Norwich City v QPR

Team: Cerny, Hill (Bothroyd), Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Young, Traore, Derry (Buzsaky), Faurlin, Mackie, Wright-Phillips (Smith), Helguson

Subs Not Used: Putnins, Orr, Hall, Puncheon

Attendance: 26,781

After the utilitarian austerity of Stoke City, it was a pleasant surprise to revisit Carrow Road after a hiatus of approximately 15 years. In the interim period an extensive modernisation project has brought the ground well up to modern day standards. The Jarrold Stand, housing the away supporters in one corner, was built in 2003. The entrance area is spacious and the catering facilities impressive. Having eaten and sampled the excellent Flintknapper’s Mild previously in the nearby Coach and Horses pub, I had to pass on one of the beef and chilli pies made by TV chef and City Director Delia Smith’s catering company, but they looked pretty tasty. When we realised that we hadn’t bought a programme before going into the ground, one of the stewards was kind enough to ask her colleague to fetch one from outside. Now that’s service !

The Rangers line-up minus Barton, but plus Derry, never looked like the fluent combative outfit that battled hard and stylishly for a victory against Stoke. Hardest for the side and supporters to stomach was undoubtedly the calming influence of Kenny in goal who had succumbed to a mystery thigh strain. Cerny, apparently now our third choice keeper and still carries some kind of injury was capable, but not inspiring. This will cast a serious doubt on Rangers’ aspirations as we approach the busy Christmas period and tough games against Premier League elite sides.

John Cooper

Norwich talisman Grant Holt came off the bench to bundle home the winning goal in a closely-fought Barclays Premier League encounter with QPR. The battle of last season’s top two in the npower Championship ebbed and flowed throughout the pair’s first top-flight meeting since 1995. Norwich dominated the early proceedings at Carrow Road and deservedly took the lead when skipper Russell Martin reacted quickest during a melee in the six-yard box.

Shaun Wright-Phillips saw a strong call for a penalty turned down seconds later as the West Londoners searched for an equaliser, which eventually came in the 59th minute when Luke Young struck his second goal in as many games. The leveller came on the back of QPR boss Neil Warnock’s wily introduction of Jay Bothroyd, but Norwich manager Paul Lambert played his own trump cards to secure the three points. Having seen an attempt cleared off the line moments before, Holt was set up by fellow substitute Wes Hoolahan to net the winning goal to the delight of the majority of the 26,781 crowd.

The match started at a quick pace, with both sides eking out half-chances in the opening exchanges. Third-choice QPR goalkeeper Radek Cerny – making his first appearance of the season due to injuries to Paddy Kenny and Brian Murphy – was called into action in the 8th minute when Simeon Jackson struck a well-hit shot from 20 yards. The Canaries continued to press forward and in-form Steve Morison almost netted his fourth in as many games but, having wriggled past Anton Ferdinand, was thwarted by a low save by Cerny.

Fellow Wales international Andrew Crofts was the next to test the Hoops’ backline, twice seeing shots deflect behind for corners. The latter set-piece from Andrew Surman landed dangerously in the six-yard box and, after Ferdinand failed to clear, Martin reacted quickly to tuck home the opener. The goal was just reward for the home side’s dominance of the first 15 minutes, but they were fortunate not to give away a needless penalty almost immediately. Wright-Phillips ghosted into the box and tumbled over the outstretched arms of John Ruddy, although referee Mark Clattenburg waved away the claims for a penalty.

The R’s were only impressing in fits and starts and the home side soon came close to doubling their advantage. Morison, who was proving a handful for the QPR defence, found space on the edge of the box to unleash a curling effort that drifted just over the bar. However, Norwich’s attacks began to dry up as half-time approached and QPR began to enjoy more possession. Shaun Derry almost connected with a whipped Wright-Phillips free-kick in the 45th minute, before the diminutive winger saw a shot saved by Ruddy and Jamie Mackie hit the rebound into the side-netting.

The second period started in much the same vein and Wright-Phillips almost netted four minutes in after a mix-up in the box between Ruddy and Leon Barnett. The R’s, though, did not enjoy quite the same possession as they did at the end of the first half, leading Warnock to replace Clint Hill with Bothroyd in the 57th minute as they searched for a leveller. The alteration paid dividends within two minutes as a speculative Mackie drive came back off the post into the path of Young, who slotted home from a tight angle.

