|NORWICH CITY 0 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (5)|
|Date : – Sunday 22nd May 2022||Kick off : – 16.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Carrow Road|
|Crowd : – 27,022|
|Referee : – Chris Kavanagh (Manchester)||Linesmen : – Mr. Harry Lennard; Mr. Nick Hopton|
|Fourth official : – Dean Whitestone|
|VAR official : – Andy Madley||VAR Assistant : – Wade Smith|
|Weather : – Sunny, very warm|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Barclay Stand end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 2 minutes
|NORWICH CITY||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|None||Kulusevski 15m 26s|
|Kane 31m 23s|
|Kulusevski 63m 34s|
|Son 69m 38s|
|Son 74m 55s|
|Byram (foul on Son) 15||Son (foul on Springett) 85|
|Normann (foul on Kulusevski) 31|
|Springett (foul on Davies) 74|
|NORWICH CITY||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|1.||Tim KRUL||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|2.||Max AARONS||6.||Davinson SANCHEZ|
|3.||Sam BYRAM ( 6. Christoph ZIMMERMANN 36)||15.||Eric DIER|
|5.||Grant HANLEY (c)||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|30.||Dimitris GIANNOULIS||12.||Emerson ROYAL ( 23. Steven BERGWIJN 73)|
|10.||Kieran DOWELL ( 45. Tony SPRINGETT 61 )||30.||Rodrigo BENTACUR ( 8. Harry WINKS 73)|
|16.||Mathias NORMANN||19.||Ryan SESSEGNON|
|20.||Pierre LEES-MELOU ( 7. Lukas RUPP 71)|
|17.||Milot RASICA||21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 27. Lucas MOURA 68)|
|28.||Angus GUNN||22.||Pierluigi GOLLINI|
|40.||Jonathan TOMKINSON||14.||Joe RODON|
|11.||Przemyslaw PLACHETA||51.||Matthew CRAIG|
|28.||Liam GIBBS||45.||Alfie DEVINE|
|46.||Jonathan ROWE||42.||Harvey WHITE|
|18.||Christos TZOLIS||44.||Dane SCARLETT|
|Manager : – Dean Smith||Manager : – Antonio Conte|
|Kit Supplier : – Joma||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – Lotus||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – JD Sports||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch
|Colours : –
||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|Norwich City’s Premier League “local derby” ended in a humiliating home defeat and an invidious exit from the top flight for at least another season. A 5-0 score-line in Tottenham’s favour not only sealed Champions League football for Spurs, but emphasised the gulf in class between the two sides, with Hugo Lloris having a largely untroubled afternoon and Tim Krul in the Canaries’ net busy throughout.
Norwich fans were trepidatious about Tottenham fans encroaching into their sections of the crowd and causing trouble, but their fears about what might happen on the field were probably more realistic and came to be enacted with the home fans more upset at both the team and their board. Norwich is a lovely little city, perhaps hit badly by the pandemic and a little parochial for big city tastes, but it has a certain charm. One of my first away visits back in the 1980s was here, being pressed up against a tree on the pavement close to the turnstile before entering the corrugated metal away end. That was a time after the worst of the era of hooliganism, but little had been done to the away fans end since Manchester United fans had trashed it in 1977 on their way to Division 2. So, without Ipswich playing in the same division for some time, their nearest club is Tottenham and they have adopted some sort of surrogate rivalry that is not reciprocated.
So, a sunny Sunday afternoon with the home side having nothing to play for other than pride, while Spurs were seeking at least a point for a place at Europe’s top European competition table. Spurs fans were in good spirits, getting their songs in early, while Norwich waited until “On The Ball City” was played just prior to kick off. The knee was taken and we were underway.
Neither side could string passes together until Tottenham got the ball into a position to cross and appeals for a handball were waved away. There were a couple of nervy moments for Tottenham when Dier headed back to Sanchez, who had to clear quickly and then Lloris just about got the ball away as Puuki closed him down. With Royal taking a blow to his face after a corner, Spurs broke with Kane playing Kulusevski away to nut-meg one player and shimmy away past another before playing in Pierre Hojbjerg. The Dane took a while to get the ball into a shooting position and then fired over the top from the edge of the box. Kane then hit a shot straight down Krul’s throat, with the Spurs striker getting onto a ball from Hojbjerg that was blocked by the keeper when the shot came in from a tight angle. The corner was played short to Davies and Son passed it back to Kane outside the area, with his mis-hit shot cleared out of the goalmouth.
