Norwich slip closer to relegation with home defeat to Southampton
Norwich's survival hopes were badly hit when Southampton took a big step towards safety thanks to the strikes by Danny Ings, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond.
With Daniel Farkes six points behind and a quick loss of time, the Canaries had to return to the Premier League after a 104-day break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A good start in Norwich quickly came to an end when Southampton was 10 points ahead of the drop zone. Ings, Armstrong and Redmond scored a 3-0 win on an empty Carrow Road in the second half.
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The Saints drove to victory in East Anglia, but things could have been so different if Ings hadn't been vigilant in his own box for the first few minutes to close Tom Trybull.
Ralph Hasenhuttl, who signed a new contract earlier this month until 2024, would see his team dominate after a shaky start, with Ings hitting the bar in the first half.
The Saints transformed their dominance into goals shortly after the break. The English hopefully made a good attempt at curling before setting up Armstrong to bury a low shot past Tim Krul.
Redmond added a third against the former club Norwich, whose tough struggle for an immediate return to the championship is now even steeper.
The players of both teams took one knee at the start (PA)
As with the Premier League games on Wednesday, both teams contracted a knee as part of the Black Lives Matter movement after following a minute's silence for those affected by Covid-19.
Norwich flew out of the blocks when the game started and wrote the guests in their own half. Ings posed a good challenge to defeat Trybull in just two minutes after a free kick.
The saints seemed to have caught a cold, but almost held out when Kenny McLean took a low shot just before Josip Drmic.
But Norwich's breathless start eased as visitors took control and Armstrong came out of a corner that newly appointed club captain James Ward-Prowse had taken.
Southampton's Danny Ings scores his team's first goal (PA)
The Saints pressed relentlessly, and Jack Stephens swept up impressively before storming forward from the center line and playing wide, so that Ings struck a blow that hit the wood for the first time.
Hasenhuttl's men couldn't make a breakthrough in the first half, but it only took four minutes to move forward in the second half.
Norwich failed to cope with a throw-in on the left, and Armstrong bumped into Ings, who rolled a nice shot from the penalty area past Krul into the top right corner.
The roles reversed in the 54th minute as the Saints expanded their advantage.
Stuart Armstrong doubled the advantage (PA)
Ings played the ball to Armstrong and the Scottish international showed good control and a cool head before shooting a low shot from the edge of the box past Krul.
It was a slap in the face that shook Norwich. Jan Bednarek blocked Teemu Pukki twice before substitute Mario Vrancic ruled out an offside goal.
A great shot from Max Aarons prevented Ward-Prowse from coming on stage. Krul threw a shot from Armstrong when Saints looked for a third goal.
Former Canarian player Nathan Redmond completed the shot with this shot (PA)
It arrived in the 79th minute. Michael Obafemi cut the ball to former Norwich striker Redmond, who took the ball all too easily past Ben Godfrey and shot a low shot past Krul.
Nathan Tella made his debut when the clock went to a perfect restart for Saints. As for Norwich, Farke has a lot to do.
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