Norwich brush aside Blackpool

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:38

Norwich brush aside Blackpool

The former Celtic man struck twice in the first half before adding a penalty after the break as the gap in class between the two sides was ruthlessly emphasised.
A fourth eventually arrived in injury-time courtesy of a superb free-kick from Nathan Redmond to round off a thoroughly professional performance from the Canaries.
A third win since the arrival of Alex Neil saw Norwich close in on the play-off positions, while their opponents remain marooned at the foot of the table after a 10th away defeat of a miserable campaign.
After taking a while to settle, the home side had an early chance to take the lead when Lewis Grabban latched on to a hopeful through ball but he scuffed his shot and Elliot Parish comfortably gathered.
At the other end Blackpool posed the occasional threat with Steve Davies sending a header straight at John Ruddy, but it came as little surprise when Norwich struck after 12 minutes.
Jonny Howson threaded a delightful pass through a square Blackpool defence and Hooper coolly slid the ball home for his sixth goal of the season.
The Canaries suffered a setback when Sebastien Bassong, who was making only his second appearance of the season, hobbled off with a back injury, to be replaced by Michael Turner.
But they continued to put their lowly opponents under pressure and went 2-0 midway through the first half with a beautifully crafted goal. City worked the ball skilfully into the box where Hooper played a delightful one-two with Wes Hoolahan before emphatically doubling his tally for the afternoon.
It was nearly 3-0 when a Grabban effort was tipped onto the bar by Parish before Peter Clarke cleared the danger, while the Norwich striker was guilty of a bad miss when he skied Howson’s inviting cross over from close range.
The Canaries put the game to bed 11 minutes into the second half when Hooper completed his hat-trick from the spot.
The penalty was awarded for a clear foul by Clarke on Grabban and Hooper stepped up to send Parish the wrong way for his third goal of the day.
It was now merely a question of how many a dominant Norwich would score against their struggling opponents and it needed an excellent stop from Parish to prevent Grabban from adding another moments later.
As it turned out the hosts rarely threatened after that until Redmond’s stunning free-kick from 25 yards out – while it took a superb reflex stop from Ruddy to prevent Davies volleying home a consolation.

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