‘Men against boys’ - Pundits batter City for awful effort at Chelsea

Teemu Pukki of Norwich reacts as Referee Andy Madley awards Chelsea a penalty after watching the VAR

Teemu Pukki tries to hide the pain as Chelsea are awarded the penalty which led to their sixth goal against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

No punches were pulled as pundits in the national media dismantled Norwich City’s abject disintegration during a 7-0 humiliation at Chelsea. 

The Canaries provided an early Halloween horror show at Stamford Bridge, as the European champions and Premier League leaders coasted to a huge triumph that left Canaries fans embarrassed. 

The lunchtime kick-off was screened live on BT Sport and the pain was compounded by fellow promoted side Watford coming from behind to win 5-2 at Everton later in the day, as new manager Claudio Ranieri inspired his team to a display packed with hard work and tenacious pressing. 

Former Chelsea and England midfielder Joe Cole was on punditry duty alongside former City and Chelsea striker Chris Sutton, as well as host and Norwich fan Jake Humphrey. 

“I look at the players and I don’t think they’re playing for the manager,” Cole kicked off. 

“When you see things like what Gibson did (getting sent off), that type of mistake and lack of professionalism. 

“I feel like it needs a fresh voice in the dressing room. He’s obviously talented in what he does (Farke) but I look at them and there was no fight and no passion from the players.” 

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Sutton picked up that thread, continuing: “It was fear, not a lack of fight, doubting themselves against a good team, against superior players. 

“It’s the manager’s job at half-time, when you’re 3-0 down, not to suffer – I don’t know if delusion is the right word - to think you can go toe-to-toe with Chelsea.” 

Humphrey pointed out that the Canaries were now 19 Premier League games without a win, either side of last season’s Championship title triumph. 

After the ninth game of this season, that miserable streak includes just two points from a possible 57, only three goals scored and 47 goals conceded. 

Sutton pointed out: “Just on those stats, I think they are slightly unfair because there was a season in between where Norwich walked to the Championship title. 

“It’s important, that season, because Norwich went down and recovered from a slow start in the Championship.” 

The Cole delivered his knockout blow, with a damning verdict from a neutral point of view. 

“The problem for Farke is the players that have been brought in he is expecting to be Premier League players,” he added. 

“At times it looked like Chelsea were playing against under-18s in terms of physicality. It was men against boys. 

“That’s today. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen in a few weeks, I hope they turn it around because he (Farke) looks like a nice guy and I like the club. 

“But they were so far off it - and Chelsea were without Kante, Lukaku and Werner!” 

Sutton had said before the game that he was hopeful of survival, after the goalless draws against Burnley and Brighton had preceded the game.  

Asked by Humphrey if that was still the case, the former Premier League winner with Blackburn replied: “Twenty-nine games left, what are we going to do? If you’re a Norwich player, a supporter, the Norwich manager, what do you do, give up? Come on!” 

It was a similar story as the Match of the Day got stuck into the seven-goal rout at the hands of Thomas Tuchel’s impressive leaders – who had been in action on Wednesday night when they thrashed Malmo 4-0 in the Champions League. 

BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce concluded the highlights by saying: “A day of utter despair for Norwich. Is this the day of reckoning, the day when they simply realise they are not good enough, as they are, to stay in the Premier League?” 

Then it was over to Gary Lineker, Jermaine Jenas and Martin Keown in the studio, with former Tottenham and Newcastle midfielder Jenas picking apart the goals. 

“They were shocking, I have to say. They were poor, unorganised,” said Jenas. 

“The biggest criticism I can give them is that there was no fight, there’s no kind of will to work.” 

The damage was done by a cast of England internationals. Mason Mount’s hat-trick was added to by Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi – who also forced a Max Aarons own goal – with a mixture of fine finishing and ruthless attacking that punished dozy defending and unacceptable levels of organisation from a team bereft of confidence. 

Jenas concluded: “These are European champions that you are up against and no one is saying you need to go there and win a game of football. 

“But they gave a terrible account of themselves, as a team, I thought.”

The defeat equalled City's record loss since joining the Football League in 1920, having lost 7-0 on three previous occasions.

- You can watch back the analysis in full at bt.com/sport or on the BBC iPlayer 

- You can watch the verdict of our Canaries correspondent David Freezer in the video below

NCFC EXTRA: Hanley apologises to City fans for implosion at Chelsea

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