Dolan and Szmodics strike as Rovers pile on misery for Norwich5 November 2023
Blackburn made light work of Norwich with Tyrhys Dolan and Sammie Szmodics both on target in a comfortable 3-1 win at Carrow Road.
Rovers toyed with Norwich in the opening stages and needed just eight minutes to take the lead, with Dolan bursting into the box and showing excellent close control before a powerful finish to beat George Long at his near post.
Just seven minutes later, Rovers captain Szmodics made it to 2-0 with a lovely finish across the goalkeeper after a through ball from Andrew Moran.
Norwich ended the half better, but fell three behind just three minutes after the restart when Szmodics got his second of the game, poking home Moran's cross at the back post.
The home side were give a glimmer of hope moments later when Scott Wharton was sent off after being penalised for a challenge on Onel Hernandez when the Cuba winger looked to be clear on goal.
Norwich were able to get one back through Gabriel Sara in added time, but it was not enough to prevent Rovers leaving East Anglia with all three points, with the Canaries suffering their eighth defeat in their last 10 matches in all competitions.
How Rovers piled on the misery for Norwich
The Canaries were well off the pace in the early stages and were duly punished as the visitors scored two well-taken goals.
At times a slick Rovers side were able to play their way through a nervous-looking City backline at will and it was no surprise when they took the lead after eight minutes with a goal of classic simplicity.
Joe Rankin-Costello found himself in some space on the right and slid the ball infield to Dolan who burst into the box before producing an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.
It got worse for the hosts in the 15th minute when Rovers added a second. Their defence was again caught square as Moran put Szmodics in and the striker buried an unstoppable low shot into the bottom corner to make it two.
There were chants of 'You're getting sacked in the morning' from the Norwich fans when that one went in, with head coach Wagner already under pressure after his side's poor run of form.
The Canaries did improve as the half wore on, and Ui Jo Hwang and Marcelino Nunez both got decent efforts on target before Onel Hernandez fired just wide from the edge of the area after being fed by Jack Stacey.
But overall it was still a poor first-half showing, and the second started in similar fashion for the Canaries as they shipped another soft goal four minutes after the restart.
This time Dolan had all the time in the world to clip a ball out to an unmarked Moran on the right and crossed low for Szmodics to tap in at the far post, with the Rovers top scorer getting the benefit of a tight offside call.
Norwich desperately needed a boost at that point and got one a few minutes later when Wharton was red-carded after bringing down Hernandez as he raced through on goal, although the subsequent free-kick from Nunez was comfortably gathered by Leopold Wahlstedt.
Wagner made a quadruple substitution on the hour mark in an attempt to change the course of the game and one of them, Christian Fassnacht, brought an excellent reaction save out of the Rovers keeper with a powerful back-post header.
Norwich were now firmly on the front foot, with Nunez blasting just wide and Sara seeing a goal-bound shot well blocked and they finally reduced the arrears in the second minute of injury time.
Wahlstedt could only parry a low cross from Przemyslaw Placheta and it fell nicely for Sara to side-foot home from just outside the six-yard box.
Victory for Rovers takes them up to10th in the Sky Bet Championship table.
Norwich's David Wagner:
"If I get the chance I will work to turn this around, but I am not the right person to ask [about my future].
"I take responsibility, for sure, because I am the manager of this team, and today [Sunday] wasn't good enough, I know that, and the longer this run goes on the more difficult it gets.
"But this squad proved what it's capable of early in the season and as I said I am ready to work hard to put things right."
Blackburn's Jon Dahl Tomasson:
"I thought it was an excellent win and performance - we played at a very high level for long periods.
"Norwich are going through a difficult spell at the moment but they are still a good team with good players and it was important we got on the front foot immediately. We scored two good goals and had other good chances and it could easily have been 4-0 at half-time.
"We stuck to our principles, with plenty of one and two-touch football, and I thought we played some really good stuff at times.
"We scored another well-worked goal in the second half and then got the red card, which obviously affected the game.
"After that I thought we defended like lions to keep them out, showing great team spirit, which was another positive from our young team.
"We put in a good show at Chelsea and we have followed that up today with another good performance, which is very pleasing. We can now enjoy this and then prepare for the derby against Preston on Friday."
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This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/norwich-city-vs-blackburn-rovers/report/484875