English Premiership

Norwich relegated despite win over Watford

2016-05-12 06:43
Norwich City's Nathan Redmond (AP)

Norwich - Norwich City conjured up an emphatic 4-2 victory over Watford but it was not enough to prevent relegation from the Premier League on Wednesday.

News that Sunderland had beaten Everton 3-0 meant that the Canaries, and Newcastle, cannot now climb out of the bottom three regardless of what happens on Sunday's final round of fixtures.

At least the home fans had a rare victory to cheer, with Dieumerci Mbokani scoring twice and the inspirational Nathan Redmond contributing a goal and two assists.

Norwich's preparations for the game hadn't exactly been ideal with chief executive David McNally handing in his resignation following Saturday's home loss to Manchester United.

Ed Balls, the chairperson, described that as "very destabilising" but the Canaries had actually been flatlining for a while; the loss to United was their fourth straight loss without even a goal being scored.

Norwich nerves allowed Troy Deeney to unleash the game's first shot, a low drive from distance that John Ruddy in the home goal was able to get behind with difficulty.

Ruddy was beaten soon afterwards however, with Deeney the 11th-minute scorer and creator.

The Hornets captain nodded down a long ball to the edge of the box and although Ruddy was able to stop Odion Ighalo from converting Deeney was there to sidefoot the loose ball into the net.

Norwich needed an instant response and Redmond provided it just three minutes later.

The winger played a one-two with Naismith on the right of the box but Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes won't want to be reminded of how easily he was then beaten at his near post.

Belief surged through the home ranks and Redmond again put the ball past Gomes, having cut in from the left. This time it hit a post and was despatched by Mbokani, who had been onside when the initial shot came in, despite Watford appeals.

The game was just 18 minutes old but Redmond sprinted forward again to fire across goal and wide this time but play was then held up for a while for treatment for Mbonaki following a clash with Miguel Britos.

Redmond hit the same post again following a one-two with Wes Hoolahan and Gomes did well to palm over a fierce follow-up from Martin Olsson as City were roared on by their supporters.

Those fans had another goal to cheer in the 37th minute and again it was painful watching for Watford.

Allan Nyom slipped over to allow Hoolahan to fire in a low ball into the box that Craig Cathcart, the centre-back, diverted into his own net.

Again Carrow Road erupted but the atmosphere was soon dampened by news that Sunderland had taken the lead on Wearside, and quickly followed that up with a second before half-time.

Watford conjured up a goal out of nothing six minutes into the second half with Deeney getting the better of Russell Martin on the right and firing in a cross that Ighalo converted for his first goal in 13 outings.

Norwich would not be denied, in this game at least, and just after Watford fans informed everyone that Sunderland were now 3-0 up, Mbokani made it 4-2 before the hour mark with a dink over Gomes.

Once again Watford had made a mess of their offside trap; once again Redmond was the provider.

It made no difference to the league table however as Norwich ended the night a Championship club in waiting.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
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Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
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