Champions lived up to their name
Neil AdamsOne or two people may have been wondering beforehand if the Canaries might take things a little easier than normal on Saturday - maybe ease off the gas given that the League One title had already been secured? If so, it wouldn't have taken them long to discover than City were intent on doing absolutely nothing of the sort.Neil Adams
One or two people may have been wondering beforehand if the Canaries might take things a little easier than normal on Saturday - maybe ease off the gas given that the League One title had already been secured?
If so, it wouldn't have taken them long to discover than City were intent on doing absolutely nothing of the sort.
Never for one moment at the Memorial Stadium did Norwich give the impression that they were going to give anything less than their best.
The game started slowly for about 10 minutes or so, almost pedestrian. But not long afterwards City quickly clicked into gear and then totally controlled the remainder of the contest.
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It was a brilliant display from the Canaries, a one-sided encounter to such a degree that never for one minute was the result ever in doubt. It was more a case of how many goals City were going to help themselves to.
Such was their superiority, it soon got to the point where it seemed as though Norwich were going to put the ball in the back of the net every time they crossed the halfway line.
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Saying that, City were seldom required to enter their opponents half of the pitch as they were already encamped there for much of the game.
Norwich passed the ball well, they played with an air of authority and confidence befitting their status as league champions and they ripped an awful Bristol Rovers side to shreds.
It was almost like watching men against boys.
In short, it was a champions' display from City.
True, some of the home side's defending did contribute to the Canaries threatening to run up a cricket score. In truth, it occasionally bordered on embarrassing.
The Bristol Rovers back four and their goalkeeper defended with the organisation and assuredness of the Keystone Cops at times and regularly presented the ball to the City players - sometimes without even being put under pressure.
But to offer up deficiencies on the home side's part as having any direct bearing on the result would be misleading, because City were simply dominating and dictating the pace and tempo of the game at will.
Even with no fewer than six regular first team players absent from the starting line-up, Norwich still had far too much quality, energy and determination for their opponents to have any sort of chance.
The players also demonstrated a steely desire to win - that same winning mentality that we have seen all season, in all fairness, and one of the main reasons why Norwich are where they are in League One right now.
Full credit to the Canaries. They were thoroughly professional in every sense of the word.
t NEIL'S MAN OF THE MATCH - CHRIS MARTIN: Seldom on a matchday can you say that every single Norwich player on duty got the better of his opponent, even during this marvellous victory-laden season. But this was essentially the case on Saturday. Matt Gill in particular impressed in the holding role and barely put a foot wrong all afternoon, while Anthony McNamee regularly exploited the space he was afforded at the tip of the diamond to good effect. But Martin gets my vote for another polished display. He led the line extremely well, he scored one goal, made another and was a danger to the opposition whenever he received the ball. His movement, hold-up play and general presence in attack were simply too much for his opponents to handle.