As an air of resignation and resentment clashed with an eerie sense of déjà vu in Wolverhampton the two teams had showed their hand early. Norwich were intent on sticking to their beliefs and footballing ideology. Champions League winning manager Paul Lambert has built a team famed for attacking, passing football and a mentality that no matter what happens at the wrong end of the field they can outscore their opponents at the other. As the Canaries kept the ball well and passed Wolves to bits in the early exchanges, Wolves were intent on playing their trump cards in the forms of wing outlet Matt Jarvis and getting joy from the aerial prowess of Steven Fletcher. In a frustrating opening 20 minutes or so Wolves executed plan A with little joy, but seemed vacant of any other ideas. Matt Jarvis found sparce joy against young prospect Kyle Naughton at right back but his delivery was as inconsistent as his seasonal form whilst his wing partner Stephen Hunt drifted inside vacating his position all too often, exposing Wolves on the right side. His crossing was woeful at best once more and his only telling contribution to the game came as he looped the ball over the bar from 6 yards out with the empty goal at his mercy. Up top Fletcher was busy, coming short to link play between striker and midfielder and winning countless flick ons in the air with the intended target Ebanks-Blake unable to complete the pre-planned method.
The recently restored Wolves number 9 played with sense of someone who had a point to prove, but with the burden of knowing he had to do it quickly. The emission of Kevin Doyle will have been a difficult decision for the manager even or sadly especially as the fans believed it was a long time coming. Blake showed flashes of his goal instinct turning instinctively to fire just over from inside the penalty area at 1-0 whilst his will to make an impact got the better of him on occasion as his first touch got away from him or he slipped over thinking of his next move before he’d executed his initial one.
It was however, the striker who had previously been a spectator who levelled the contest. Inevitably the Wolves supply came from their right side and Jarvis who’s low misplaced cross hit both Stephen Hunt and a Norwich defender before Blake swung a left boot caught a lucky ricochet from another defender in green and watched his shot trickle slowly past a wrong footed Ruddy into the net.