Emphatic victories and late equalisers. It’s fair to say Norwich City have had one or two memorable matches on Boxing Day over the last two decades.
Ahead of 2019’s trip to Aston Villa on December 26, we’ve counted down seven of the best results we’ve had on the second day of Christmas in the last 20 years.
- Norwich City 1-0 Nottingham Forest (2003)
City went into this one in a fine vein of form, top of the Championship at Christmas following a six-game unbeaten run, including a 2-0 East Anglian Derby win at Portman Road.
Mathias Svensson gave the Canaries the lead inside 14 minutes and Forest, who hadn’t won in the league for just over two months, failed to find an equaliser.
Nigel Worthington’s City emphatically remained at the top of the tree until the end of the season, winning promotion to the top-flight in style.
There was also the small matter of Delia Smith unveiling Darren Huckerby as the club's newest signing, which turned out alright.
- Norwich City 2-0 Millwall (2009)
Wes Hoolahan was instrumental in this Boxing Day win ten years ago, scoring one and setting up another of the two goals for Norwich on the afternoon.
His opener from close range at Carrow Road was his 13th goal of the season. Grant Holt then got in the act, heading in for 2-0 from a Hoolahan cross.
Norwich sat third in League One at the end of the day, two points below the automatic promotion places. Paul Lambert didn’t fancy the playoffs though, taking City back up to the Championship via first place.
- Birmingham City 0-2 Norwich City (2017)
Our first Boxing Day under Daniel Farke went according to plan, Alex Pritchard and Josh Murphy the goal scorers at Birmingham City.
Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk post-match, the Norwich City Head Coach said: “to get a first clean sheet in 11 games was important. We created lots of chances and it was a totally deserved win.”
The result kickstarted a run of four games unbeaten in the Championship, in which they ultimately finished 14th during the 2017-18 season.
- Sheffield United 1-3 Norwich City (2005)
There was no denying who the favourites were going into this one – the Blades were unbeaten at Bramall Lane in the 2005-06 season. Along come Norwich.
But Nigel Worthington’s Canaries hadn’t read the script, responding to Phil Jagielka’s opener with goals from Paul McVeigh, Dean Ashton, and an own goal by Christopher Morgan.
City finished ninth in the Championship that year, their victory away to the side that finished as runners-up turning out to be one of the surprise results of the season.
- Queen’s Park Rangers 2-3 Norwich City (2000)
An Iwan Roberts brace and a strike from Lee Marshall saw City end a winless run on the road in fashion almost 20 years ago.
QPR struggled in the 2000-01 season, eventually being relegated to the third tier at the end of the campaign.
City finished 15th, albeit only six points above the drop zone and 20 adrift of the play-off places.
- Norwich City 6-1 Millwall (2014)
Five years ago, Carrow Road hosted a Boxing Day bonanza, Millwall the victims as Neil Adams’ Canaries put six past Ian Holloway’s side.
Steven Whittaker, Cameron Jerome, Bradley Johnson and Gary Hooper all got on the scoresheet, Jermaine Easter’s 86th minute goal a mere consolation for the struggling visitors.
After the game, Adams said: "there were goals galore and we should have scored even more. But that's being a little bit picky.”
- Norwich City 3-3 Nottingham Forest (2018)
It may be the only game City didn’t win on this list, but the nature of last season’s Boxing Day draw ensures its inclusion at the very top of it.
3-0 down with just over 15 minutes of the 90 remaining, the game looked done and dusted, but Daniel Farke’s Canaries were far from ready to wave the white flag.
Mario Vrancic gave City fans hope when he pulled one back in the 77th minute, but it’s Onel Hernandez’s stoppage time brace that lives long in the memory.
His first, a cross from the right wing that went all the way into the far corner, came in the fourth minute of stoppage time, while his equalising goal came in the eighth.
It’s well worth watching again, if only to admire Timm Klose’s composed dummy for the all important third goal.
"When that final goal went in it was like an explosion - it was something really special,” Farke said.