Despite Andy Townsend’s best efforts to persuade us that last night was merely a triumph of guts and determination over class and skill, it was no fluke. Flukes don’t tend to happen over two legs, especially those where the same team wins both games.
Smiles all round as City secure safety in the most emphatic fashion – their biggest Premier League win in 20 years
Alas, my fears were unfounded and, to a man, those in yellow took not one backward step yesterday. From minute one to minute ninety-three they were ‘on it’ – every single one of them – and from somewhere found a performance right up there with anything we’ve seen in the McNally and Bowkett years.
No need for pitch parades and the clappers; the Yellow Army will do their bit – we can only pray the players do theirs
The mathematicians amongst us have suggested a single point on Sunday may be enough, but I’d hate to think Chris Hughton would set City’s stall out for anything other than victory. It wouldn’t sit comfortably with the Yellow Army for sure, if that were the case – caution playing a far too prominent role in the 2012/13 campaign.
For the Yellow Army it's death by a thousand cuts; the abyss looms as City sleepwalk into a chilling season finale
That Paul Lambert chose to prance across the pitch to boisterously celebrate Premier League survival with his new charges merely added salt into an already open wound – magnanimity never one of his finest qualities.
City's second date with the clappers throws up yet another chance to secure Premier League survival
The home wins over Arsenal and Man Utd were the stuff of dreams but were arguably gazumped by that thrilling 4-3 away win at the Liberty Stadium. Little were we to know that victory at Swansea was to prove to be the season’s only away success, assuming the final day road trip to the Etihad doesn’t throw up the shock to end all shocks.
McGeehan the hero as City's Under-18s nudge ahead at 'half-time' in the FA Youth Cup Final
A lump in the throat quickly became a tear in the eye as those lads – off the back of 94 gruelling minutes – somehow managed to edge themselves ahead in the most thrilling of circumstances; McGeehan’s badge thumping summing up the mood to perfection.
A dearth of quality in the attacking third goes ignored as the 'Hughton out' brigade again find its voice
Typically, the resulting inquest has pretty much laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of Chris Hughton; his pragmatic approach – especially away from home – again coming under intense scrutiny. But, while it’s normal for those at the top of the pyramid to take the wrap when things go belly-up, it seems a little bizarre that the players have been almost absolved of any responsibility.
City's no-show at the Britannia brings into even sharper focus next week's six-pointer with the Villa
The league table would have looked even worse for City but for Emerson Boyce’s 90th minute own-goal at the DW Stadium, one that saw Tottenham earn a point from a game that looked to be heading the way of the Latics. In short, that late twist at the DW may have a greater bearing on the final outcome than events – or non-events – at the Britannia.
As Ryan Bennett awaits trial by the FA over Twitter comments, the question now is… to tweet, or not to tweet
All in all a little bit of a mess for a young man who, on Saturday, turned in a tremendous Man-of-the-Match performance that included notching the all-important first goal; such is the life of a professional footballer. From hero to zero in the space of four days.
Love it or loathe it, an afternoon of happy-clapping takes City to the brink of Premier League safety
The Club, in their own attempt to fire up the atmosphere, were handed a trump card in the form of the Under-18s, and even minus the clappers their pre-match ovation would have been of the rousing variety. As it happened the lads played their part in proceedings perfectly and were ably by a trio of legends – Messrs Eadie, Dublin and Huckerby all still proving capable of playing a Carrow Road blinder.
As City prepare for the mother of all 'must win' games, the Under 18s serve up the perfect aperitif
One hopes their call for the #Yellarmy to create a cauldron will have the desired effect – although it would be good to think that unequivocal backing of the Yellow Army would be a given on such occasions regardless. It’d certainly be helpful if the dissenters could find it in themselves to ‘button it’ from 2:45 to 5:00 on Saturday afternoon.
With five to go, and the race for safety hotting up, now is the time for cool heads… on and off the pitch
The sense of injustice we all felt post-Stadium of Light was certainly back, and back with a vengeance. Whether that feeling of being shafted is as justified now as it felt at 17:00 on Saturday – with the adrenalin still pumping – remains to be seen, but to watch those three points slip through the fingers in such agonising fashion was painful either way.
City suffer late heartbreak at the Emirates as the wave of a flag signals away-day disaster for Hughton's men
The game’s pivotal moment came on 84 minutes when, from a hotly disputed corner – Snodgrass looking as though he’d successfully shepherded the ball out for a goal-kick – the ensuing scramble resulted in Kamara harshly being adjudged to have pulled Giroud’s shirt.
While some question the current path, there are clubs (some not far away) of whom City are still the envy
The simmering discontent over Chris Hughton’s management style has taken on a life of its own of late – Twitter and the message-boards affording the dissenters a disproportionately loud voice – but the depth of feeling of some was brought home to me over me pre-match drink last Saturday.
Another afternoon of Carrow Road frustration as the Swans give City a lesson in the art of the beautiful game
If there was a positive to be gleamed from the game – other than the fact they didn’t lose – it was the way the City players responded to adversity. After being horribly outplayed for half an hour, and with the faithful getting increasingly restless, they somehow managed – completely out of the blue (apologies for using the word) – to conjure up the unlikeliest of equalisers.
With Swansea next up, and games running out, a good old-fashioned Carrow Road cauldron will be order of the day
When presented with his first Norwich City fixture list, back in June 2012, Hughton will have looked at the final few home games of the season – Swansea, Reading, Aston Villa, West Brom – and considered each to be winnable. Nothing has changed.
With City clocking up just a single win in fourteen games the Yellow Army should brace itself for a nervous run-in – just as the gaffer suggested
Thanks to a fruitful autumn – that ten game unbeaten run now taking on the form of a lifeline – they still find themselves with a small but eroding cushion. Quite how much longer I’ll be able to say that I’m not sure, although Aston Villa’s ‘charge’ being halted by Liverpool yesterday certainly helped.
More away-day blues for City as Koné's 81st minute strike edges the Canaries a little closer to the drop-zone
The game’s pivotal moment came on 81 minutes. The dangerous Gomez was given time and space to pick out a pass which he did to perfection; his perfectly weighted through-ball releasing Koné in the inside left channel. One good first touch later and the Ivorian slammed a crisp right-footed drive past Camp’s left hand and into the City net.
City head to the DW armed with a bagful of Premier League nous – something missing from their last visit 19 short months ago
Such is the current life of the travelling faithful, last season’s expectancy – borne of the Lambert-inspired gung-ho spirit – now replaced with hope; a hope that just around the corner is that second away win of the season. For flamboyance read pragmatism; for flair read grit.
McNally seals the deal for the Wolf-man as City cash-in on Sporting Lisbon's need for pay-day cash
If just knowing that we were ‘going for it’ with real intent wasn’t exciting enough, to hear that the deal had been concluded was positively thrilling. In terms of the excitement generated this is certainly right up there with Boxing Day 2003 when one Darren Huckerby made his official Carrow Road bow following the loan spell to end all loan spells.