Norwich City 1 Sunderland 3
Last Sunday, the Black Cats of newly relegated Sunderland strode onto the pitch and from the off, they felt right at home. They played well….okay….they played well enough to win.
Yes, they had only 35% possession, but….they made it count. They played the match with all the comforts of home.
Only thing missing at home were the fans as the 49,000 seat Stadium of Light in Sunderland was totally empty. The North Stand, and all the others, were devoid of any souls….make that living souls.
The match was actually at Carrow Road, and Norwich seemingly welcomed The Black Cats into their home and instead of being proper guests, Sunderland bunkered down like that down-on-his luck uncle who crashes on the couch, doesn’t pick up after himself, and then forgets to leave. Finally, Norwich City tossed the drunken uncle out, but the damage was done so to speak.
Norwich’s weaknesses were exposed and instead of a home win, Daniel Farke has more work to do to fine tune this new look Canary squad.
What was most galling was that with exception of an Aiden McGeady strike on the hour mark of the match, all the goals were scored by former Norwich City man and Jamaican international Lewis Grabban who put two of his own past Angus Gunn and then scored an own goal as if to make-up for leaving the toilet plugged up.
Norwich City 2 Queens Park Rangers 0
After the argy-bargy over Nelson Oliviera’s goal celebration in the Fulham opener died down, Farke consigned him to the bench for the Sunderland tilt. Properly chastened after his exuberance, Oliviera apologized to his gaffer, and Farke gave him the start when QPR came toddling into town Wednesday leaving Cameron Jerome on the bench.
Lesson learned. Well, 1 lesson learned at least, Norwich made sure QPR did not receive any comforts of home except for 55% of the possession which was sort of like being served a leftover coffee-cake and warmed up tea instead of proper scones and cucumber sandwiches.
Oliviera rewarded Farke’s confidence in him by opening Norwich’s account in the match with a 48th minute goal. Newboy Harry Reed, on loan from Soton added a 2nd at the 82nd minute mark.
It’s early days, as they say in England….so here in SW Wisconsin I’ll say it too. 43 games to go. It’s not where you start, it’s how and where you finish.
On the Ball, City!!
Next up on Saturday, Norwich City will be off to a meet and greet with Captain, Leader, Villan, John Terry. Here’s hoping Terry, his gaffer Steve Bruce and rest of the Villans show the Canaries all the comforts of home.