An unnecessary shove on Son off the pitch by Byram earned the Norwich man a booking and suddenly Bentancur was through on goal. He took his time and pulled it slightly backwards for Dejan Kulusevski to side-foot it (well ankle it) gently across the line to out Tottenham into the lead from the middle of the penalty area. Norwich defenders appealed for off-side but Bentancur had run from deep and Kulusevski was behind him when he made the pass, so there was no hope of a decision in their favour from VAR.
Krul got to a through ball from Ben Davies first, after Sonny had made a run, stopped and then made a second run, but was unable to reach the pass. Spurs almost caused themselves a problem when Dier conceded possession and Rashica had a chance, but shot narrowly wide. When Sanchez and Puuki ran into each other, news came through that the Gooners had scored through a VAR awarded penalty. As long as Spurs could get a draw that would be enough regardless of what was going on at Highbury.
Normann grabbed Kulusevski to prevent him getting away towards the Norwich goal and a yellow card to match his shirt was pulled out by Chris Kavanagh and that was just before Norwich messed up at the back, allowing Rodrigo Bentancur to pick up his second assist of the game when he crossed for Harry Kane to head in to double the lead. Krul’s pass out only went to Rodrigo just outside the on the right corner of the box and his first time ball into the middle of the area found Harry, who fell forward on the edge of the six yard box to head behind Hanley on the goal-line, who couldn’t keep it out and hilariously fell over in trying to.
Tottenham were bursting onto the Norwich defence at every occasion. Hojbjerg took the ball a long way forward and he played a fine diagonal pass to Son, whose ambitious volley wasn’t cleanly hit and it was easy for Krul to save. Five minutes before half-time, it looked as though Norwich might cause a problem, but Puuki’s set-up for Rashica saw Davies block his shot and then hack it clear and then the Finnish forward hit a shot straight into Hojbjerg’s nether regions, causing him to go down needing a minute or two to get his breath back. By this time, Dean Smith has withdrawn Byram, who was seemingly hell-bent on getting a red card, although it was claimed that he had an injury.
A cross from Gianoullis deflected off Kulusevski and hit the bar with Lloris back-peddling furiously. The ball had already gone out for a corner before the woodwork was struck and Hanley headed the ball wide from the set-piece. Another Tottenham break saw Davies strike a 25 yard drive cleanly and Krul parried the ball in saving it, but Zimmermann was on hand to clear the loose ball. Krul was again in the right place to catch Kane’s header that might have been drifting wide anyway and that was the last action of the first 45 minutes.
As the sun still shone down brightly, Norwich matched it was a sprightly start to the second half. Puuki went forward and a Dier block took it out for an early corner. There was a noticeable slowing of the pace of the game as the Spurs fans settled for a singing battle between themselves with the Park Lane and Shelf side finding their voices before joining together to praise Antonio.
A ball that drifted across the Spurs goalmouth with Bentancur getting a touch to clear the danger as Dowell tried to set something up. At the other end, Harry Kane gave Son the chance to shoot and Krul got behind it, although it was straight at him, with the ball cleared to stop anyone following in. Puuki got on the end of a cross and headed it down, but wide and then Normann tried a 25 yard effort that went wide of Hugo’s goal. The Kane-Son link-up almost brought another goal with Son hitting Krul at point-blank range with a half-volley and then couldn’t quite meet the ball with a good contact to force home the rebound.
Kulu was through with Krul out of the goal and when it looked like a third, the Swede’s pass to Son (or was it a shot having got the ball stuck under his feet ?) was cleared off the line by Aarons, who had tracked the Korean back. Maybe Dejan should have gone himself, but a few minutes later, he did just that. Bringing the ball forward, he hit a superb curling shot from the corner of the penalty area past Krul to make it 3-0 with his left foot. Harry Kane’s pass had sent him away, but a shot that left the keeper helpless was a beautiful finish.
When Moura released Son after Kane had flicked the ball on, it looked like he would get the goal that would close him in on Salah for the Golden Boot, but Krul made a fine stop to the striker’s shot. When Son was given the opportunity a minute later by Moura pass as he dragged the ball into his path on the turn, he made no mistake, with a right-footed shot that went under Krul to give him his 22nd goal of the season and Spurs a 4-0 advantage that brought a drinks break as Bergwijn came on for Royal and Winks for Bentancur and Son had swept the ball past the keeper’s left with a cool finish in the rising temperature.
