Match Report: Bewildered Ferguson says sorry to Peterborough fans after Norwich City rout

Peterborough 0 Norwich City 3

london road

Take three very good players out of a
Premier League side and three very good players come in. Take the three best
players out of a struggling Championship side, however, and you get a game as
desperately one-sided as this.

It doesn't help, mind you, when the Championship side more or less give up. This match was all over after half an hour, when Robert Snodgrass cut in from the right and turned the ball into the Peterborough penalty area for Elliott Bennett to slide past Peterborough goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik.

Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson, who had started with just one striker due to the unavailability of top-scorers Dwight Gayle (cup-tied) and Lee Tomlin (suspended) turned to his bench and sent on a 17-year-old called Jaanai Gordon, who may be promising but has yet to start a first team game.

Thereafter it could not have been more comfortable for Norwich and there was nothing Ferguson, who was also missing defender Gaby Zakuani on international duty, could do about it. It was frustrating given that after losing their first seven League games of the season, Peterborough came into this game having won four of their last five and pulling themselves out of the relegation zone.

Ferguson was livid. "First and foremost I want to apologise to our largest crowd of the season, because we were at home in a Cup game and the players, for whatever reason, turned it into a pre-season game. We just didn't give ourselves a chance. We made one serious tackle, after 65 minutes. There are many words you can use but it was bewildering, really. I don't mind players playing badly on the ball, but Norwich looked like they wanted it more, and that's just unacceptable."

As expected, Norwich manager Chris Hughton had given plenty of his usual first team a break, despite four consecutive defeats in the Premier League making this a more important match to win than it otherwise might have been.

The absence of Grant Holt, nursing a hamstring, Steve Morison and Wes Hoolahan gave Simeon Jackson a chance to impress up front, but it was Peterborough who made the early impression when Joe Newell's low shot was deflected just wide by City defender Ryan Bennett.

Gradually, Norwich began to get on top, and duly went ahead when Snodgrass, increasingly finding space on the right, created the first goal. Ferguson immediately brought on Gordon and switched to 3-5-2 but it made a minimal difference to the flow of the game and five minutes before half-time his side conceded a second. David Fox's ball over the top saw Jackson get ahead of his marker Michael Bostwick and easily beat the exposed but disappointingly stationary Olejnik.

From then on, it was a case of how many. With Fox pulling the strings impressively, it was only a matter of time before Snodgrass, put clear by Elliott Bennett, made it three. The introduction of Grant McCann in midfield gave Peterborough a little extra, but it was 15 minutes before the whistle before they finally made City goalkeeper Declan Rudd make a simple save.

"Our approach is professional from the first minute to the last," said a pleased Hughton afterwards, insisting he would have picked the same side whoever their opponents had been.

"Players like Fox, Jackson, Elliott Bennett and Marc Tierney haven't had the number of games they'd have liked but they train very hard to be ready when the opportunity comes and none of them did themselves any harm today."

Peterborough (4-4-1-1): Olejnik; Little, Alcock (Gordon, 34), Brisley, Knight-Percival (Ajose, h-t); Ferdinand, Bostwick, Newell, Rowe; Boyd; Swanson (McCann, 54).

Norwich (4-4-1-1): Rudd; R Martin, Barnett, R Bennett, Tierney; Snodgrass (Butterfield, 72), Fox, Johnson, Lappin; E Bennett; Jackson

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Man of the match: Snodgrass (Norwich)

Match rating: 4/10

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable