Norwich finished the second month of the season with one win and two defeats from their three outings. The story was very much good at home, uninspiring away.
The Canaries have managed just two wins from seven and sat 17th in the Premier League, one point and one place above the relegation zone at the start of the new month. However, the visit of Aston Villa on Saturday changed all that…
However, Norwich have had to contend with a multitude of injury problems and are currently working with a hugely depleted squad.
With two months of the season already completed, here’s a look back at September in review.
Emi Buendia was the star of the show during Norwich’s outstanding victory over Manchester City. The skilful Argentinian set up the first goal with a pinpoint corner and assisted the third thanks to his sharp press of the City backline and a smart, unselfish pass. He also played a major part in the second with a wonderful piece of skill to trigger the Norwich counter-attack.
Although, like the majority of the Norwich squad, Buendia has remained relatively average during the Canary’s forays away from Carrow Road this month, there have been flashes of brilliance to remind us what a player City have on their hands.
There was a fabulous floated ball to put Teemu Pukki through with the game still goalless at Selhurst Park, a delightful touch against Burnley to give himself a sniff of goal, and every so often his trademark delicate flick would make an appearance.
No one at Norwich has been particularly poor this month, or indeed this season (again, prior to the start of October and Villa’s visit to Carrow Road).
However, Ben Godfrey was at fault for Manchester City’s first goal, failing to track Sergio Agüero. The centre-back also looked pretty suspect against Burnley, Chris Wood this time the man to evade him.
The stand-in skipper put in a much-improved performance against Crystal Palace to suggest his lapses in concentration should not be something for Norwich faithful to lose sleep over.
Norwich will do well to better this performance all season. Despite being plagued with injuries, the Canaries inflicted defeat on the might of Manchester City, the Premier League champions first loss since January.
This wasn’t a lucky, park-the-bus type win either. Norwich were terrific, playing expansive, attacking football and pressing Man City high up the pitch. Todd Cantwell’s goal, in particular, was a fantastic, fast and flowing team move.
Few teams will beat Man City this season, let alone in the style that Norwich managed.
Norwich followed up their magnificent display against City by being brought hurtling back down to earth by Burnley. The Canaries were sloppy defensively, first conceding from a corner, and then cheaply surrendering possession and leaving Chris Wood unmarked for the second.
Norwich failed to create many clear cut chances and struggled to get Pukki in behind Burnley’s stellar backline.
Turf Moore is no easy place to visit, but considering how superb Norwich had been against the champions the week before, it was disappointing to see them go with a whimper against Sean Dyche’s men.
Todd Cantwell’s goal against Man City finished off a slick Norwich counter-attack in style. From Buendia’s piece of skill in his own half to get the move underway, to the unselfishness and intelligence from Pukki to slot the ball to the unmarked Cantwell, this was a quality goal from start to finish.
The sheer pace of the move and the way Norwich carved open the champions makes this goal the pick of the bunch.
Although Norwich slipped to consecutive defeats in September, these were by no means games that you would have expected the Canaries to win. They were away from home, and against two sides who have both started the season pretty convincingly. Norwich’s injury problems should also be taken into account.
Norwich will be one of very few teams to taste victory against Man City this season. Their victory served up a timely reminder that the Premier League isn’t just about the champions and Liverpool. And what a way to do it.
If Norwich can turn in a few more performances like they did against City, and once their treatment table is a little less overcrowded, the Canaries should keep themselves in the top flight this season.