Norwich City run show from start to finish
PUBLISHED: 17:30 08 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:40 02 July 2010
You often hear the throwaway line 'one-way traffic' being used somewhat erroneously to describe events after a team has just produced a pleasing performance to achieve a successful result.
You often hear the throwaway line “one-way traffic” being used somewhat erroneously to describe events after a team has just produced a pleasing performance to achieve a successful result.
As far as Saturday's clash between the Canaries and Yeovil, though, there really is no more accurate description, because City won the game almost at a canter.
I can't remember a more one-sided encounter for a very long time, and that's saying something when games like the 5-0 demolition of Colchester are still fresh in the mind.
Apart from taking nearly 70 minutes to ultimately put the game to bed with a second goal after Wes Hoolahan had threatened to set Norwich on their way to a cricket score with their opener after just two minutes, City barely put a foot wrong all afternoon.They did what they had to do, and they did it very professionally.
Indeed, the Canaries completely controlled the contest from start to finish with such authority that you could have been forgiven for thinking you were watching a training-ground practice for long periods. The type of practice, that is, when the coach structures the session to give the team that he is working with a considerable numerical advantage.
At times, you had to remind yourself that the visitors still had 11 players on the pitch.
Norwich picked their passes well, they were patient with their approach play when playing a killer pass wasn't a realistic option and they asserted their dominance on their opponents impressively.
City also worked the ball well into the final third of the pitch on numerous occasions and created several decent chances. And on the very rare occasions when they had to try to regain possession, they invariably did so very quickly and efficiently.
In complete contrast, Yeovil struggled to get out of their own half all afternoon and were seemingly powerless to prevent the Canaries from dominating the ball.
They barely mustered a shot on the Norwich goalmouth, and despite boss Terry Skiverton having changed his side's midfield set-up from a diamond formation to a straightforward flat shape during the first half, then making a double substitution at half-time to try to give Yeovil fresh impetus, it all proved completely futile.
After their previous game at Oldham, I said that despite City not having clicked into top gear at Boundary Park in the manner we know they can, there were signs in the second half that they might be too far away from doing so.
And although we didn't see the Canaries at their most ruthless and destructive best on Saturday, I think everyone inside the stadium would agree that the 3-0 scoreline in no way flattered Norwich, considering the way they totally controlled the contest from the first whistle to last.
As far as winning a game without the result ever being in doubt, it was about as emphatic as it gets.
t NEIL'S MAN OF THE MATCH - KOREY SMITH: In an accomplished team performance in which every Norwich player did his job well, it was good to see City's “Holy Trinity” of Grant Holt, Chris Martin and Wes Hoolahan all on the scoresheet again and causing the opposing defence numerous problems. But the young midfielder gets my vote by a country mile. He was outstanding. Smith has so many qualities to his game and, as usual, he displayed most of them on Saturday. He ran, he tackled, he drove the team forward when he had the ball and invariably won it back when required. He was totally dominant in the middle of the park.