Norwich City are back in Premier League action against Watford under the lights on Friday night (8pm KO).
One of City’s best wins against the upcoming opposition came in August 2014, when Neil Adams’ Norwich put three past Watford during the season in which both sides earned promotion to the Premier League.
Norwich City 3-0 Watford
August 16, 2014
What was on the line?
Relatively little, considering it was only the second game of the season! Nevertheless, City had lost on the opening day to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium, so there was naturally great desire to get a first win under their belt at home.
Conversely, Watford had put three past Bolton Wanderers without reply at Vicarage Road in the curtain-raiser, travelling to East Anglia with swagger and confidence.
How did the game unfold?
There was an early dismissal for Watford defender Joel Ekstrand, who saw red for a foul on Nathan Redmond within three minutes.
It was always going to be a mountain to climb for Watford, playing the majority of the game with ten men, and that task became even more daunting when City broke the deadlock just past the half-hour mark.
Receiving the ball outside the 18-yard-box, Bradley Johnson looked up to see Heurelho Gomes off his line and duly dinked the ball over the top of the Brazilian goalkeeper and into the net for 1-0.
Cheeky chips and delicate dinks were the order of the day, it turned out, as Lewis Grabban delivered the second goal via a similar route in the 59th minute.
Alexander Tettey goals are a rare commodity, but the City mainstay finished the Hornets off with the third goal of the afternoon just two minutes later, unleashing a powerful strike from distance into the bottom right corner for 3-0.
Norwich City: Ruddy, Turner, Martin, Whittaker, Garrido, Hoolahan (Fer 73’), Johnson, Tettey (O’Neil 65’), Redmond, Grabban, Lafferty (Elliot Bennett 67’)
Subs not used: Rudd, Ryan Bennett, Loza, Murphy
What happened next?
City went on a seven-game unbeaten run in the league, scoring 17 goals in the process and lifting them to the top of the Championship by the end of September!
Following a difficult spell of only one win in the next ten league games, City re-discovered their early season form and went on to finish third in the division, going up via the play-off final against Middlesbrough at Wembley.
The Hornets didn’t do too badly either! In fact, they were automatically promoted to the Premier League by finishing three points above City and just one below AFC Bournemouth.
Like Bournemouth, Watford have stayed in the top-flight ever since, despite flirting with relegation now and again. Our journey has been a bit more of a rollercoaster, as we all know!