An unusual experience for Lambert
Norwich City's 5-1 drubbing in Manchester at the weekend provided an extremely rare experience for manager Paul Lambert – a heavy league defeat.
Bad days at the office have been almost non-existent for the City boss since he took charge at Carrow Road during the early stages of the 2009-10 League One campaign, with poor cup performances providing most of the bad days.
Indeed Saturday's heavy reverse at the hands of Roberto Mancini's expensively assembled Manchester City side was only the second time in 103 fixtures that a Lambert Norwich team had lost a league fixture by more than two goals.
The Canaries were beaten 3-0 at Swansea during the latter stages of last season's triumphant Championship campaign – but City's remaining 19 league defeats under their current boss have all been by two goals or less.
A one-sided Norwich game of any variety has been something of rarity under Lambert, especially since promotion from League One in 2010.
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At a lower level big City wins were relatively commonplace – they won nine games by three goals or more on their way to the title, including emphatic home successes against Leyton Orient (4-0) and Bristol Rovers (5-1) and a 5-0 away drubbing of Lambert's former club Colchester.
But since their elevation to the Championship City have won only four league games by a margin of two goals or more – at home and away against Ipswich Town (4-1 and 5-1), at home to Scunthorpe (6-0) and away to Bristol City (3-0).
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The remaining 23 victories in the Championship and Barclays Premier League have come in tight affairs, with no fewer than 18 of the games being settled by a single goal margin.
The evidence suggests Lambert's teams are extremely good at coming through keenly contested encounters with all three points – a quality which should stand them in good stead as they tackle the challenging fixtures that lie ahead in the top flight.