City youngsters continue fine European recordNORWICH City Under-23s progressed to the last four of the Premier League International Cup with a thumping victory over Dinamo Zagreb at Carrow Road on Monday evening.
A terrific first half display saw the Canaries race into a four goal lead by the interval, and they backed that up with a professional second period to emphatically see off their Croatian counterparts.
The game was initially keenly contested, first threatening to open up midway through the first half only for excellent defending from Michee Efete on the cover to prevent a counter after Zagreb broke upfield.
Having survived that scare, City then went in front on 27 minutes; Kyle Lafferty firing into the net from close-range having initially been denied by visiting goalkeeper Dinko Horkas.
The hosts wasted little time in adding a second, Lafferty again the man in the right place to meet a pin-point Louis Ramsay cross from deep and head low into the net.
Within seconds the Northern Ireland international had the chance to complete his hat-trick, only to lash over after a blocked clearance fell his way and allowed him to move into a dangerous position.
Despite that, the home side were in control and deservedly extended their lead on 43 minutes when Josh Murphy's fine solo run culminated in the winger beating Horkas after breaking into the box.
Moments later, trickery from Maddison in the final seconds of the half drew a foul in the area, with the playmaker stepping up to calmly dink the resultant penalty down the middle to make it 4-0.
Not resting on their laurels, City immediately picked up where they had left off at the resumption of play; substitute Glenn Middleton adding a fifth as his powerful effort flew in via the post.
It could have been six on 52 minutes, with Michee Efete remaining up from a set-piece to meet a wicked Murphy delivery from the right only to divert over from under the crossbar.
Eager to show no mercy to their opponents, Middleton again tried his luck, this time seeing a drive from outside the box beaten away by Horkas.
With the game effectively over as a contest, the pace understandably slowed as the second half progressed, with the Canaries' authority in no question whatsoever.
That meant the home side continued to threaten sporadically, going close once more when Maddison's free-kick crashed back off the crossbar.
Zagreb saw Vinko Soldo dismissed late before Todd Cantwell added some final gloss on his birthday by rolling home a last-gasp penalty after Maddison was felled illegally in the box for a second time.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City 6-0 Dinamo Zagreb
GOALS: Canaries: Kyle Lafferty (27, 31), Josh Murphy (43), James Maddison (pen. 45), Glenn Middleton (48), Todd Cantwell (pen. 90).
NORWICH CITY: Killip; Ramsay, Efete, Bennett, Lewis; Godfrey (c); Maddison, Adams; Jo. Murphy (Cantwell, 67), Lafferty, Jarvis (Middleton, 46). Subs not used: Oxborough (GK), Ashley-Seal, Crowe, Odusina, Jaiyesimi.