The equaliser was no more than QPR deserved as they continued to look the stronger of the two sides. As a result, Lambert brought on Hoolahan and Holt in an attempt to change the path of the game and got the desired effect as in the 73rd minute, after Holt saw a header blocked on the line by Young, the striker was not denied moments later as he directed home Hoolahan’s cross.

Norwich pressed for a third after regaining the lead, but looked susceptible on the break, with Young almost capitalising as his cross clipped the bar. QPR’s push for another equaliser continued, but resolute defending and wayward finishing allowed the Canaries to secure a victory that sees them leapfrog their opponents in the table.

Simon Peach – The Independent

(The above pics were taken by John Cooper and used with his permission)

7 thoughts on “Norwich City v QPR

  1. We never seem to do anything at Carrow Road. I think I have seen 2 wins in all of the years since my first visit on that fateful day in April 1976…..

    Thanks for the report John!

  2. Over the past two seasons Norwich have been a very lucky team..and it is difficult to combat the outrageous good fortune that seems to come their way every match.

    There is no way we deserved to lose that game

  3. “Outrageous good fortune” it’s all about hard work and never giving up. 5 Pens against and 3 red cards in the first 5 games this season does not point to a lucky side and it’s not like we are a dirty side either.

  4. Good, balanced report there pal. I’m disappointed with Kerrins’ comment we have outrageous luck – from a Norwich POV 5 pens conceded in the first 5 games, 2 of them clearly wrong and a few dodgy red cards to boot, would imply to me that luck isn’t always on our side, let alone if you consider the ridiculous luck QPR had to do 9man Chelsea!!! We would also have beaten you at Loftus Road last year if Hoolahan hadn’t hit such a horrendous penalty.

    As for the game, it wasn’t spectacular, I thought both sides were as poor as each other and tbf I don’t think we deserved to win it, and I’ve seen pens given for less than the SWP incident, especially this season (John Walters getting a pen 5 yards outside the box vs Stoke springs to mind!!) but we nicked the 3 points and Im pleased we did.

    All the best this season, would be great if all 3 promoted sides can stay up, and much as I despise Warnock, it’s nice to see QPR back in the top flight as it was in the early 90s!

  5. OK then let me qualify my comments and perhaps be a little more fair to Norwich City.

    Norwich have indeed done well and have worked hard..The manager has done a wonderful job and moulded a decent team without any “superstars”…but dont tell me that Norwich have not had more than their fair share of Luck these past two seasons.

    What about all of those injury/Extra time goals last season?…Most teams battle to the end but to Score THAT many goals in time added on surely has an element of good fortune about it

    Also I have seen Norwich play a few times this season Live TV and Highlights against Liverpool Blackburn Bolton Arsenal and QPR..and there wass nothing there to make me change my mind. Just my opinion

    You are doing fine Canaries. Well done. I would wish you good luck but you dont need me to do that

  6. I think teams make their own luck Kerrins and to win games with late goals is bordering on an art form and indicates a side that never gives up. It’s what’s needed to win promotion (or anything for that matter) and the Rs also had it in spades last season – the late late goals at Derby in Aug 2010 being the best examples.

    Good luck to Norwich – a decent team, decent fans and a first class manager in Paul Lambert.

  7. Martin. I certainly dont begrudge Norwich any of their success. They have done well. I am just pointing out the element of good fortune that has come with it

    If you total up the number of Decisive goals that Norwich scored last season say between the 84th and the 97th minute the list will be as long as your arm. Its more than us and probably more than Man Utd…and THATS saying something! This was a fact well documented in the National Press and their excellent Manager Paul Lambert went on record several times saying he was proud of this.

    Last Gasp goals are not only due to determination battling performance and style of play(though obviously they count) nor are they worked out on the training ground midweek. Luck does play a part..a sizeable part.

    If Norwich are in the business of making all their own luck I reckon they should keep the formula a closely guarded secret. lol

    I am not anti Norwich. I wish them well…but I cant bring myself to wish them good luck because at the moment I dont think that is necessary.

Comments are closed.