Sorry Norwich City crash to a 4-1 Championship defeat at QPR
PUBLISHED: 16:55 02 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 03 April 2018
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The Canaries were pummelled into submission in a 4-1 Easter Monday Championship defeat at QPR.
City went ahead in the first half at Loftus Road, when Ryan Manning diverted Josh Scowen’s intended clearance past Alex Smithies, but that was as good as it got for Daniel Farke’s men.
QPR were level prior to the break when Massimo Luongo burst past James Husband to slot beyond Angus Gunn. Rangers then cut loose in the second period, with the towering Matt Smith embarrasing Gunn to nod hom from inside the Norwich six yard box.
Ebere Eze then reacted quickest to Smith’s knockdown to slot a third before Manning notched at the right end with a flying header to seal the rout.
Farke made four changes from the line up that lost 2-0 to Fulham on Good Friday. Grant Hanley returned after missing the game with migraines to replace Timm Klose.
James Husband was preferred to Jamal Lewis at left back with Wes Hoolahan earning a rare start in place of Alex Tettey.
Nelson Oliveira was included up top with Dennis Srbeny dropping to the bench.
Alex Smithies raced from his line inside the opening seconds to clear a raking throughball with Maddison sensing an opportunity to add to his goal tally.
Oliveira was crowded out in the 13th minute when he looked to unleash a left-footed strike a yard inside the QPR penalty box from Josh Murphy’s short pass.
Hoolahan then spotted Mario Vrancic’s burst but Jake Bidwell slid in to thwart Oliveira six yards out.
Norwich continued to look the smoother in possession with Rangers looking to stretch the game and hit the towering Smith at every opportunity.
Maddison’s deep corner picked out the unmarked Vrancic but the Bosnian’s mistimed header slithered wide from five yards out midway through the opening period.
City’s play was composed and intricate on the sodden surface until they reached the vicinity of the home penalty area.
Husband drilled a low ball into Murphy who cushioned a pass into Oliveira but the Portugal international clubbed a right-footed effort over. It was fresh evidence of Farke’s pre-match assessment his attacking weaponry must improve their decision-making in the critical moments.
Murphy was a prominent figure in those wider tracts down the left the young man clearly prefers to operate. Another body swerve and dart inside fashioned space to curl a cross to the far post Oliveira was a fraction from connecting with as it span through to Smithies.
Luke Freeman briefly checked City’s flow when he capitalised on a slip from Husband but Angus Gunn dropped to one knee to gather.
For all Norwich’s promise it was QPR who came closest to opening the scoring in the 35th minute when Smith thumped a close range header against Gunn’s left-hand post and Hoolahan cleared the rebound.
Eze then guided a follow up over from similar range.
Given Norwich’s inability to add the punch to their panache in possession it was entirely fitting the opener came from Josh Scowen slamming an intended clearance against Ryan Manning, to spiral the ball beyond Smithies, after Murphy’s heavy touch diverted the ball into traffic.
But that dividend lasted barely a minute when Luongo veered around Husband with a sharp one, two before guiding a low finish beyond Gunn on the angle of the six yard box.
Husband’s frustration was evident in a flashpoint with the home scorer shortly after the restart that earned the Norwich defender a booking.
Norwich looked to start positive following the interval, but Maddison’s free kick drifted into the away supporters.
City’s refined philosophy was in stark contrast to QPR’s commitment to loading crosses into Gunn’s box at every opportunity.
The threat was obvious but all too effective. Gunn was embarrassed at his near post when Smith towered above the Manchester City loanee to nod home when Luke Freeman’s initial shot had spiralled into the air.
Smith then climbed above Christoph Zimmermann, with team mate Eze sharpest to react, to control and swivel a low finish past Gunn six yards out.
Oliveira dragged Murphy’s pass wide of Smithies’ far post before heading Maddison’s corner into the turf and over from point blank range.
Manning demonstrated the ruthless intent so lacking in City’s play when he out-jumped Lewis to power a fourth past Gunn in the 80th minute.
• QPR: Smithies, Furlong, Bidwell, Onuoha, Lynch, Freeman (Wszolek 81), Scowen, Manning, Smith (Sylla 78), Luongo, Eze (Smyth 88). Subs (not used): Ingram (GK), Cousins, Washington, Robinson.
• Bookings: Luongo (foul on Husband, 41); Lynch (foul on Oliveira, 56)
• Goals: Luongo (39), Smith (55), Eze (60), Manning (80)
• Norwich City: Gunn, Pinto, Zimmermann, Hanley, Reed, Husband (Lewis 75), Vrancic, Hoolahan, Maddison, Murphy, Oliveira. Subs (not used): McGovern (GK), Watkins, Klose, Edwards, Tettey, Srbeny.
• Goal: Manning og (38)
• Bookings: Husband (foul on Luongo, 41); Vrancic (foul on Onuoha, 68); Hanley (foul on Freeman, 77); Zimmermann (foul on Eze, 80)
• Time added on: 2 minutes / 3 minutes
• Referee: James Linington (Newport)
• Attendance: 14,053 (1,843 away fans)