Norwich City host Reading at Carrow Road for the final home game of the season this Saturday, so we’re taking a look back on this historic game for City back in 2017.
An early penalty opened the floodgates as City scored six goals in one half against the Royals in this hard-to-forget game!
Norwich City 7-1 Reading
April 7, 2017
What was on the line?
For City, play-offs were more or less out of reach as they sat tenth in the Championship table going into this game against Reading. Two previous losses without a goal had left them with just six games left of the season, and it looked likely that next season was another campaign in the second division.
Meanwhile for Reading, a win would further cement their place in the play-offs as the Royals found themselves fourth in the table, having held onto a top-six spot for 27 consecutive games.
How did the game unfold?
It didn’t take long for the game to get lively at Carrow Road when City were awarded a penalty just three minutes in.
Jonny Howson’s shot from outside the box forced the save from Ali Al-Habsi, spilling it into the path of Nelson Oliveira. The forward shot wide when pushed, but all hope wasn’t lost when the referee pointed to the spot for the foul. Oliveira stepped up to the penalty, firing it past Al-Habsi for the early opener.
Ten minutes later, City legend Wes Hoolahan doubled the lead when he got on the end of a deflection inside the 18-yard box, placing his shot over the Reading ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
Hoolahan then looked to return to his iconic assisting ways as he curled a cross into the Royals’ box, seeing it headed away from danger. That clearance would soon come back to haunt Reading, when Alex Pritchard’s sweetly struck volley came firing back into the top corner.
With just 15 minutes left of the first half, City found their fourth through captain and now MK Dons manager Russell Martin. Another Oliveira effort, this time from outside the box, came bouncing off Al-Habsi and into the path of the defender for him to slot home with ease.
Alex Pritchard then made it five with no reply from the visitors with his second shot from outside the box taking a deflection and finding the bottom corner.
Reading then bagged their first goal of the day to make it 5-1 and spoil City’s clean sheet when Yann Kermorgant’s found the back of the net after John Ruddy’s save left him vulnerable.
Just two minutes later, Hoolahan found his brace as he bundled in his chance after two deflections inside the box fell the Irishman’s way and past Al-Habsi.
After several second-half City chances were saved and denied by the crossbar, Cameron Jerome topped off the afternoon with his 89th minute finish, tapping in after Reading’s failure to clear left him with the ball and an open goal to make it seven.
Norwich City XI: Ruddy, Pinto, Martin, Klose, Dijks, Tettey, Howson, Ja. Murphy, Pritchard (Jo. Murphy, 81), Hoolahan (Naismith, 87) , Oliveira (Jerome, 87)
Subs not used: McGovern, Whittaker, Wildschut, Bennett
What happened next?
Taking just one loss for the rest of the campaign after this season-high win, the Canaries moved up to eight-place, just outside of play-off positions as they were confirmed to spend another season in the Championship.
The Royals went on to make the play-offs with their third-place finish, beating Fulham 2-1 on aggregate in their first tie. However, Premier League football wasn’t destined for Reading in the 2017-18 season, as they lost 4-3 on penalties to Huddersfield Town.