It gets difficult to write about this current Norwich side.
For opposition managers, they present an almost unplayable proposition. That is not to say that they will blow any team away, more that whatever tactics are employed against them, they possess the nous to find a way to win.
In the first half, Cardiff stood off Norwich, choosing to compress play. This meant that the half started much like the game against Reading. City looked a little slow in possession with Christoph Zimmermann and Grant Hanley swapping the ball frequently.
And then City sprung into life, a great cross from Emi Buendia saw Kenny McLean header narrowly wide.
More controlled play from City before they sliced the Cardiff defence apart once again, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki with slick one-touch play.
Cardiff are top of the league from set-pieces, and this was reflected in their approach – going to ground at the slightest touch in an attempt to force something from the resultant free-kick.
Harry Wilson produced some dangerous balls but when the solid wall of Hanley and Zimmermann were beaten, once again Michael McGovern was in great form, touching the ball round the post.
When the goal came, it was a great team effort. Cardiff were unable to live with the movement of the City players, Pukki in particular, and Emi was able to run into the space created and slot home from the edge of the box once again.
Another Cardiff set-piece, a corner this time, once more brought McGovern to the fore. Hanley headed the ball away but Cardiff got it back into the box and McGovern was quick to stop the ball on the line from Sean Morrison’s resultant header.
So standing off Norwich didn’t work. Neil Harris tried the high press for the second half and inevitably it opened gaps.
Quite how Pukki was unable to convert one of his many chances in order to properly celebrate the birth of his daughter will remain a mystery. Cantwell, in particular, played him into great positions several times.
Cardiff were offering little going forward but the nagging fear that they might nick something from a set-piece was put to rest when Cantwell, who was superb on his return to the starting line-up, lashed home from outside the box. Once again the movement of the players in front of him made the goal, as it did for Buendia in the first half.
City turned on the style after this.
A great move down the left, Buendia and Cantwell swapping passes before Buendia hit the side netting, surely qualifies as one of the best goals never scored at Carrow Road!
Minutes later, down the right, wonderful interplay saw Pukki turning in the box and getting a shot off before somehow the Cardiff keeper ended up with the ball. It just wasn’t quite his footballing day.
It was fitting that such a complete performance resulted in a clean sheet. The City defence was rarely troubled in open play and stood up well to the threat from set-pieces and McGovern once again ensured no sleepless nights at the news that Tim Krul wasn’t quite fit.
So, top of the League at Christmas, and if they continue to play in this controlled, pragmatic fashion, punctuated by unplayable movement and passing, it’s difficult to see that changing.