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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss