Norwich City v Coventry City
It was party time at Carrow Road,with the team assured of second place after last weeks away win at Pompey the pressure was off,but Paul Lambert would want to finish the season in style. Coventry,who look a different side under new manager Andy Thorn,were also safe from relegation which had been hanging over the club for the last few months. Both teams kept the same starting 11,Coventry had 2 ex Norwich players from the ill fated relegation season in Bell and Clingan.
Bell created the first real chance of the game,but his shot lacked power and was easily blocked by Ward,Holt nearly got on the end of Russell Martins cross after good running by Crofts but Coventry counter attacked with pace and Hussey's shot was forced away by Ruddy. On 8 minutes Jackson sliced his shot wide,then Wes burst through the middle and took a shot but it went well wide with Holt in a good position.. It was a good open to the game with both teams passing it round nicely,Bell slipped Baker in on the 11th minute but Russell Martin produced an amazing block to keep the shot away from goal. Whitbread was unlucky twice in quick succession,first with a header and then an audacious overhead kick. Coventry,who look a completely different team to the one i saw at the Ricoh arena,were moving the ball around well,Bell had an effort well blocked by Ward. The game was very open and on 20 minutes Holt thought he'd scored but his header from 6 yards out just went over. Coventry looked good on the break and Jutkiewicz made Ruddy pull off a great save to keep the score level. On 26 minutes Kings effort was high and wide. Both teams had a couple of poor efforts at goal and on 40 minutes only an amazing reflex save from Quirke kept out Holts powerful header from a great Tierney cross.
Overall a good half of football with both teams trying to play the right way,both teams had chances with Norwich maybe having the clearer cut efforts.
On 51 minutes Hussey's shot/cross was diverted just wide for a corner which led to the Coventry goal,a Gunnarson header was half cleared to Jutkiewicz who then shot at goal,the ball was finally bundled in by Keogh on the line. It didn't take long for Norwich to level,an excellent cross by Tierney was met superbly by Holt in the air giving the goal keeper no chance this time. Holt came off for Pacheco before the restart to a heroes ovation,ending an amazing season for our skipper. After an hour Lansbury replaced Surman and it didn't take long for the two subs to combine and put Norwich into the lead,Lansbury slipped the ball to Pacheco who danced past the defender before giving the keeper the eyes and smashing it in. Coventry got back on level terms with a well worked goal,Baker found Hussey on the left,his low cross was picked out Jutkiewicz who tapped in from 5 yards out. On 67 minutes Pacheco was very unlucky not to score from a great free kick and Whitbread knocked the rebound agonisingly wide of the post. On 70 minutes Coventry could've taken the lead but King should have done better with his volley. With 18 minutes left Lambert made his last change of the game bringing on Adam Drury for Tierney. Jackson had the best chance to win it when he was put through in the 87th minute but his dink over the keeper went just wide.
Overall a great end to the season our unbeaten record,27,000 fans sent home happy.
RESULT: Norwich City 2, Coventry City 2
Norwich City: Ruddy; Russell Martin, Ward, Whitbread, Tierney (Drury, 72); Fox; Crofts, Surman (Lansbury, 60); Hoolahan; Jackson, Holt (Pacheco, 57).
Subs (not used): Rudd, Lappin, McNamee, Chris Martin.
Coventry City: Quirke; Clarke (Wood, 81), Keogh, Cranie, Hussey; Clingan; Gunnarsson, Baker (Deegan, 77); Bell; King (Eastwood, 90), Jutkiewicz.
Subs (not used): Burge, O’Halloran, Cameron, Bigirimana.
Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire)
Goals: Norwich: Holt (56), Pacheco (62). Coventry: Keogh (53), Jutkiewicz (64)
Bookings: Norwich: Surman (32)
Great man management in bringing Ads on near the end,Tierney has been outstanding since his arrival but it was a great gesture to bring on the longest serving Norwich player for the last 18 minutes.
Amazing scenes at Carrow Road,we've been spoilt over the last 2 years,enjoy these times it won't be like this every year!
The bond between fans,players,staff and the board must be at an all time high,just where we need it to be the before the daunting task of the Premier League but we still shouldn't be worried,with the right amount of money Paul Lambert will keep us in the Premiership.
Some Coventry fans singing while Paul Lambert was trying to speak after the game,no need for it.
Man Of The Match
He wasn't in the top 3 for player of the year but he must have been mightily close,he's had a fabulous first season for the club.