Norwich City’s relegation fears took one giant step towards becoming a reality on Friday night as they were comfortably defeated 3-0 by Southampton at Carrow Road, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, six points from safety and having played one game more than their rivals.
With no home fans present to urge them on due to the coronavirus pandemic, Norwich looked like a team who have already accepted their fate to be playing Championship football next season as they were outclassed by the Saints on their first outing in three months.
The build-up play was their but Norwich are now counting the cost of lacking a true Premier League class striker — or two.
Following a frustrating and goalless first half for the visitors, Danny Ings’ strike was worth the wait. Just four minutes after the interval, the England man grabbed his 19th goal of the season with an unstoppable rising strike past goalkeeper Tim Krul.
It was curtains five minutes later as Ings turned provider, playing in Stuart Armstrong, who was allowed all the time in the world to cut inside and double the lead.
And Southampton showed Norwich just what their toothless attack is missing when Nathan Redmond clinically made to 3-0 with 11 minutes remaining when he skinned Ben Godfrey and sent a sublime left-foot shot into the back on the net.
After an entertaining season time in the Premier League, even Canaries manager Daniel Farke must be planning for life in the second tier next term — if he is still in the job.