Norwich couldn’t delay the inevitable any further as they have now been mathematically relegated from the Premier League after an embarrassing 4-0 loss to West Ham.
The opening exchanges of the game were pretty even but West Ham got the breakthrough after just ten minutes through Antonio who began his record-breaking scoring spree. The ball was flicked on to the back post from a corner and he improvised to finish nicely.
Antonio’s second also came from a set-piece, this time a simple cross from Noble found it’s way to the former Forest man who directed it goalward. After this, Norwich started to attack more but a misplaced Pukki header was about as close as they came to scoring.
At half time, a West Ham win and Norwich being relegated were almost certainties but the Hammers and Antonio, in particular, weren’t done yet and wanted to put things beyond doubt. Antonio’s hat-trick winning goal came with a bit of luck but after his performance, that bit of luck was deserved.
He found himself on the wrong side of both City defenders and was one on one with the keeper. Krul prevailed with a good stop to his right but the ball bounced back to the hat-trick hunting winger who buried it.
His fourth came in the dying embers when no team was particularly trying but Antonio won’t mind as he became the first Hammers player to score four goals in a single Premier League game.
Here’s how we rated the Canaries players in the match:
Tim Krul - 7
He made a good save to his right to deny Antonio on his first of two attempts for his third goal and also made an acrobatic save to keep out Soucek. For the goals, he was pretty much helpless.
Max Aarons - 6
The young Englishman had the extremely difficult task of dealing with Antonio, a battle that he lost quite significantly. He was muscled off the ball and he couldn’t deal with the hat-trich heroes’ skill.
Ben Godfrey - 4
He struggled to deal with Soucek who repeatedly arrived late and often got the ball. He allowed the Czech to get in front of him at the near post but the midfielder hit it wide.
Timm Klose - 4
Another who had the unfortunate task of dealing with Antonio, all Klose could do was foul him and the Swiss took that option a lot.
Jamal Lewis - 6
Despite having to deal with Bowen, he wasn’t afraid to charge forward and help out his team offensively. Defensively, his battle with Bowen was a tasty one.
Alex Tettey - 5
The Norwegian sat extremely deep which allowed Vrancic to be a lot more adventurous.
Mario Vrancic - 6
He was one of the better players in yellow and green and linked up well with the three in front of him.
Emi Buendia - 4
He gave away a silly free-kick which led to West Ham’s second and was rather quiet all game, similar to the other games since the Covid-19 break.
Marco Steipermann - 5
The German hasn’t impressed this season but he looked more like the Steipermann of the Championship again. He wasn’t afraid to shoot or cross the ball and linked the forward players and the defensive players well.
Onel Hernandez - 5
He started the game brightly but progressively got quieter as the game went on. In the opening minutes, he showed his form that he has shown since lockdown and has probably been City’s best player since the break.
Teemu Pukki - 4
He was starved of good chances and his only meaningful shot was a difficult header that ended up in the crowd.