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Swansea City 2 Norwich City 3 Opta Stats

In my match preview for this game I stuck my neck out and said that Norwich City would win.  To be honest, I didn’t actually believe that but low and behold Norwich City have only gone and got a fabulous 3 points in Wales.

And who else to lead the team to victory?  Grant Holt of course who seemed to delight in the abuse he had all week on Twitter from some Swansea fans and then throughout the game where he was booed every time he got the ball.  Little did Swansea fans know that this tough ex-tyre fitter relishes in this and as a result had a sublime game, scoring two goals. Perhaps all supporters of the opposing side could do the same going forward please.

In my preview I pulled together stats showing that defensively Swansea were tight and they pass the ball around well, and a lot.  The thing is, this is easily worked out after a while and this is exactly what Paul Lambert did.  In the first half we went at Swansea and were unlucky not to put a away a few good chances, Surman really should have scored and a few more went begging.  Every time Swansea had possession we chased them down and made it difficult for them to play the game they are good at and as a result possession wise there wasn’t much in it.

Swansea narrowly had the most possession in the game at 55%, and as ever they did string a lot of passes t0gether, 27% more than Norwich and with more accuracy.  They put more crosses in the box and their crossing accuracy was better than ours.  However, this was the home team. John Ruddy of Norwich City needed to make less saves and we were much more careful with the ball in possession than Swansea and of course we had more shots on target – we do have Grant Holt.

Now, I know that I, like most Norwich City fans bang on about Grant Holt a lot but he really is a fantastic player, hugely underrated in the Premier League.  Grant Holt has 9 EPL goals, level with Bale, Bent and Lampard. As well as being a real handful for defenders he never gives up, he comes back to defend when needed, he passes the ball well and creates chances and he is everything that epitomises the Club – loyal, determined and humble.  Those who said he would never score goals in the Premier League look rather stupid now, we never doubted his ability.

If we compare his performance today versus arguably the current best English striker Wayne Rooney (Man Utd vs Liverpool), he’s really not that far behind:

After suffering abuse all week and throughout the game, much of which was around him being “fat” his celebration after his second goal (which was extremely well taken) was aimed at the Swansea fans.  Shirt off, flexing his muscles ….. well worth a yellow card.

As expected, this was a great game and it will be interesting to see how our friends on Match of the Day position it tonight.  It was full of goals, chances, excitement, but as it’s Norwich it will likely be shoved towards the back with a meaningless commentary.  Let’s hope they prove me wrong for a change.

8th place in the Premier league on 35 points and a full 12 points over our rival promoted teams. It’s not over until the fat Grant Holt sings but 14 points off the relegation place, surely that’s enough now?

I've been a season ticket at Norwich City since I was about 12 and grew up in the days of Robert Fleck, Bayern Munich and Mike Walker. It's been a rollercoaster ride for the last 19 years we've been promoted 4 times, relegated 4 times, spent a season in the doldrums of league one and now we are flying high* in the premier league. *written in January when we are in the top half!
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