Norwich City`s penultimate friendly of pre-season turned into another goal fest as the hosts beat visiting OGC Nice 5-1 at Carrow road, last night.
The goals came from five different players and City`s dominance over their opponents was underlined within just ten minutes, that was all it took for City to burst into a two goal lead.
Neil Adams opted for a diamond formation with Hoolahan at the tip and Johnson at the base, Surman on the left and Elliot Bennett on the right. Up front, Nathan Redmond partnered a debut making Lewi Grabban.
After just five minutes, Nathan Redmond controlled a fine through ball from Bradley Johnson that came about after a long period of possession form City that must`ve counted around 15 passes. Redmond beat his man and fired a fine low shot past the Nice keeper.
Grabban then opened his City account on 7 minutes as he tapped in from close range after good work by Surman on the left.
The visitors were given the chance to reduce the arrears on 25 minutes after Martin handled a Nice corner and a spot kick was correctly awarded. Dario Cvitanich fired high into the net, giving Ruddy no chance.
Norwich`s overall dominance continued as they scored a third goal on 30 minutes from a powerful Johnson free kick after a jinking run from Wes Hoolahan saw him cynically tripped, 25 yards out from goal.
Three minutes before the break, City put the game beyond Nice as Andrew Surman scored the fourth home goal of the night. Great work by Redmond, saw him beat a couple of men on the left before squaring to Surman who scored easily.
The first half gave the best example of what we can expect from Adams` new Norwich side. Possession was good and counter attacking was done at pace with Hoolahan, Redmond and Surman catching the eye. Nathan Redmond underlined why he must not be allowed to leave under any circumstances and having Hoolahan and Surman back is like having two new players. The latter in particular had a fine game and rarely put a foot wrong as he scored one and set one up.
Lewis Grabban showed good movement and flashes of pace and looks promising, I`d say.
Half Time 4-1
The second half started with no changes for City and Nice had a little go, but only for a short time. On 55 minutes, Grabban was replaced, presumably to take no chances as he is eased back after an achilles strain, by Jamar Loza.
City further extended their lead out of almost nothing on 60 minutes when Elliot Bennett came forward and just kept coming. He hit a fine 25 yard shot past the Nice keeper, who stood still and watched as the scoring finished at 5-1.
After that, there were a raft of changes from both sides which naturally spoiled the rhythm of the game a bit. Adams ended up giving useful first team debuts to Carlton Morris, Reece Hall-Johnston and Kyle McFadden, with Declan Rudd being the only unused substitute on the night.
Full Time 5-1
Certainly this was value for money for the modest crowd and served as another good workout for the squad. Neil Adams must be pleased with how things are going, although Friday`s Celta Vigo test looks much trickier.
GOALS: Canaries: Nathan Redmond (5), Lewis Grabban (9), Bradley Johnson (30), Andrew Surman (42), Elliott Bennett (60) – NICE: Dario Cvitanich (pen 25)
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker (McFadden 79), Martin (c), Turner (R Bennett 68), Garrido; Johnson (Morris 72); E Bennett (Hall-Johnson 84), Surman (Jacob Murphy 87); Hoolahan (Pilkington 61); Redmond (Josh Murphy 64), Grabban (Loza 56). Subs not used: Rudd (GK).
OGC NICE XI: Hassen; Genevois, Bodmer, Lloris (c); Puel, Mendy, Amavi; Koziello, Hult; Cvitanich, Puel.
REFEREE: Mr D Deadman