Norwich City suffer Premier League relegation after Burnley stun Watford

By Sports Desk April 30, 2022

Norwich City's relegation from the Premier League has been confirmed after the Canaries fell to a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa and Burnley beat Watford.

The Canaries' tame loss to manager Dean Smith's former employers, coupled with Burnley recovering from a goal down to stun fellow strugglers Watford 2-1, condemned Norwich to an immediate return to the Championship, which they won last season.

Norwich have now been relegated from the Premier League on six occasions, more than any other side in the competition's history, with Smith and predecessor Daniel Farke overseeing just five wins in 34 league outings this term.

Meanwhile, the Canaries have been relegated in each of their last four Premier League seasons (2013-14, 2015-16, 2019-20, and 2021-22), becoming just the second club in English football history to suffer that fate in four consecutive top-flight campaigns (after Crystal Palace in 1992-93, 1994-95, 1997-98, 2004-05).

Fellow promoted side Watford look destined to join Norwich in making an immediate return to the Football League after throwing away a one-goal lead in their home defeat to Burnley.

Late goals from Jack Cork and Josh Brownhill mean Burnley's caretaker boss Mike Jackson is the first Clarets manager to win three of their first four league games in charge since Jimmy Mullen won his first four in 1991.

Burnley look to be battling Leeds United and Everton to avoid taking up the third relegation spot, having been reinvigorated since making the shock decision to sack Sean Dyche earlier this month.

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  • History paints bleak picture for promoted trio after dismal starts to season History paints bleak picture for promoted trio after dismal starts to season

    Sheffield United, Burnley and Luton remain without a win since their promotion to the Premier League after the weekend’s games.

    It is only the second time a trio of promoted teams have all been winless having all played at least five games and, with those teams making up the current relegation zone, the PA news agency looks at the history of slow starts for Premier League newcomers and what it means for their survival prospects.

    Wait goes on after Blades battered

    Newcastle set a Premier League record as eight of their players scored in a stunning 8-0 rout of Sheffield United on Sunday, sending the Blades bottom on goal difference, with all three promoted sides on one point each.

    Luton opened their account the previous day, albeit with the help of a controversial penalty against 10-man Wolves, while Burnley’s only point came from last Monday’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest. The Blades held Everton 2-2 on September 2.

    While the Newcastle hammering was the South Yorkshire side’s sixth game of the season, Luton and Burnley have played only five after their season opener was postponed due to reconstruction work at Kenilworth Road.

    Only once before, in 2004-05, have all three promoted teams been winless after five games – and even then, Norwich and West Brom each had three draws on the board, with Crystal Palace trailing on one point.

    Palace and Norwich were duly relegated that season, but West Brom survived with victory over Portsmouth on the final day – Pompey’s bitter rivals Southampton were the other team relegated.

    Indeed, of 17 promoted teams to go five games without a win before this season, the Baggies are the only one to avoid relegation. Bryan Robson’s side also became the first in Premier League history to stay up having been bottom at Christmas, the position they still occupied going into that final game.

    More pain in store?

    All three teams are still some way from the record winless start for a promoted team, with Swindon taking until their 16th game to get in the win column in 1993-94.

    Town finished that season bottom of the 22-team table with five wins and 30 points from 42 games in what remains their only top-flight campaign.

    Norwich took 14 games in the aforementioned 2004-05 season to break their duck, albeit with eight draws along the way, and 11 on their way to another relegation in 2021-22.

    Three other teams – Watford in 2006-07, Reading in 2012-13 and Burnley in 2014-15 – went 10 games without a win following promotion.

    The early-season form of this season’s bottom three is prompting talk of Derby’s record low Premier League points total of 11 in 2007-08 – indeed, Luton were identified in some quarters as a candidate for the unwanted record before the season even began.

    But even the Rams won their sixth game of that cursed season, 1-0 against Newcastle, before failing to win the rest of the way – that ongoing 32-game run remains a Premier League record over 15 years later.

    The Blades have already gone longer without a win, while their counterparts may be looking to October 3’s rescheduled meeting to keep their names out of unwanted company.

  • Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea need to grow up as a team after fresh setback Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea need to grow up as a team after fresh setback

    Mauricio Pochettino said his Chelsea players need to grow up as a team after they were beaten 1-0 at Stamford Bridge by Aston Villa to fall to their third loss of the season.

    The game turned with the sending off of Chelsea’s Malo Gusto after 58 minutes when the score was still 0-0. His challenge on Lucas Digne was late and caught the Villa defender on the ankle, and after a pitchside VAR review referee Jarred Gillett upgraded the initial yellow card to a red for dangerous play.

    Pochettino brought on Ben Chilwell and moved Axel Disasi to right-back, but the dismissal did not much alter Chelsea’s attacking intent as they continued to seek out a winner.

    It was a decision that would come to haunt them, as with the home side committed inside Villa’s half Moussa Diaby broke with the ball and fed Ollie Watkins, who after seeing his first shot blocked by Levi Colwill scored with his second, angling the ball beyond Robert Sanchez and in off the far post.

    It was the second time in two seasons that Watkins has netted in a Villa victory at Stamford Bridge, as Unai Emery’s side took full advantage of Chelsea’s ongoing inability to turn promising situations in the final third into goals, before pouncing when their own moment came.

    Striker Nicolas Jackson, who has scored just once since his £31million summer move from Villarreal, again cut a frustrated figure as he picked up his fifth booking of the season for attempting to block a Villa free-kick, incurring him a one-game ban.

