London's calling: City bidding to end top-flight woes in the capital

Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd. 07904 64026709/04/12Elliott Bennett of Norwich cel

Elliott Bennett celebrates Norwich City's winner at Tottenham in April 2012 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Members of the Capital Canaries supporters group must dread Norwich City being promoted to the Premier League.

On the one hand, there are six London clubs for them to try and see the Canaries close to home, with Watford not too far north either.

Yet, on the other, City have not won a Premier League game in London for almost 10 years - since a 2-1 triumph at Tottenham in April 2012.

Anthony Pilkington had fired Paul Lambert's team in front on Easter Monday but Jermaine Defoe equalised for Spurs before the break.

Elliott Bennett grabbed the win for the Canaries in the 66th minute though, beating Brad Friedel with a thumping shot from the edge of the area to find the top-left corner, at the same end as the away fans.

There has been little to enjoy in London since that day, although it should be pointed out that just a few weeks later there was a memorable 3-3 draw at Arsenal, thanks to a powerful Steve Morison shot in the 85th minute.

That's in the top flight, at least. The Championship has brought some capital fun, although last season's title triumph was an exception with the vast majority of the campaign behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including for the 3-1 win at QPR in April which moved City to the verge of being crowned champions.

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In fact, since that Premier League win at Tottenham, the Canaries have played 17 games in the second tier - winning seven, drawing six and scoring 28 goals, including wins at Millwall, Brentford and Charlton. They also, of course, enjoyed play-off final glory against Middlesbrough at Wembley in 2015.

Not at Fulham though, of course. The Craven Cottage hoodoo is still going strong at over 35 years, since a 1-0 win in the second tier on New Year's Day of 1986 - not winning any of the 11 visits since that day, losing eight and conceding 26.

It's in the Premier League where the capital problems have been, with City losing 17 and drawing five of their last 22 attempts, scoring nine and conceding 44.

It should be noted that there were some memorable away days in London in cup competitions though, including last year when around 9,000 Canaries supporters were at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and celebrating a penalty shoot-out success after a 1-1 draw with Spurs in the FA Cup fifth round.

There was also a defeat on penalties to Chelsea in an FA Cup third-round replay in January 2018, after a last-gasp header from Jamal Lewis had levelled the scores at 1-1 in injury-time to take the tie to extra-time. 

Just a couple of months earlier there had also been close to 9,000 City fans at the Emirates as Arsenal fought back to win 2-1 in extra-time in the fourth round of the League Cup, after a classy opener from Josh Murphy for the visitors.

The class of 2021-22 have two opportunities to end the wait for a top-flight win in London in the weeks ahead though, after losing 1-0 at Arsenal last month.

Daniel Farke's team head to Chelsea on Saturday as underdogs against the leaders and reigning Champions League winners but also have another chance two weeks later against fellow promoted side Brentford, who have made a great start to the season after their play-off success.

City's record in London since winning at Spurs in April 2012: P22 W0 D5 L17 F9 A44

NCFC EXTRA: Cantwell missing as Norwich City prepare for Chelsea trip

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