Norwich City defender Dimitris Giannoulis was red carded for a foul on Bournemouth’s Ben Pearson
– Photo credit: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Ltd.
We can come to Bournemouth in due course. Norwich’s place in the big league was confirmed without a kick on Saturday after both Brentford and Swansea City failed to record wins. Watford’s loss in Luton Town was another boost in the pursuit of the title. What happened on Carrow Road was a frustrating exercise. A rare sensation in a time of triumph.
Losing on home soil for the first time since Derby County on October 3, 2020 is everything. The city’s persistence and relentless thirst for wins, goals and scores set it apart. Bournemouth seems to be getting strong, but it took a change in leadership and a certain introspection that one suspects. Likewise Watford. Norwich has done this by embracing continuity and trusting the process.
The recruiting of professionals, keeping their key players, and making some nuanced changes to the way Farke built this Norwich vintage have turned out to be proven irresistible formula. Norwich will have a better squad return to the Premier League on and off the pitch.
The continuing sadness has been that no supporters have been around to enjoy this latest addition under Farke. A lone voices or two could be here outside the stadium in the first half and a little fireworks display in the second half before a larger group singing session rang out after the final whistle.
When they return, it will be that green and Yellow mix it with the elite. It deserves a lasting memory of a day when the mission was definitely accomplished.
Norwich started in the mood to serve another champagne solo. But the early red card from Dimitris Giannoulis tipped the game decisively in favor of the upwardly moving Cherries. Emi Buendia finished another great team goal to put Norwich in the lead and the truth is that visitors weren’t able to match the intensity and speed of thought and action of Farke’s boys in a blistering opening quarter.
But Bournemouth came after five wins in a row and with the kind of quality of attack to punish the 10 man Canaries.
It looked like a difficult task with a full complement as the job was completed hours earlier after those slip-ups for others has been. Norwich was seething when Giannoulis was fired. In such a close competition against two very even lineups, it turned out to be a crucial episode. The heavy hits from Arnaut Danjuma and Lloyd Kelly underscored why you wouldn’t bet the South Coast side if you followed Norwich back to the big days.
Giannoulis’ look of disbelief as referee Graham Scott received a red card for his challenge Swung at Ben Pearson, underscoring what he thought of the sacking. Farke’s vocal assessment immediately afterwards was just as clear. “You ruined the game,” he yelled at the officials after the 17th minute incident.
Probably Scott felt Giannoulis had gotten out of hand when he arrived at Bournemouth a fraction later than Pearson – Catch player in the calf.
But the referee didn’t even miss a free kick later in the first half when Grant Hanley hobbled after a brave block against Adam Smith. It’s this apparent inconsistency that frustrates supporters so much.
City has the joys of the video assistant referee “system” when they return to the Premier League.
It would have been interesting to see if the Stockley Park Crew Scott would have advised to look again. For Giannoulis a three-game ban for a straight red card will certainly sting.
A 13th goal of the season with the 15 assists. In the second half, the understaffed hosts finished almost 14th when he shot a hit through the legs of Philip Billing but only hit the right post with Asmir Begovic.
These are personal numbers that suggest that he has to be the front runner for Player of the Year. Surely only Ivan Toney can claim to deny him the same honor throughout the championship.
The result could have gone against his side but the reverse league defeat at Bournemouth was notable for the Argentine’s absence the town’s squad in September.
His head coach later announced that both Buendia and Todd Cantwell had been left out due to lack of focus due to distractions from the transfer window. The duo stayed and how they reacted to play a pivotal role in a promotion comparable to any accomplishment in the football club’s long history, given the special circumstances over the past 12 months. But Buendia was the leading man. Its effect was enormous, its ability to see joy. Unfortunately, a new wave of transfer speculation this summer is as inevitable as his ability to play a killer pass or a composed finish.
Hit Watford back on Carrow Road on Tuesday and the beautiful championship trophy will return to the Canary Islands trophy cabinet back. You can be sure that Farke and his players would happily have settled for this teaser before a ball was kicked in Huddersfield on the opening weekend of the campaign.
Bournemouth must be quickly forgotten. Farke might even choose to use the feeling of injustice how this match was panned away from his team to add motivation to the Hornets’ visit.
Norwich’s players will want to confirm their superiority. It was interesting to hear on Friday how Farke also spoke about the club’s records. To a man who is not dependent on the leaderboard, his understanding of what is still possible seems crystal clear.
These types of seasons are not often found in a player’s career. Farke and the leadership group in the Norwich dressing room responded excellently to setbacks in the preseason. So also the long win after that defeat in Swansea, which has proven to be too much for the rest. The way that Bournemouth defeat is going to hurt but expect the right response. It’s in the DNA of this group.
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