Norwich City moved back into the play off places as they routed ten man Ipswich, as Grant Holt bagged a derby day hat trick which may just signal the end of Roy Keane’s tenure at Portman Road.
Recent snowfall and near freezing conditions did little to thaw a heated derby atmosphere, as a record crowd witnessed a fiery and incident filled derby that will put an entire city on a high as they return to work on Monday morning..
The tone of the afternoon was set as Norwich captain Grant Holt was booked for a crunching challenge that on other days would have been deemed worthy of a red card.
Norwich started the game the stronger winning the 50/50’s and outrunning and outpassing Ipswich, putting pressure on the Ipswich defensive line and fully deserving the lead they gained on thirteen minutes.
The goal was calamitous and a disaster for defender Darren O’Dea who dallied with a through ball allowing Grant Holt to pounce and power his way through one on one with Marton Fulop who was unable to prevent Holt sliding the ball past him and into the back of the net.
However Ipswich responded well to going behind and hit back through Damien Delaney just over ten minutes later through a well worked move amid dismal defending from the Canaries.
However Norwich were still overall the better side and the signing of Henri Lansbury on loan has already paid dividends, as the under 21 international played a delightful through ball to put Grant Holt one on one with Fulop once again and the striker finished with aplomb.
Things went from bad to worse for Ipswich as just moments after the goal Damien Delaney was sent off for taking out Grant Holt around 35 yards from goal as he was about to break clear.
Ipswich were able to survive until half time despite Norwich chances and incessant pressure, the sending off putting Ipswich on the back foot in an overall poor half for Roy Keane’s men.
Ipswich were able to regroup at half time and game out more resilient and organised, but rarely threatened the opposition goal as the pace and drama lessened although Norwich still looked a threat going forward.
The final fifteen minutes of the game however poured salt into Ipswich wounds as Norwich found a killer instinct to secure victory against a tiring ten man opposition.
The third goal completed a Grant Holt hat trick as Chris Martin outfoxed the defence with some fancy footwork inside the area to set up his team mate who coolly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the net to complete a hat trick of composed finishes.
Just two minutes later Wes Hoolahan completed the misery for Ipswich with a chipped finished from a tight angle to put the game beyond any doubt and put Carrow Road in party mode. Much respect has to go to the Norwich fan who at this point decided to go topless whirling his shirt as he danced and sang gloating songs at the Ipswich fans in freezing temperatures.
Overall this was a comprehensive victory for Norwich, who were on their game from the first whistle, the sending off of Damien Delaney may have made the victory more comfortable but this was a worrying display for fans of the tractor boys who have now lost four games on the bounce.
Beyond the bragging rights of derby victory the underlying issue to emanate from the result today is the mounting pressure on Roy Keane’s position. Losing to your bitter rivals is difficult for fans to accept and this could be the result that convinces them and the chairman that now is the time for change.