Son looked on for another, but over-run the ball before Springett picked up a yellow card as he tried to show some aggression, but it was mis-directed in fouling Ben Davies. A free-kick was cleared out to Heung-Min Son on the left, outside the penalty area and he came inside a little to curl an unstoppable shot without the keeper getting close to it to seal the Champions League place in fine style. It was almost becoming a Goal of the Season contest in the one match with some outstanding goals by Spurs.
Son picked up a yellow card to go with his two goals when he fouled Mathias Normann and his strike partner Harry Kane hit a shot into the half empty Norwich section of the stand behind the goal. Zimmermann weakly headed a late chance over the bar as Norwich’s Premier League tenure came to
For all the fantastic goals Spurs scored, it was the hard work in midfield from Bentancur, Sessegnon, Hojbjerg and Royal that was the basis for the victory that consigned Woolwich Wanderers to the Thursday slot for their European nights. Not only in the energy they put in to break down Norwich’s forward moves, but also in getting forward to create havoc in the Norwich box.
For getting Spurs to this end of the season, great praise must be given to Daniel Levy. All those in the Levy Out brigade, just ask yourself if we had been in the Champions League next season if he hadn’t taken the decision to sack Nuno Espirito Santo ? It may have been the wrong appointment in the first place, but at least he had the balls to recognise that and do something about it. And with Champions League football it probably means Harry Kane and Antonio Conte will be here next season along with some players who will now come as we are in the premier European competition.
The team has come on in leaps and bounds since Conte took charge. Not an ideal time for him to do so, in the middle of a bad run in November, but the atmosphere at that match against Manchester United at home meant that something had to be done. The man who wasn’t available when Nuno was given the job now was free to come to the THS to work his magic. Covid-19 hindered preparations and his regime to improve players fitness to play his way took time, but the lack of European football did help in the long run (c.f. West Ham United London who pinned all their hopes on winning the Europa League and ended up 15 points behind us), allowing time on the Hotspur Way pitches to ingrain his tactics into the team. January was a turning point with Fabio Paratici bringing in Kulusevski and Bentancur; both players of quality which you don’t often find in the winter transfer window. The run into the end of the season, including winning at the Etihad and drawing at Anfield (helping to deny Liverpool the title), provided an impetus and belief that the team could do something unthinkable at the tail end of last year.
For once five did go into four and five for fifth condemned Woolwich to their natural position beneath Tottenham. But this was more than being about them. This was about us. This was about a team in transition into a contender. This was about how a bunch of under-achieving players were encouraged, cajoled or driven to become better and to work as a unit who could perform at a high level without too many wobbles. There will always be some downs, but it may be a smoother road in future if we have a manager who can take us forward in the same manner with support from above.
Keep the faith and have a good summer. COYS !
|Heung-Min Son’s two goals earned him a share of the Golden Boot for the highest scorer in the Premier League and in doing so became the first Asian player to win the Golden Boot award.
Tottenham recorded their biggest ever away win over Norwich City.
|Reduced to listening to the match on the website’s commentary from BBC London because this country won’t screen all the games at once (whereas anyone in Europe was able to enjoy that), it was a reasonably relaxed experience, although I would question the commentator’s impartiality.
Constantly carping on about Spurs going on to lose a 2-0, 3-0 and 4-0 lead to hand the Gooners a Champions League place, there was also a switch in focus when the South Londoners got a penalty. As it went to VAR, they were forced to return to the Spurs commentary and promised to be back at the Emirates when the penalty was scored. A bit presumptuous and annoying in equal measures.
The club appeared to move away from Daniel Wynne’s commentary as he is a die-hard Spurs, but to go with such a Gooner biased slant to the coverage is not what I want to hear. If the club are saving money by tapping into the BBC’s commentary as it is cheaper to piggy-back on that rather than booking their own commentator in, then it is not something that I will be tuning into in future. If I wanted to know how the Gooners are doing, I would just listen out for the groans from my neighbours’ house as he’s a big Woolwich fan (I look forward to reminding him of where his team finished in the final table this season !).
Come on Spurs ! Other clubs have their own team covering games for their supporters. Let’s get on the same track.
Sid E. Netting
|Brighton & Hove Albion||3||West Ham United London||1|
|Crystal Palace||1||Manchester United||0|
|Leicester City||4||South Coast Big Club||1|
|Manchester City||3||Aston Villa||2|
Final Premier League Table 2021-22
|7||West Ham United London||38||16||8||14||60||51
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||38||12||15||11||42||44||51||-2|
|15||South Coast Big Club||38||9||13||16||43||67||40||-24|