Peterborough 0 Norwich 3: Snodgrass rounds off comfortable victory for Canaries

Peterborough 0 Norwich 3: Snodgrass rounds off comfortable victory for Canaries

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:59 GMT, 5 January 2013

Norwich returned to winning ways after four Premier League straight defeats by easily brushing aside Championship strugglers Peterborough at London Road.

Elliott Bennett opened the scoring after half an hour and Simeon Jackson doubled the lead just before half-time.

Robert Snodgrass picked up a perfectly weighted ball from Bennett to slide home the third late into the second half.

Snodgrass passes in Norwich's third to round off a comfortable display

Placement: Robert Snodgrass passes in Norwich's third to round off a easy win

Match facts

Peterborough: Olejnik, Alcock (Gordon-Hutton 34), Brisley, Knight-Percival (Ajose 46), Little, Ferdinand, Bostwick, Newell, Rowe, Swanson (McCann 54), Boyd. Subs not used: Day, Clarke-Harris, Sage, Richens.

Booked: Bostwick, Brisley.

Norwich: Rudd, Martin, Barnett, Ryan Bennett, Tierney, Elliott Bennett, Fox, Johnson, Lappin, Snodgrass (Butterfield 72), Jackson. Subs not used: Steer, Pilkington, Garrido, Ward, Tettey, Kane.

Booked: Martin.

Goals: Elliot Bennett 30, Jackson 41, Snodgrass 70.

Attendance: 13,198.

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Former Posh players Russell Martin, the Norwich captain, and Ryan Bennett kept their places in a Canaries side showing eight changes, while goalkeeper Declan Rudd was among those given a chance to impress by manager Chris Hughton.

The hosts were weakened by the absence of three key players, with Gaby Zakuani on African Nations Cup duty, in-form striker Dwight Gayle cup-tied and Gavin Tomlin suspended.

League clubs are thin on the ground in this part of the country so this was virtually a derby despite there being 65 miles between the two.

More than 5,000 Norwich fans made the trip and football special trains were brought back for the occasion.

Peterborough have not beaten a top-flight club since a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the fourth round in 1965, when they went on to reach the quarter-finals.

They began brightly, though, and Joe Newell may well have scored had Ryan Bennett not deflected his shot just past the post.

But Posh's dominance was short-lived and Snodgrass was the main player as Norwich began to get on top.

Elliott Bennett rattled in the first goal after half an hour

Opener: Elliott Bennett rattled in the first goal after half an hour

Johnson is hauled back by Nicky Ajose as he looks to roam through the midfield

Foul: Bradley Johnson is hauled back by Nicky Ajose as he looks to roam through the midfield

He did brilliantly to get his head to
an overhit cross by Elliott Bennett in the 12th minute and Bobby
Olejnik was at full strength to prevent the ball reaching Jackson.

Michael Bostwick was soon in the book
for a challenge on Jackson, while Olejnik did well to push a fizzing
shot from Elliott Bennett over the bar.

The hosts' resistance was broken in
the 30th minute, though, with Snodgrass jinking into the area and
setting up Elliott Bennett, who poked his shot into the bottom corner.

Delia Smith at Peterborough v Norwich

Jake Humphrey at Peterborough v Norwich

Famous faces: Delia Smith and Jake Humphrey enjoy their day out watching Norwich

Posh manager Darren Ferguson made a
tactical change, bringing on 17-year-old Jaanai Gordon for Craig Alcock
and going to five at the back, but in the 41st minute they conceded
again.

A long ball from David Fox caught out the home defence and Jackson took his chance expertly with a cool lob over Olejnik.

And it would have been 3-0 at half-time but for the keeper, who stuck out a hand to divert Snodgrass' free-kick over the bar.

Ferguson made another change at
half-time, sending on Nicky Ajose for Nathaniel Knight-Percival, but the
pattern remained the same and Snodgrass was frustrated he could only
find the side netting when most of the visiting fans thought he had
scored.

Grant McCann replaced Danny Swanson
in Peterborough's final change, and their fans tried to inspire a
comeback, but it was largely one-way traffic.

Peterborough's Newell is quickly closed down by the Norwich defence

Rare shot: Peterborough's Joe Newell is quickly closed down by the Norwich defence

The most likely scenario appeared to
be a third for Norwich, and Bradley Johnson came close but his 25-yarder
was just wide while Jackson's header from a corner was blocked.

There were belated signs of
improvement from Posh midway through the half but the game was all over
in the 70th minute as Norwich broke away, Elliott Bennett fed Snodgrass
and he calmly beat Olejnik.

The midfielder was replaced moments
later by Jacob Butterfield, his afternoon's work done, and, although
Posh kept pushing, it was only for a consolation goal.

They almost got it with three minutes
to go after Martin had been booked for a foul on Tommy Rowe but Bostwick
could only poke McCann's free-kick into Rudd's arms – the keeper's
first save of the match.

Tierney clears the ball away from the dangerous George Boyd

High foot: Marc Tierney clears the ball away from the dangerous George Boyd

Fuming Peterborough manger Darren Ferguson apologised to his side's fans after the humiliating defeat.

He said: 'We've got our largest crowd of the season and I have to apologise to my own supporters for that performance because we're at home in a cup game which my players, for whatever reason, turned into a pre-season game.

'I'm quite glad it's taken me a while to talk to the press, and I haven't had a meeting with the players yet, because sometimes you can say things you might end up regretting.

'It was a shocking performance. If you've got your first proper tackle after 65 minutes in a cup tie then you're going to lose.

'I can accept people playing badly but the most disappointing thing for me was Norwich looked like they wanted it more, and they were the ones that made a lot of changes.

'I know what I'm going to say to the players. They'll expect me to pick them up again and perhaps they're starting to take that for granted.'

Barry Ferguson was bemused by the attitude of his players

Annoyed: Barry Ferguson was bemused by the attitude of his players

Posh were hampered by the loss of three key men in Gaby Zakuani, Lee Tomlin and Dwight Gayle but Ferguson insisted that was no excuse and called for a reaction in next weekend's home clash with Nottingham Forest.

'When you go on a good run and then you've got a cup match and it's a home tie, you think it could be another step towards improving in the season,' he said.

'Now we've seen what we've seen today, and it's the easiest game Norwich will have all season. All of a sudden you're back on the back foot, and you've got to go to a hard game like Forest.

'I gave my players two days off so there's no excuses whatsoever. I'm as frustrated as I've been for a while because I didn't see that performance coming.

'They've definitely let the fans down but I think the players have let me down today and they're going to have to give me a response, simple as that.'

Gordon-Hutton tries to get Peterborough on the scoresheet

Stretching: Jaanai Gordon-Hutton tries to get Peterborough on the scoresheet

Norwich manager Chris Hughton hailed
the attitude of his players, with Declan Rudd's only save coming in the
final minutes of the match.

He
said: 'Our approach to the game was very good, very professional from
the first minute, but of course you need to score goals to give yourself
a bit more of a comfortable time.

'I
think probably the pivotal time was at half-time because if they get a
goal back then it could be a tough afternoon but I thought we were very
professional from first to last minute.'

Snodgrass,
one of only three players retained from the loss to West Ham, was the
star of the show, setting up the first goal before applying a clinical
finish to a second-half break.

Hughton
added: 'He's a good player. I made the decision to make some changes.
Robert's one that I know can play games, he's a fit lad. I think he just
showed the form that he's been showing for us.

'He's
been playing consistently and has been adding some goals to his game
and assists. But I thought he was part of a really good all-round team
performance today.'