REVIEW: CITY 5-0 BRENTFORD
CITY returned to winning ways in stylish fashion by thumping Brentford 5-0 at Carrow Road.
An early goal was needed to settle any nerves and it came largely thanks to a brilliant cross from Robbie Brady, with the ball appearing to flick off Bees defender John Egan on its way in.
The early momentum was then firmly with the home side, and confidence spread through their play, the front four all combining effortlessly to break through Brentford's defence with regularity.
Graham Dorrans notched his fourth goal of the campaign ten minutes later, the midfielder seeing his initial penalty saved after Jacob Murphy was fouled - but he pounced on the rebound to double City's lead.
Leading scorer Scott Hogan had the visitors' best opportunity of the first half, nodding wide after he had freed himself of his marker.
City controlled the tempo at the beginning of the second half and struck for their third at the perfect time, Alex Pritchard slotting a delightful pass through for Robbie Brady to provide a convincing finish.
Ten minutes from the end, Nelson Oliveira got himself on the scoresheet by picking up Josh Murphy's ball before manouevering into space in the area and firing emphatically beyond Daniel Bentley.
There was still time for a fifth, with Pritchard capping an imperious individual performance by stabbing home Jacob Murphy's pass two minutes from time.
HOW THEY LINED UP
City were boosted before kick-off with the news that both Ivo Pinto and Jonny Howson returned from injury to start against the Bees.
Alex Tettey and Cameron Jerome both missed out, however, with Neil making five changes in total from the 1-0 defeat to Derby County a week ago.
Dorrans came back into the side after serving his one-match suspension, while Pritchard was selected against his former club and Oliveira led the line.
There may have been some doubt over the actual goalscorer six minutes in - but for the Canaries, that detail is irrelevant.
Fans and pundits had viewed this game as the perfect opportunity to finally collect the three points that Neil's men have been working for during a torrid few weeks.
Brady's cross from a deep position on the left was impossible to defend, Oliveira got the first touch before Egan and Murphy combined to see it over Bentley's line.
WHAT IT MEANS
Players, staff and supporters finally had something to celebrate after City ended their run of consecutive Sky Bet Championship defeats with this emphatic win.
Three much-needed points elevated them back into the top six for a couple of hours, with Huddersfield Town dropping below - but Leeds' evening win over Aston Villa pushed the Canaries back down to seventh.
GOALS: Canaries: John Egan OG (6), Graham Dorrans (16), Robbie Brady (59), Nelson Oliveira (79), Alex Pritchard (88)
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Pinto (Martin 65), Bennett, Bassong, Brady; Howson (c) (Mulumbu 84), Dorrans; Ja. Murphy, Pritchard, Naismith (Jo. Murphy 74); Oliveira. Subs not used: Jones (GK), Hoolahan, Klose, Lafferty.
BRENTFORD: Bentley; Colin, Dean (c), Egan, Barbet; Woods (McEachran 60), Yennaris; Clarke, Sawyers (Hoffman 78), Vibe (Kaikai 60); Hogan. Subs not used: Bonham (GK), Bjelland, Kerschbaumer, Field.
REFEREE: Geoff Eltringham
Barnsley in a week's time.