Norwich City 3, Ipswich Town 1 - what the nationals said
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The national newspapers' views on Norwich City's 3-1 play-off victory over Ipswich Town.
The Guardian: 'Finesse and chances were almost non-existent in the hurly-burly first period but there was no shortage of endeavour or tension... There could be no arguing with the result, nor with the fact that Ipswich deserve praise for making Norwich work so hard for it.'
The Daily Mail: 'Nathan Redmond proved the difference in the 99th East Anglia Derby as Norwich overcame Ipswich for a place in the Championship playoff final.'
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The Telegraph: 'Ipswich were demoralised in the final minutes but when the dust settles, Mick McCarthy will surely accept the season exceeded expectations. For Norwich, Wembley awaits.'
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The Independent: 'Thirty years after Norwich City lifted the Milk Cup – their only major honour and the reason why Ipswich supporters love to jibe about the relative emptiness of their trophy cabinet – the Canaries will return to Wembley Stadium for the Championship play-off final against Middlesbrough a week on Sunday hoping to grab the keys to a £120million-plus treasure chest. Alex Neil, the inspirational Scotsman who answered jibes of 'Alex who?' on his appointment in January by guiding Norwich to a run of 16 wins in 24 games with only three defeats, got into his team at the break and the difference showed.'
The Mirror: 'Confidence was understandably high ahead of the match: Ipswich had not won at Carrow Road since February 2006 and had been well beaten here in March. Their fans – consigned to a corner of the Jarrold Stand – were in bullish mood but could not dispell the carnival atmosphere before kick-off. Every Norwich fan was given a yellow flag and it seemed like they expected their opponents to wave a white one.'
The Times: 'The inevitable post-match pitch invasion involved the unusual sight of police horses on the Carrow Road turf, but for the most part it was a good-natured, albeit stupendously loud, affair. Norwich City will be at Wembley next week, while Ipswich Town will be at MK Dons next season. But in order to sip from the Premier League Holy Grail once again, Norwich must dispense with Middlesbrough. Their latest vanquishing of their local rivals was hardly perfunctory, but it was certainly straight-forwards. Victory was about more than mere pride, but in the glow of victory, there was pride by the Fenload.'