Correct me if I’m wrong – and I know somebody will if I am – but I’m pretty goddam sure that Norwich City created a record at Carrow Road on Saturday when they comfortably put Cardiff City to the sword, albeit after a stuttering start.
Whether it’s an all-inclusive UK footballing record or just an EFL Championship one I cannot be sure but I’m pretty certain that a record it is.
Has any other club ever had two separate, individual Brasileiros score for them in the same Championship game? Not bl00dy likely, says I.
It might have happened in the Premier League, maybe even more than once, but in the Champo? Don’t think so!
The first was a decent shot from outside the box that Gaby Sara neatly fired past an admittedly unsighted Ryan Allsop after being set up by Marquinhos, who was somewhat confusingly referred to under his birth surname of Alencar in the team listings of the Sunday papers that I saw.
Marquinhos scored on his Arsenal debut and kindly repeated the feat for us. A bit of the old Wagner coaching stardust has obviously been applied here – the assist went to Onel Hernandez, who after his usual bobbing and weaving and stopping and starting once more cut the ball back instead of delivering a typical “Hail Mary” cross that might have gone anywhere and to anybody. These seem to have been binned, hopefully for good.
The 19-year-old finished with verve, aplomb and a huge grin on his face as he laid down a Yellow-shirted marker for the rest of the season. He was withdrawn on the hour and it was a joy to see that his replacement was one Teemu Pukki.
Wagner employed all five of the allowed subs at various times during the second half. Perhaps the most interesting presence on the bench was the only outfield player not to see action on the day, Academy striker Abu Kamara. MFW’s Will Grant has had nothing but good things to say about Abu in his Academy pieces, and now he has his foot in the door so all the very best of luck to him.
It only remains to say that the second half featured a pretty decent 45 minutes of game management from City, who also managed to create a few chances along the way with Adam Idah rounding Allsop before stumbling and blazing over, Hernandez hitting the outside of the post and Pukki landing a chip on the roof of the Cardiff net.
David Wagner said afterwards: “We scored two good goals and from then on I thought we controlled the game and deserved to win in the end”.
He added: “It was a third straight win at home and if we want to achieve anything this season we need to turn Carrow Road into a fortress so I am very pleased with the result.”
Kenny McLean, who enjoyed a fine game himself, spoke words of wisdom when he pointed out: “It was a good three points but not the best performance, but that’s a good sign sometimes when you can do that and not be at your best.
“We got the goals at good times and did enough to get over the line. I would say it was a professional performance rather than a good performance.
“We want to give ourselves the best opportunity to do the best that we can and finish as high as we can – that’s what we’re doing right now.”
It’s once more down to MFW’s man in the stands, Don Harold, to sum up:
“This was an easy win against a poor Cardiff side.
“The first 20 minutes were a bit iffy, then Sara got the game by the scruff of the neck and City’s class shone through. Two goals from two Brazilians [who would have thought such a thing?], a clean sheet, decent performances all round and another home win made for a pleasant afternoon at Fortress Carrow.
“We have a couple of tough-looking games coming up and if we can take points in both whilst playing well, perhaps an exciting last third of the season is on offer after all.”
In his article yesterday, Gary bemoaned the lack of a functioning PA system at the Carra on which to play our goal music, aka Samba De Janeiro, so I thought I’d conclude by making some form of musical amends.
Like many MFW readers, I am fully aware that Carlos Santana is Mexican rather than Brazilian. However the samba is a dance evolved on the streets of Rio de Janeiro not Tequila, so Samba For You is a perfect closing dedication to Gaby Sara and Marquinhos.
And no, I don’t know how Santana gets that tone on his Les Paul beyond the fact that, apparently, he was using a sustain pedal as early as 1969: