‘No easy games in the Premier League’ is one of English football’s more popular phrases.
Norwich didn’t get the memo.
Professional performance. Never got out of second gear. A comfortable win. Frankly, none of that does this afternoon justice.
It was a cakewalk.
After Thursday’s exertions, you couldn’t have offered Wolves a more perfect 90 minutes.
Nuno’s men effectively had the day off, rested up nicely for the trip to Espanyol. Perfect.
I was actually fretting over the visit of a technically efficient Norwich outfit.
Throughout Nuno’s reign we have struggled versus teams who couple relentless pressing with a sharp passing game. The first half at Carrow Road in December being a good example.
I needn’t have worried.
Norwich’s press was nowhere to been seen, and once they became bored of passing the ball around without much purpose for the opening 15 minutes, the outcome was inevitable.
Kudos to Nuno for switching to 352 and packing the midfield. The Canaries’ press and high tempo was nowhere to be seen, Donk justified Nuno’s faith with an all-action display, and Jota and Raul thrived up front together.
While I’m still unconvinced by Donk as a midfielder against better opposition – the Belgian’s anonymous displays earlier in the season hampered Neves and our overall style of play – you can’t argue with today’s showing.
Tackles, interceptions, passes, bursts forwards aplenty.
The benefits of 352 are there to see. Jota is at his direct best, Raul has his partner in crime back, and the absence of a currently quiet Traore leaves Doc with the entire right flank to explore.
Maybe it’s a case of making the most of Jota’s latest purple patch and then revisiting 343 with a refreshed Traore?
And how strong does our bench look with Adama, Neto and Podence to all call upon?
Nuno would call them ‘solutions’. He’s got a few up his sleeve just now.