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Match Reports

Norwich City v Watford

11 May 2016


NORWICH City were relegated from the Barclays Premier League despite a 4-2 victory over Watford at Carrow Road.

City headed into the game needing Everton to pick up a result against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to give them any hope of survival, but the Black Cats comfortably won 3-0.

Alex Neil's side did their bit with a swashbuckling display despite going behind early on to Troy Deeney's simple finish.

Nathan Redmond inspired the comeback, netting the equaliser before seeing another effort fall to the grateful Dieumerci Mbokani three minutes later.

A Craig Cathcart own goal opened up a cushion, then in the second half Mbokani finished exquisitely soon after Odion Ighalo had pulled one back for the Hornets.

Ultimately whatever they would have done, however, it wouldn't have been enough - but City's players were well received by a magnificent home support at the end of their final home match of the season.

Four changes were made from Saturday's 1-0 loss against Manchester United as Ryan Bennett returned from illness to replace Sebastien Bassong.

Steven Naismith and Mbokani started in attack, while Graham Dorrans replaced the injured Jonny Howson - who was named as City's Anglian Home Improvements Player of the Season before kick-off.

Watford had the first shot on goal after seven minutes when, on the counter-attack, Deeney was picked out in space in the middle, but from 25 yards he failed to give John Ruddy any trouble.

Four minutes later, however, the visitors went ahead when another direct ball forward was won by Deeney. Ruddy tried to get to the ball before Odion Ighalo, but it broke free and Deeney pounced to score.

It was a big blow for the Canaries but they responded in perfect fashion, equalising just four minutes later.

Dorrans patiently waited to find Redmond in a pocket of space outside the box, and the winger played a smart one-two with Naismith before beating Heurelho Gomes at his near post.

Then stunningly, three minutes on, City turned the game on its head. Redmond was at the centre of the action again, breaking into the area and seeing his shot rebound off the post; thankfully Mbokani was waiting to tap the ball into the empty net.

Redmond was in searing form for the Canaries, and he found the woodwork again on 26 minutes, dancing into the area and firing off the post before the ball fell to Martin Olsson on the corner of the box, with the full-back's deflected drive forcing a stunning save from Gomes.

City remained on top and would have liked to have got another goal to capitalise on their dominance, which they did on 37 minutes. Wes Hoolahan took advantage of a slip from Allan Nyom and saw his cross diverted beyond Gomes by Cathcart.

The Canaries were doing their job on the night, but the news filtering through from elsewhere was that Sunderland were leading Everton 2-0 in the north-east.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 3-1 Watford

Watford made a change at the break as Nathan Ake came on for Nyom, and they pulled one back six minutes after the restart.

Deeney held off City captain Russell Martin before finding his strike partner Ighalo in the area, who made no mistake from six yards.

City re-established their two-goal lead through Mbokani six minutes later as the Congo striker provided a delicate finish over Gomes from Redmond's pass - but the goal came just moments after Sunderland had notched their third against Everton.

The home crowd responded in typical fashion as all four corners of the ground lifted the atmosphere at Carrow Road, despite the team's fate all but decided.

Mbokani was denied a hat-trick on 77 minutes when he turned in the area but saw his shot block, shortly before Naismith had a penalty appeal turned down when he collided with Miguel Britos.

The home supporters continued singing right until the end, but the final whistle blew on a win but ultimate relegation for Neil's City.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 4-2 Watford

GOALS: Canaries: Nathan Redmond (15), Dieumerci Mbokani (18, 57), Craig Cathcart OG (37)  - Hornets: Troy Deeney (11), Odion Ighalo (51)

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin (c), Bennett, Olsson; Redmond (Jarvis 80), Dorrans, O'Neil, Hoolahan (Brady 72); Naismith (Odjidja 81), Mbokani. Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Bassong, Jerome, Mulumbu.

WATFORD: Gomes; Nyom (Ake 45), Cathcart, Britos, Anya; Jurado (Berghuis 54), Suarez, Watson (Guedioura 72), Abdi; Deeney (c), Ighalo. Subs not used: Pantilimon (GK), Prodl, Amrabat, Paredes.

REFEREE: Roger East


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