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    Norwich City 4-2 Watford: Canaries RELEGATED back to the Championship

    By Chris Lincoln

    1. Norwich XI: Ruddy; Pinto, Martin, Bennett, Olsson; Redmond, Dorrans, O'Neil, Hoolahan; Naismith, Mbokani
    2. Watford XI: Gomes, Nyom, Britos, Cathcart, Anya, Abdi, Suarez, Watson, Jurado, Deeney, Ighalo

    Just short of a year after Norwich City fans were celebrating their Championship Playoff Final success at Wembley, the Canaries were succumbed to a return to the second tier of English football as a valiant performance against Watford proved to be too little too late for the East Anglian club.

    After defeat to Manchester United last weekend and Sunderland's victory against Chelsea, survival seemed unlikely for a Norwich team who had to win their final two games and hope that the Black Cats would slip up on both occassions. 

    Norwich were going down at 7:56

    The Sunderland result against Everton looked elementary in the opening stages at Carrow Road when Troy Deeney opened the scoring for the Hornets. John Ruddy raced out to block Odion Ighalo, only for the ball to roll to the Watford captain who slotted his team into the lead.

    Yet Norwich came back strong, something that has been missing from their game this season, as Nathan Redmond played a one-two with Steven Naismith before sliding the ball past an out of position Heurelho Gomes at the Brazilian's near post. 

    Norwich were back in the hunt for survival at 8:05

    The goal took Redmond to outright top goalscorer for the Canaries with six goals this season, but that honour lasted just four minutes as Dieumerci Mbokani joined him. Redmond was unlucky not to add to his tally as a typically mazy dribble resulted in his shot striking the post, before rebounding to Mbokani who duly put Norwich ahead. Three goals in seven minutes ensured that the Carrow Raid faithful were going to be treated no matter what the outcome would be on the night.

    Just 26 minutes in and Redmond could have grabbed a hat-trick. More fine passing and movement allowed the attacking midfielder to find space before striking the post oncemore. Though Norwich were to be rewarded again eleven minutes later, as a dangerous Wes Hoolahan cross was diverted into his own net by Craig Cathcart.

    However the Norwich jubilation was cut short as Patrick van Aanholt put Sunderland ahead against Everton just two minutes later. Lamine Kone doubled the Canaries' problems moments after as he smashed the Wearside club into a 2-0 lead just before half-time. 

    Though the Canaries were in the red at 8:24

    The second half in East Anglia continued as it had in the first with goals galore. Odion Ighalo grabbed a second for the visitors after a Deeney pull back found him in acres of space, before Mbokani restored the hosts' two goal advantage, scooping the ball over Gomes after more excellent play by Redmond. Meanwhile in the North East, Kone ensured that no matter how many goals were scored further south it would not be of importance as he gave Sunderland a 3-0 lead.

    Watford were beginning to get frustrated as Miguel Britos was lucky not give away a penalty when he tangled with Naismith, before fellow defender Nathan Ake was fortunate to escape a red card for a reckless challenge on Mbokani. A previously entertaining game filtered into a scrappy finale as Roger East blew time on Norwich's Premier League campaign. 

    Just after 9:30 and Norwich's fate is sealed

    Man of the Match: Nathan Redmond
    Norwich fans will be wondering why their side could not have performed like that all season and how an inconsistent Redmond looked like a young Cristiano Ronaldo. The attacking midfielder made something happen nearly every time he touched the ball.

    Photos by Getty Images
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    Item Reviewed: Norwich City 4-2 Watford: Canaries RELEGATED back to the Championship Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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