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Norwich 3 Ipswich 1: Wembley and Premier League beckon for Canaries

Norwich 3 Ipswich 1: Wembley and Premier League beckon for Canaries

 

May 16, 2015

Norwich City 3                   Ipswich Town 1

Hoolahan 50pen                Smith 60

Redmond 64

Jerome 76

Eastern Daily Press: Wes Hoolahan after scoring from the penalty spotWes Hoolahan after scoring from the penalty spot (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

The game: All square at 1-1 after the first leg, City got the breakthrough when Christope Berra was sent off on 49 minutes after handling Nathan Redmond’s shot. Wes Hoolahan scored from the spot, but Town were level on the hour mark when Tommy Smith scored from close range. Redmond put City ahead before Cameron Jerome sealed victory. City went to Wembley to face Middlesbrough and – spoiler alert – beat them to earn a place in the Premier League.

Eastern Daily Press: Delia Smith enjoys the winDelia Smith enjoys the win (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Norwich boss Alex Neil: “To come through a really tense affair, a tight game, and to come out of the other side knowing we did the job we set out to do is great. I am just delighted for the players, the fans and everybody at the club. We have given ourselves a 50-50 chance of reaching the Premier League… my Wembley experiences consist of none. I’ve never been there. I told the players before the game there are not many occasions when you can actually go and play on Wembley. It doesn’t come across in your lifetime all that often so I am really looking forward to that challenge and hopefully it’s a successful one.”

Eastern Daily Press: And they were...And they were… (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy: “They asked me on television, ‘could he (Berra) have pulled his hand away?’ Of course he should, in the cold light of day, but we’re kind of hard wired to stop the ball going in the net. It’s one of those things. He’s been brilliant, Christophe. It’s a penalty, there’s nothing we can do about it now. There’s no point analysing the sending off now. We’re immensely proud of them, they’ve been fantastic all season and I couldn’t be any prouder of a group of a group of fellas. They’re hard-working, really professional and I think they’ve shown what they’ve been about and why we’re in the play-offs when we were pretty unfancied.”

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Eastern Daily Press: City fans on the pitch after victory is securedCity fans on the pitch after victory is secured (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Nathan Redmond: “I’ve played in four derbies this year, and this was by far the best. There were a couple of times I was shouting at the lads and I thought they were blanking me, but they just couldn’t hear me. It was a very good atmosphere and a good day for the fans. I didn’t realise it’s so long since the club was at Wembley… for the fans and the club, it’s great. It is going to be a good day out, but we know we’ve got to give our all for one more game. It has been a long old season, with our ups and downs. Who would have thought when we were sitting in 10th that we would be pushing for the top two and now going to Wembley?”

From our report: Norwich City retained the bragging rights with the most delicious of derby victories, but they should thank their bitter enemies for the perfect Wembley preparations. Financial reward, not neighbourly squabbles, is now the ultimate prize when Alex Neil leads out a City team at the home of football against Middlesbrough next week for the first time in three decades, with a place in the Premier League at stake. But it will surely fail to eclipse the hype, the epic scale, the gut-wrenching tension or suffocating pressure of two clashes against Ipswich that leave a rich legacy in the annals of East Anglian football rivalry.

AOB: Alex Neil was still doing his coaching badges as City earned a Championship final berth; Ipswich’s defeat meant they had lost at the semi-final stage in seven of their eight play-off campaigns; City’s win was their 16th in the 24 games since Neil replaced Neil Adams.

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Norwich City: J Ruddy, M Olsson, S Whittaker, S Bassong, R Martin, N Redmond, A Tettey, B Johnson (E Bennett 87), J Howson, C Jerome (G Hooper 83), W Hoolahan (G Dorrans 74). Subs not used: Josh Murphy, R Bennett, G O’Neil, D Rudd.

Ipswich Town: B Bialkowski, T Mings, C Berra, L Chambers, T Smith, F Sears, C Skuse, K Bru (J Tabb 71), P Anderson (N Hunt 83), E Bishop (D McGoldrick 71), D Murphy. Subs not used: D Gerken, M Clarke, J Parr, S Hunt.

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 26,994

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