Norwich 1-3 Blackburn: Sammie Szmodics’ brace and Thrhys Dolan’s goal lead Rovers to a comfortable win over the Canaries
- Sammie Szmodics scored twice in Blackburn’s 3-1 win over Norwich City
- Thrhys Dolan got the first for Rovers, while Gabriel Sara got a consolation goal
- Major debates about Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal continue It’s all Kicking Off podcast
The mood at a popular watering hole for Norwich City fans was subdued ahead of their Blackburn match today, and not just because it was 10am on a cold and cloudy Sunday morning.
A few pints in the early morning to ‘numb the pain’, as one Norwich fan told Mail Sport, seemed to be the order of the day for those wearing yellow and green at the local Wetherspoon pub, The Queen or Iceni, a stone’s throw from Carrow Road.
The Canaries went into the match against Blackburn with just one win in their last eight league matches; nine if you include Fulham’s third round elimination from the EFL Cup in September. They hold the record for most goals conceded in the Championship and have not won at home for more than a month.
For a team that was one of the promotion favorites last season – relegated from the Premier League just over a year ago and still enjoying the financial benefits of that period – this was far from ideal for those in and around the club.
David Wagner, the German-American manager who arrived in January this year to try to turn around the Norfolk team’s fortunes following the unpopular tenure of Dean Smith, ended the 2022-23 season with Norwich 13th in the table.
Sammie Szmodics scored twice for Blackburn Rovers as they beat Norwich City 3-1
David Wagner came in to turn things around for the Canaries but they are now in 18th place
And this season isn’t looking any better: the Canaries went into the match 17th, two places behind their Lancashire opponents, and finished the day in 18th. Blackburn, meanwhile, moved up to 10th.
The match against Rovers seemed to exacerbate everything that Norwich City fans have grown tired of: too slow defensively, heavy in attack and countless individual errors.
Although there were a few glimmers of hope from attacking duo Gabriel Sara and Jonathan Rowe, Blackburn’s counter-attack found the home side’s defense easier to cut through than a hot knife in butter.
Rovers’ first goal came in the 8th minute when 21-year-old Tyrhys Dolan picked up the ball and ran into the penalty area unopposed before passing it into the back of the net.
When Rovers’ second goal arrived less than ten minutes later, ‘You’ll be sacked tomorrow morning’ rang out from the Barclays stand and Wagner looked defeated on the touchline.
Tyrhys Dolan picked up the ball and ran into the penalty area unopposed before heading home
Norwich will hope to keep Gabriel Sara, who scored a late consolation (pictured last month)
Norwich were 3-0 down when Blackburn defender Scott Wharton was shown a red card for a late tackle on last man Onel Hernandez, but the relief quickly faded as Norwich failed to capitalize on their one-man advantage.
As the seats emptied and cheers echoed across the floor, all Wagner could do was put his head in his hands.
While this defeat may be the final blow to his job at the Norfolk club, there is a feeling among fans that change is needed on a wider scale if they have any chance of reaching the lofty heights of the Premier League again.
Whether that will happen when sporting director Stuart Webber is replaced by Ben Knapper at the end of this month remains to be seen, and they will hope to retain players like Gabriel Sara while they wait.