I don’t think i’ve ever hated writing something so much. Town were completely dominated on the road against Champions-elect Norwich City in a game that Town will want to move on from as quickly as possible.
Ahead of Town’s trip to Carrow Road to face league leaders Norwich City, Carlos Corberan had expected to make four changes to the side that drew with Brentford at the weekend; however a late drop out by promising young keeper Ryan Schofield due to illness saw Joel Pereira start instead in a fifth change.
🚨 TEAM NEWS 🚨
Carlos Corberán has made 4⃣ changes to #htafc's starting line-up for tonight’s game against Norwich City.
➡ Richard Stearman, Juninho Bacuna, Isaac Mbenza & Danny Ward
⬅ Pipa, Álex Vallejo, Fraizer Campbell & Yaya Sanogo
— Huddersfield Town (@htafc) April 6, 2021
That was just the first piece of interesting team news to come out of the Town camp, with Tommy Elphick also returning to a Town team sheet for the first time since October 2019 after recovering from an extremely serious long term injury he picked up during a 3-1 defeat on the road at Preston.
The other changes saw Isaac Mbenza come back into the side after a spell on the bench, Danny Ward return to the side to make his first start of the calendar year whilst Juninho Bacuna and Richard Stearman both also came back into the starting line up. They replaced Fraizer Campbell and Yaya Sanogo, who dropped to the bench whilst Alex Vallejo and Pipa both dropped out through injury.
The first action of the game came seven minutes in, Todd Cantwell picked the ball up on the left hand side for Norwich before dribbling in field past several Town defenders and playing a low cross into the path of Teemu Pukki who pounced on Naby Sarr’s slow response to poke the ball past him and into the back of the Town net! 1-0 Norwich early on and things weren’t looking good for Town in Norfolk just seven minutes in!
Ten minutes later following several half chances for either side, Norwich netted a second, an outstanding Norwich ball over top caught the Town back three napping allowing Pukki to latch onto it and finish past a helpless Pereira. 2-0 Norwich! The game now looked out of Huddersfield’s reach after just twenty minutes!
Just over two minutes later, Norwich added another to the score sheet. Emi Buendia picked the ball up twenty five yards out, turned, spotted the Town defenders beginning to back off from him before hitting a low effort through the sliding Town defence, off the left post and into the back of the Town net. 3-0 Norwich! This could be about to get embarrassing for Town!
Just seconds later, Norwich broke through and nearly had a fourth had it not been for some excellent goalkeeping from Joel Pereira. Some slick football played Norwich in again before Pereira raced out and dived at the feet of Cantwell, securing the ball and clutching it gratefully to his chest, only stopping to tend to his own facial injury after the ball had been safely secured in his grasp.
Norwich added a fourth just after the twenty-fourth minute, a pass from Aarons released Buendia into the eighteen yard box who twisted and turned before picking out the waiting Todd Cantwell, Cantwell struck it first time finding the top corner. 4-0 Norwich! Game over before the half an hour mark!
Norwich struck the cross bar just five minutes later, a free kick was flicked backwards to Buendia who stuck an effort first time from twenty-five yards out, flying past a helpless Joel Pereira before ricocheting off of the bar.
With four minutes remaining until half time, Norwich City netted a fifth, Buendia played a short pass into Dowell who chipped it back to his Argentinean team mate first time, Buendia burst into the box before playing a pass across goal into the path of Dowell who forced the ball into the back of the net, despite Sarr’s best efforts on the line. 5-0 Norwich City before half time!
The half time whistle brought to an end an abysmal half for Town in which they had struggled to gain possession of the ball or even leave their own final third throughout the majority of the half. Full credit to Norwich though, who had played some scintillating football throughout but there is no denying that Town had been nowhere near good enough and things could quickly get even uglier if Town didn’t do their best to get their act together throughout half time.
Half Time: Norwich City 5-0 Huddersfield Town
Remerging for the second half, Town made only one change with Scott High replacing Richard Stearman in a clear change of formation in an effort to somehow take something from the match, no matter how likely it seemed.
Despite a sustained period of possession from Town in the opening minutes of the second half, it was Norwich who had the first shot, a bit of sloppy play from Town allowed Emi Buendia to break forward before unleashing a low effort from the edge of the eighteen yard box but Joel Pereira got down well to deny him. The worrying sign for Town was the lack of a reaction from the players when they lost the ball so deep, indicating that the players heads really had dropped.
Town made two more changes seven minutes into the second half, a furious Jonathan Hogg threw the captains armband away in disgrace as he was substituted in place of January signing Jonathan Hogg. The second change saw Duane Holmes, who had gone missing throughout the first half, replaced by Aaron Rowe.
Town worked Tim Krul for the first time eleven minutes into the second half, substitute Sorba Thomas broke into the box before dribbling past several Norwich defenders and unleashing a low effort on goal, only to see his effort unluckily tipped wide by Krul.
Things went from bad to worse for Town as the match entered the sixtieth minute, Tottenham loanee Oliver Skipp charged forward into the box before being tripped by the backtracking Isaac Mbenza, penalty to Norwich!
Teemu Pukki, on a hat trick, stepped up and netted past Pereira with ease. 6-0 Norwich! This was an embarrassment!
Town made their final two substitutions in the sixty-fifth minute, with Lewis O’Brien and Naby Sarr being replaced by Jaden Brown and Rarmani Edmonds-Green.
Joel Pereira then nearly assisted Norwich in their goal scoring efforts, his low pass out from the back dropped to Todd Cantwell who dribbled forward before unleashing an effort high over the bar, Town had got away with one attempting to play out from the back!
Town nearly got a consolation a couple of minutes later, Isaac Mbenza’s corner was flicked on by Domeaco Duhaney, who could only watch agonisingly as his effort struck the post. It dropped for Danny Ward who shot first time only to see his effort blocked on the line by Tim Krul.
Within a minute of coming on, Jordan Hugill added a seventh for Norwich City, a ball over the top dropped to Max Aarons on the left hand side who broke into the eighteen yard box before crossing low for Hugill to tap the ball into the back of an empty net with his first touch. 7-0 Norwich! Absolute embarrassment at Carrow Road!
Norwich could had had an eighth in the dying minutes, Hernandez, with his back to goal, flicked the ball upwards before attempting a bicycle kick that flew over the bar harmlessly.
The full time whistle could not have come any quicker for Town; a complete embarrassment for Town saw them concede seven, yes seven, to a team in the same division! It is the worst defeat in Town’s modern Championship history and a complete and utter disgrace. Town need a reaction against Rotherham on Saturday to once again lift spirits against a surely downtrodden camp and their own fan base.
— Huddersfield Town (@htafc) April 6, 2021
Full Time: Norwich City 7-0 Huddersfield Town