Happy Monday for Norwich City fans - but will it get even better?
PUBLISHED: 11:25 04 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:57 04 February 2019
Norwich City’s preparations for this week’s East Anglian Derby at Carrow Road could not have got off to a better start following Saturday’s epic win over Leeds United.
Pubs were packed on Saturday evening with fans watching the 3-1 win, and the buoyant mood continued into the evening.
And despite the gloomy weather, many people have arrived at Monday with a spring in their step - looking back to the Canaries’ triumph and looking forward to Sunday’s City v Ipswich showdown.
With Norwich at the top of the Championship and Ipswich rock-bottom - with a 37-point gap - the excitement is already building.
If City avoid defeat, they will have gone 10 full years with losing to Ipswich, and will be a step closer to the Premier League. But the Tractor Boys, managed by ex Norwich boss Paul Lambert, are desperate for points.
Norwich showed on Saturday that they can handle the pressure, after they weathered a storm of Leeds pressure in the first half and quieted the 37,000 crowd with a second half of perfect poise and control.
With so much at stake in this top of the table clash it would have been easy for City to have fluffed their lines in the glare of the Sky cameras and in front of a partisan Leeds crowd.
That simply did not happen.
Much of the talk in the run-up to the game had been around Marcelo Bielsa’s controversial spy missions - where he admitted having had staff watch other Championship rivals’ training sessions - but that was almost forgotten about following the game, so emphatic was City’s performance.
Norwich came out of the traps flying and put in a potentially season-defining performance which sent fans both in the ground and in pubs and bars throughout Norfolk into raptures.
First Mario Vrancic whipped in a left-footed free kick which looped over Leeds stopper Kiko Casilla, off the back of Liam Forshaw, after just five minutes.
An incredible start but things could only get better as Teemu Pukki proved when he rolled in his 19th goal of the season for the high-flying Canaries.
It was jubilation all around for City fans who saw Vrancic grab a second in the 78th minute to seal all three points and ensure that the Canaries are now in the box seat in the Championship title race.
While all this was going on England’s rugby stars were heading for a remarkable 32-20 win over Ireland in Dublin in the Six Nations, ensuring it was a super Saturday of sport for Norwich and England fans.
But now attention turns back to Sunday and the second Old Farm Derby of the season when former City boss Paul Lambert, who is now in charge at Ipswich, will return.
It would take an awful lot to better Saturday, but victory over Town, led by former City boss Lambert might just do that.