Just how much this weekend's double strike meant to Italian striker Arturo Lupoli wasn't too hard too fathom.
One glance at the 21-year-old's face as he raced to celebrate his 81st minute leveller with the City boss Glenn Roeder and his No2 Lee Clark told its own story – contorted into the same rage of delight that Stuart Pearce delivered after exorcising his penalty demons, Lupoli's expression revealed a passionate, young man desperate to get his stalled strike career back on track.
His opener four minutes beforehand was his first goal in open play for 18 months – since he bagged a goal for Derby County in a 5-1 home romp against Colchester United on March 2, 2007.
A bit like the buses, it was almost inevitable that a second would follow within five minutes as he stooped low to expertly glance Lee Croft's thigh-high cross home.
Little wonder that the on-loan Fiorentina striker was all smiles afterwards.
“For ten months I didn't score a goal in action – I scored penalties,” said Lupoli, as he looked back at last year's miserable loan spell at Treviso in Serie B.
“So for me it was a long, long time,” added the one-time Arsenal starlet, who would score goals for fun in his teenage years.
“I had a very bad time with Treviso and Fiorentina, so this goal means a lot to me because I kept working every day – even when I wasn't scoring.
“So this is very, very important for me and, hopefully, it's a point where I can start to build up this season.”
Afterwards Roeder would remind everyone that Lupoli was still only 21; that he had arrived in Norfolk with less than a week by way of pre-season training with the Viola; that perhaps missing those early chances against first Coventry and then Blackpool in Norwich's opening two league games of the campaign had started to drain his confidence – hence his decision to go with Darel Russell up front and to keep Lupoli on the bench as “an impact player”.
Quite what an impct he would make within four minutes of his arrival on the pitch, few would ever have guessed.
Five minutes in South Wales later and the young man's confidence is now flying again. Whether it has pumped equal belief into the rest of his team-mates limbs will ave t wait until next Saturday's home game against the in-form Birmingham City, but yesterday was certainly a better day at the office for all concerned. After all, most had them dead and buried at 2-0 down with little more than 15 minutes to go – Lupoli included.
“I didn't think [we could come back]. But you always have to try and when you get one, then the game is open. And when I got the first one, we had ten to 15 minutes to equalise and it was perfect.”
Both goals involved an assist from fellow second-half substitute Croft – the first, Crdiff would claim, also had a large helping hand from the far assistant who refused to rule Lupoli offside as Croft's deflected shot reared up to him in the inside-left channel.
Alone and unmarked, the ball appeared to take an eternity to drop inside the far upright. In fairness to Bluebirds boss Dave Jones, he had few complants afterwards – instead, accusing his players of simply switching off as the ball broke to the unmarked City forward.
“I wasn't offside because there was two players right in front of the goal,” said Lupoli. You could hear the proverbial pin drop around the usually boisterous Ninian when the linesman's flag steadfastly refused to flutter. Away at the far end of the ground, it was difficult for the travelling City faithful to grasp just exactly what had happened.
“I thought the ball was out and then I saw everybody coming back, so then [I knew it was a goal]. So, yes, it was a bit of a weird goal.”
The one that really brought the smile to his face was the second. “The first one is the kind of goal that I used to always score – being aware in the penalty box; that the ball can come to you from all sides and I just took it and shot first time,” said Lupoli, demonstrating the kind of natural eye for goal that – once upon a time – caught the eye of Arsene Wenger.
“The second was a bit difficult because the ball was a cross and I'm not great with a header, so that was the one that I prefer – for sure.”
He was, however, swift to share the praise around.
“To get the goals is always good, but it is a team game and the last 20 minutes we played very good,” he said, after the Canaries looked odd-on to be heading for yet another 'If only…' inquest after Ross McCormack's third minute opener was followed by Jamie Cureton's eighth minute penalty miss.
By the time that the Bluebirds striker had added a second from the penalty spot after the luckless Sammy Clingan had conceded Norwich's third penalty in as many Championship matches and few would have blamed the travelling City faithful from making an early start on the long haul home.
“When you score one, everything is getting easier – and it's thanks to my team-mates and to Crofty [Lee Croft]. Everybody did very well.”