Norwich City were well beaten by a very good Tottenham side at Carrow Road on Tuesday night. The game was effectively over after 30 minutes when Harry Kane put the visitors 0-2 up from the penalty spot after Dele Alli had put them ahead after just 2 minutes. Kane completed the rout at the death to hand Norwich their fourth league defeat in a row.
Timm Klose was handed his debut, partnering Seb Bassong in the centre of defence with Russell Martin watching from the bench. Alex Tettey was given the Captain’s armband for the night with Robbie Brady and Graham Dorrans missing from the squad entirely, presumably suffering from the sickness bug that the camp have suffered.
Spurs were ahead in the second minute with a simple tap in when Declan Rudd could only parry Erikson’s low shot into his path. City failed to clear an early corner and Seb Bassong was unable to beat Alli to the ball.
No-one was marking Erikson who fired in the shot – terrible defending and a mountain to climb from the off.
It was one way traffic as City allowed Spurs far too much room on the flanks, time and again.
The penalty award was very soft as Rudd brilliantly saved with one from Kane. The ball rebounded out to Alli who was under pressure from Bassong. Rudd gathered the ball and Mr Friend pointed to the spot. None of the Spurs players appealed and we were all left scratching our heads.
Kane dispatched the penalty and it was effectively game over.
It could’ve been worse for City when Kane turned Pinto inside out and his cross was flicked against the post by Son. Kane then hit the post himself with another great effort.
At the other end, Mbokani had City’s only real chance in the first half which Lloris easily saved. Steven Naismith was bundled over just before half time in the Spurs area when Wimmer played him rather than the ball. Mr Friend just waved it away though – a penalty for me.
The second half saw City improve but still fail to test Lloris. Youssouf Mulumbu did fairly well overall and was probably my man of the match but it wasn’t enough.
With Alli replaced at half time, it was left to Kane to be the tormentor in chief. He had three good chances in the second half, the first after dispossessing Klose, which he wasted. The second after dispossessing Mulumbu, which he thumped against the post (a real let off) and the third when Erikson dispossessed Olsson, which he coolly finished in the 90th minute to make it 0-3.
After conceding such an early goal against such a good team, City gave themselves a huge mountain to climb.
They were largely outplayed in that first half and inexplicably gave the visitors far too much space on the flanks – even my ten year old son pointed it out to me, very early on. It was very odd and presumably a tactic as Howson and Jarvis both kept moving in-field. Walker and Rose ran riot and Pinto and Olsson, particularly Pinto, were left exposed and left to look way out of their depth.
Naismith couldn’t get into the game but should’ve been awarded a penalty. Kevin Friend’s display of refereeing prompted the home fans to sing ‘Kevin Friend, he’s one of your own’ in response to a similar chant from Spurs about Harry Kane and was about as far from being objective as you could imagine.
It was far from just being on the wrong end of some dubious decisions though. City were exposed as being well short against their title chasing opponents on the night, just as they were in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day.
Timm Klose looks like a player though. He did well most of the time and was rarely beaten in the air – the same can’t be said for Bassong however and Ryan Bennett should be the new man’s partner.
Ivo Pinto looked weak at the back and was run ragged by Rose and especially Harry Kane. He was alright going forwards but needs to adapt quickly if he isn’t to cost us.
Norwich could drop into the bottom three tonight, if Newcastle win at Everton. Things are pretty grim at the moment and a win against Aston Villa on Saturday is looking crucial now.
Alex Neil will have to hope he can lift his side and get them up for this vitally important game because if he can’t then things will only get grimmer.
The only real positive I can offer is one for my country rather than my club. The emergence of Dele Alli (even when ill here) and the ability of Harry Kane, look to be real positives for England going into Euro 2016.
However, I doubt they will be given such an easy time of it in France.