Big game mentality: How City have fared in season-defining games

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke celebrates victory the traveling Norwich fans at the end of the Sky

Daniel Farke celebrates Norwich's win at Leeds back in 2019. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

With Norwich City set for a promotion showdown against Championship rivals Brentford at Carrow Road on Wednesday, Connor Southwell looks back at five crucial games during seasons where the Canaries went on to get promoted. 

Mario Vrancic of Norwich celebrates scoring his sides 1st goal from a free kick during the Sky Bet C

Mario Vrancic early free-kick put City ahead at Elland Road. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Leeds United 1-3 Norwich City - Saturday, February 2 2019

It was a fixture that saw Norwich City leapfrog Leeds United with a famous victory at Elland Road. 

The Canaries arrived in Yorkshire on the back of a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road against Sheffield United. Marcelo Bielsa's men sat top of the Championship with City among the chasing pack seeking to shoot them down. 

Mario Vrancic's early free-kick put Daniel Farke's side ahead, with the Bosnian's strike deflecting off the wall before kissing the top corner of the net. Teemu Pukki added a second as time seemed to stop when the Finnish international seized upon a loose ball to double their lead. 

An excellent away performance was topped off by Vrancic sweeping into the net from Jamal Lewis' cross. This was the evening that many looked at the Canaries as credible promotion contenders. 

Tempers flare as Sebastien Bassong of Norwich shows his anger at the Middlesbrough time wasting duri

Frustartion was the overriding emotion as Boro beat City 1-0 in 2015. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City 0-1 Middlesbrough - Friday, April 17 2015

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It was a night of frustration for Norwich City as Aitor Karanka's men pulled off a 1-0 victory to squash the Canaries' automatic promotion hopes. 

There were over-excitable celebrations in the press box as victory was confirmed. Goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos deployed every trick in the book to run down the clock and an Alex Tettey own goal proved to be the difference. 

The Norwegian sat sobbing in the dressing room after the game as City's uplift under Alex Neil was halted. The Canaries enjoyed 70% of possession and had 20 shots in total. With two games to play, it seemed a decisive result and Boro looked destined for a Premier League return.

Little did anyone at Carrow Road know, the sides would meet again at Wembley for a promotion shootout. City ended up with the last laugh as they conquered the Teesside side 2-0 in the national stadium.

****** PLEASE NOTE £20 PER USE from Tuesday 30th March ************Norwich - Saturday March 27th, 2

Chris Martin's last-gasp header against Leeds United put City 11 points clear at the top of League One. - Credit: Focus Images

Norwich City 1-0 Leeds United - Saturday, 27 March 2010

There are a lot of parallels between that clash at Carrow Road over ten years ago and the current state of play in the Championship this season. 

Chris Martin's last-gasp header extended the Canaries' lead at the top of League One to 11 points and promotion had become a certainty. The victory saw City move onto 82 points and into prime position for a promotion spot come the end of the season. 

Paul Lambert's career may have taken a turn, but his City journey was just beginning. In a season of revival and relentless wins, Norwich returned to the Championship building a winning mentality and playing attacking football. 

The eruption that followed Martin's header was confirmation, City fans knew what it meant. Lambert understood the magnitude of it and the rest of league realised it was pretty ominous for them. 

Grant Holt thoroughly enjoyed Norwich City's memorable 5-1 derby win at Ipswich in April 2011 Pictu

Grant Holt thoroughly enjoyed Norwich City's memorable 5-1 derby win at Ipswich in April 2011. - Credit: Focus Images

Ipswich Town 1-5 Norwich City - Thursday, April 21, 2011

We all remember the commentary. We all remember the picture of Grant Holt laughing. 

This was the pinnacle for City supporters as they thrashed their biggest rivals in their own back yard on the way to an unexpected promotion to the Premier League. Admittedly, it wasn't a top of the table clash, but Paul Jewell had steadied the ship at Portman Road and few anticipated such a one-sided affair. 

As the City players celebrated in one corner of Suffolk painted yellow and green, the rest of the stadium continued to empty. This was the night Norwich moved up to second place and whispers about their promotion hopes became louder. 

Lambert's swashbuckling group would go onto secure promotion two games later against Portsmouth at Fratton Park. 

Phil Mulryne celebrates a crucial goal at Reading during City s successful title chase on 2004 Pictu

Phil Mulryne celebrates a crucial goal at Reading during City s successful title chase on 2004 Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press ©2004

Reading 0-1 Norwich City - Monday, 12 April, 2004

Phil Mulryne's controversial goal moved Norwich City to the brink of promotion to the Premier League back in 2004. 

It was a win that put Nigel Worthington's side within two games of promotion after suffering the heartbreak of a play-off final defeat the season before last. The win ensured City leapfrogged West Brom and move two points clear at the summit of the table.

The ball bounced off referee Neale Barry inside the penalty area and fell to Mulryne, who lobbed keeper Jamie Ashdown to win the game.

It was the season where Darren Huckerby's arrival seemed to drag them over the line. Their defensive record was the bedrock on which their promotion was built. 

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