Well, Saturday was quite a finish to a game, wasn’t it?
Nelson Oliveira’s goal in the sixth minute of five minutes added on was just the tonic and it sent Carrow Road into jubilation. The noise at the end reminded me of Martin Olsson’s winner against Newcastle or going further back, Simeon Jackson’s last gasp winner against Derby in the promotion season under Paul Lambert.
The scenes were of unbridled joy but it was so nearly the opposite.
The Canaries were on the verge of failing to score for a third home game in a row, which is a strange situation when you consider how effective we have become away from home.
But moments like that provided by Nelson are where seasons are made and lost. It keeps the unbeaten run going (8 in the league) and made sure that there wasn’t any moaning or booing.
Norwich yet again dominated an opponent with a huge possession based statistic of 72%, having also had 25 shots to the visitors’ 8, although only 6 were on target.
Yet again, it shows that statistics can be used to prove or disprove just about anything. The only stat that really matters is did you score and if so, did you score one more than your opponent?
To be fair to Norwich, having David Meyler sent off and being 0-1 down at the time was probably about as bad a time for that to happen as you could imagine.
All it did was see a well drilled Hull side, full of experienced players, drop deep and look to keep hold of what they had. They had around 35 minutes to hold out and very nearly managed it as the Canaries camped on the edge of the visitors’ 18 yard line.
‘You shall not pass!’ As Gandalf once said, was the mantra from the Tigers.
The skills of Wes Hoolahan and James Maddison were given precious little space to work and in the end, as an exhausted Hull were finally breached, it came from a long throw, a flick on and an impudent finish from a man still in a rich vein of scoring form.
Sometimes, you have to go long and mix it up a bit. Even Barcelona do that, Daniel.
Much will depend on Oliveira’s fitness, this season. Last season and so far this, he has been absent due to niggling little injuries at crucial times. It sits in the back of my mind an worries me that he might be a bit fragile.
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Looking forward to this Sunday, we have the first of this season’s East Anglian derbies. Nelson Oliveira is likely to be a prominent figure in the build up to the big one after first declaring he felt no pain after his Hull goal scoring cameo and second, publically stating that Ipswich are not as good as Norwich.
He now has a week to get rested and continue his rehabilitation, it would be massive if he was able to start the game but I’m not putting my house on it.
I’m going to the game and can’t wait. As ever, there is a little trepidation about the potential outcome and Ipswich certainly look a better prospect this season than they have for years.
They are scoring goals and will test us. However, the test surely won’t be any greater than that offered by Sheffield United or Middlesbrough, will it?
The malaise of last season looks to be well and truly behind us now. The hangover of relegation and lots of well paid but frankly poor players mooching about the place have gone.
Webber and Farke have assembled a squad of hungry young men who want to take the next step together. The celebration around Nelson on Saturday showed that, with Angus Gunn running the length of the field to join in.
Momentum will take you quite some way in football and Norwich are gaining it.