Football: Canaries sing song for Europe

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Bayern Munich. 1 Norwich City. 2

NORWICH CITY provided a magnificent fillip to the downcast domestic game last night when two first-half goals gave them an astonishing Uefa Cup second-round, first-leg win over the three-times European champions. It was barely credible scoreline in Norwich's European debut season, but a fully merited one. They scored with aplomb and defended with composure to produce the first victory by a British club side in Bayern's exalted stadium.

Lothar Matthaus, Germany's World Cup winning captain, has moved into a sweeper role for both club and country and the Bayern buzz has it that he is none too keen on the backward step. His header from Rob Newman's cross belied his lack of defensive nous in the 12th minute, the ball falling to Jeremy Goss, and the Norwich midfield motor, who has become synonymous with outstanding strikes this season, connected perfectly with a right-foot volley to claim another spectacular goal.

It was a start undreamt of by the illustrious German side, for whom this is a 26th European campaign, but it did bear out the surprising confidence Norwich had brought with them to Bavaria. The goal stemmed from a free-kick following a foul on Mark Robins, who was playing in place of the injured Efan Ekoku. Robins left the field two minutes later, Darryl Sutch filling a midfield position as Norwich prepared to batten down the hatches against the expected Bayern onslaught.

Nevertheless, there was still sufficient vigour in the Norwich breakaways to promise further reward. Sutch found the side netting with a shot and Ian Butterworth tested the goalkeeper with a header from the corner before, incredibly, Norwich scored again on the half hour.

Another free-kick on the Norwich right produced gold. Ian Crook's delivery floated over the head of Chris Sutton but Mark Bowen was alive to the possibility as Jorginho dozed and stole in to plant his header wide of Raimond Aumann.

Norwich were four minutes away from a two-goal half-time advantage when Jorginho, the Brazilian international, finding space down Norwich's left, dispatched a cross to the far post where Christian Nerlinger rose above Spencer Prior to head high inside Bryan Gunn's near post. Gunn's big game experience with Scotland was to prove vital eight minutes into the second half when Adolfo Valencia produced a clever turn and instant shot which the goalkeeper was able to clutch to his chest.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Butterworth was booked for a foul which went against the trend of disciplined rearguard work. No performance was more heroic than that of Gunn, who brought off a breathtaking save to repel Valencia's header from close in, Kreuzer then firing too high.

Bayern Munich: (1-2-5-2): Aumann; Matthaus; Kreuzer, Helmer; Jorginho, Wouters, Nerlinger, Scholl (Labbadia, 65), Ziege (Sternkopf, 61); Witeczek, Valencia. Norwich (1-3-4-2): Gunn; Culverhouse; Prior, Butterworth, Newman; Fox, Crook, Goss, Bowen; Sutton, Robins (Sutch, 14). Referee: L Sundell (Sweden).

Comments