an outstanding curling effort in to the top right corner!
FULL-TIME: City 4 West Bromwich Albion 0
|Competition: Barclays Premier League Kick Off: 15:00 Venue: Carrow Road Attendance: 26,837|
McAuley 65 (og)
|4 - 0||West Brom.
|90+2||Corner taken left-footed by Chris Brunt, Russell Martin makes a clearance.|
|89||Goal scored by Jonathan Howson from just inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Norwich 4-0 West Brom.Luciano Becchio provided the assist for the goal.|
|86||Bradley Johnson challenges Peter Odemwingie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Claudio Yacob takes the indirect free kick.|
|85||Corner taken right-footed by Elliott Bennett to the near post, Goran Popov manages to make a clearance.|
|85||Corner from the right by-line taken by Anthony Pilkington, clearance by Billy Jones.|
|85||Grant Holt goes off and Luciano Becchio comes on.|
|82||Anthony Pilkington decides to take a short corner.|
|82||Anthony Pilkington takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.|
|81||Effort from just outside the area by Chris Brunt goes over the target.|
|80||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Brunt by Grant Holt. Billy Jones takes the free kick.|
|79||Romelu Lukaku goes off and Peter Odemwingie comes on.|
|79||Chris Brunt takes a shot. Bradley Johnson gets a block in.|
|75||Alexander Tettey joins the action as a substitute, replacing Robert Snodgrass. Elliott Bennett replaces Wes Hoolahan.|
|73||Shane Long takes a shot. Comfortable save by John Ruddy.|
|72||Romelu Lukaku takes a shot. Save made by John Ruddy.|
|71||Billy Jones takes a shot. Save made by John Ruddy.|
|69||Unfair challenge on Shane Long by Wes Hoolahan results in a free kick. Wes Hoolahan booked. Goran Popov takes the indirect free kick.|
|68||Anthony Pilkington is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Billy Jones.|
|63||James Morrison takes a shot. Save by John Ruddy.|
|67||Wes Hoolahan has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.|
|63||Jonas Olsson concedes a free kick for a foul on Grant Holt. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Robert Snodgrass from left channel, Gareth McAuley gets a block in. Headed own goal by Gareth McAuley. Norwich 3-0 West Brom.|
|61||Grant Holt finds the net with a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Norwich 2-0 West Brom.The assist for the goal came from Wes Hoolahan.|
|60||Grant Holt produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.|
|53||Youssouf Mulumbu concedes a free kick for a foul on Robert Snodgrass. Jonathan Howson takes the free kick.|
|52||Claudio Yacob fouled by Grant Holt, the ref awards a free kick. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.|
|51||Wes Hoolahan has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.|
|50||Unfair challenge on Grant Holt by Gareth McAuley results in a free kick. Robert Snodgrass takes the indirect free kick.|
|49||The ball is crossed by Romelu Lukaku.|
|47||Jonas Olsson challenges Grant Holt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jonas Olsson receives a caution for unsporting behaviour. Robert Snodgrass has an effort direct from the free kick.|
|45||Robert Snodgrass fouled by Goran Popov, the ref awards a free kick. Russell Martin restarts play with the free kick.|
|45||Shot by Romelu Lukaku from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.|
|45||Chris Brunt comes on in place of Markus Rosenberg. Billy Jones replaces Steven Reid.|
|45+1||The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by John Ruddy. Jonathan Howson booked for unsporting behaviour.|
|44||Anthony Pilkington takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Shane Long.|
|41||Wes Hoolahan is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.|
|41||Corner taken by Robert Snodgrass, Jonas Olsson makes a clearance.|
|40||Drilled left-footed shot by Wes Hoolahan. Ben Foster makes a save.|
|38||Unfair challenge on Youssouf Mulumbu by Bradley Johnson results in a free kick. Steven Reid delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, John Ruddy makes a brilliant save.|
|36||James Morrison challenges Russell Martin unfairly and gives away a free kick. John Ruddy takes the indirect free kick.|
|36||Markus Rosenberg takes a shot. Blocked by Sebastien Bassong.|
|34||Outswinging corner taken by James Morrison from the right by-line played to the near post.|
|34||The ball is delivered by Romelu Lukaku, clearance made by Russell Martin.|
|33||Robert Snodgrass gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Goran Popov. Indirect free kick taken by Jonas Olsson.|
|32||Russell Martin delivers the ball, clearance by Goran Popov.|
|31||Centre by Shane Long.|
|29||The ball is crossed by James Morrison, fantastic save by John Ruddy.|
|28||The ball is delivered by Shane Long.|
|25||Wes Hoolahan takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster. Goal scored by Robert Snodgrass from inside the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Norwich 1-0 West Brom.The assist for the goal came from Wes Hoolahan.|
|23||Corner taken by Robert Snodgrass from the left by-line, clearance made by Goran Popov.|
|23||Anthony Pilkington takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.|
|19||The referee blows for offside. John Ruddy takes the indirect free kick.|
|17||A cross is delivered by Goran Popov, clearance made by Ryan Bennett.|
|16||Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Howson on James Morrison. Goran Popov restarts play with the free kick.|
|15||The ball is sent over by Anthony Pilkington.|
|14||Goran Popov delivers the ball, clearance made by Ryan Bennett.|
|11||Corner taken by Robert Snodgrass from the left by-line played to the near post, Grant Holt concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth McAuley. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Foster.|
|6||The ball is delivered by Robert Snodgrass, Jonas Olsson manages to make a clearance.|
|5||Wes Hoolahan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Markus Rosenberg. Markus Rosenberg takes the indirect free kick.|
|4||Javier Garrido concedes a free kick for a foul on Youssouf Mulumbu. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.|
|3||Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Robert Snodgrass from the left by-line, Shane Long makes a clearance.|
|-||Foul by Jonas Olsson on Anthony Pilkington, free kick awarded. Anthony Pilkington restarts play with the free kick.|