    Pochettino refused to criticise the officials and said it is the players that must take the rap for the team’s poor start to the season.

    “It’s our responsibility and the players’ responsibility,” said Pochettino. “We can’t blame the VAR or the referee. The situation, we need to act different, in a different way. I’m not going to blame or say anything against Malo Gusto. Situations happen in football and they affect the game and the team in a negative way.

    “We need to grow up like a team, not only in an individual way. A player like Nico (Jackson) that is so young, feeling the Premier League and he’s learning, he needs time. In this type of game, we’re competing and we want to win. But players, when they are young, need to learn with experience.

    “That’s why we feel disappointed because we are playing too many situations like this. Another small detail and in the end we are losing the game. We are in a situation we need to change as soon as possible.”

    Chelsea largely dominated up until the red card with Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk particularly lively attacking down either flank.

    But the team were dogged by a familiar failure to turn pressure and possession into gilt-edged chances as their scoreless run in the league extended to three games.

    “It was a little bit unlucky,” said Pochettino. “How many chances did we have like Aston Villa? They shoot, we block, then they shoot and it touches the post and goes in. For us, how many one v one against (Emiliano) Martinez? We were a little bit unlucky but that happens.

    “We need to accept the reality. But it was unlucky because how many chances did they create? Not many. With 10 men we were forcing them to go back.

    “That is unlucky. We need to be aware about what is going on but in some way we need to be calm because the team is creating, the team is alive, the team is fighting every single action.

    “We cannot say anything about the players, we cannot say that they gave up after 70 minutes. They were fighting until the end with one player less.”

    Villa boss Emery reflected on a performance that he said was proof of his side’s powers of recovery after their 3-2 loss to Legia Warsaw in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

    “Overall I think we are progressing,” he said. “We changed some players, we had some difficult injuries. The most important thing, we tried to create our style and ideas as quick as possible with the players we added this season.

    “The first way to get it I think is to be consistency defensively, be competitive like we were today.

    “We’ve been strong at home, playing really good and winning a lot of matches. But away we have to try to get the same performances and the same structure.

    “Today, to win here at Chelsea, 90 minutes everything that happened today was something normal. To win here is not easy. If the match had gone different we could have lost as well. I’m very happy. We felt strong defensively, better than the last match we played away.”

  • Ollie Watkins winner sees Aston Villa down 10-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Ollie Watkins winner sees Aston Villa down 10-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

    Chelsea went down to a third Premier League defeat of the season as Aston Villa won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge after Malo Gusto was shown a second-half red card.

    Villa broke away and scored through Ollie Watkins 17 minutes from the end, and though the 10 men laboured gainfully to get back into the game their goalless run in the league under Mauricio Pochettino stretched to three matches as they remained 14th.

    Chelsea were on top and looking far the likelier to score when a pitchside VAR decision just before the hour mark turned proceedings against them. Gusto had slid in on Lucas Digne and caught the defender on the ankle, and a yellow card was quickly upgraded to red for dangerous play.

    Pochettino’s side continued to attack in numbers and it would prove their undoing, Watkins outfoxing Levi Colwill to score on the rebound after the 10 men had poured forward, as Villa won for the second season running in front of an audibly frustrated home support in west London.

    Chelsea opened with a greater attacking purpose than they had shown in recent scoreless outings against Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth. After four minutes, Moises Caicedo took a chance and drilled low and hard from distance into the gloves of Emiliano Martinez, a comfortable enough save for Villa’s goalkeeper but an early show of intent from the home side.

    Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk were heavily involved during the opening 15 minutes, finding space without the ball and attacking Villa down either flank when in possession. Nicolas Jackson too showed pace and power through the middle as Chelsea threatened from all angles.

    But it was Villa, increasingly stretched at the back, who nearly took the lead and in the most spectacular fashion after 20 minutes. Douglas Luiz’s corner was only partially cleared, and the ball dropped out of the air to the waiting Digne who whacked an audacious looping volley from all of 35 yards that Robert Sanchez brilliantly tipped over the bar.

    Chelsea had not scored in the league since August but here they played through Villa with a confidence that belied their modest goal return of five under Pochettino.

    Mudryk tucked a superb ball in behind the defence for Jackson to run on to, the striker’s cunning to find space matching the brilliance of his teammate’s vision. Jackson went for the near post and Martinez turned it behind, but it was as fine an attacking move as Stamford Bridge had witnessed this season.

    Enzo Fernandez should have broken the deadlock when he shot first time from Gusto’s pull-back, the Argentinian failing to make the best of a good opening after Gusto had stretched every sinew keeping the ball in play.

    Sanchez saved acrobatically from Nicolo Zaniolo’s volley as Villa came on strong late in the half. At the other end Mudryk capped a lively first period when he raced away from Matty Cash and zipped the ball low across goal only to find that nobody in blue had gambled.

    Sterling began the second period as he had ended the first, racing away from Villa down the right and trying to tuck the ball inside Martinez’s near post. The goalkeeper spread himself well to smother, but Chelsea’s threat was growing.

    Then came a moment to turn to the tide of that pressure. Gusto’s challenge on Digne was late and caught the Villa defender on the ankle. The initial decision was yellow card, but a pitchside VAR review saw it upgraded to a red as boos rained down on the referee from home fans.

    The sending off did not drastically alter the course of things at first, Chelsea’s pressure on Villa’s defence remained. Yet it was ultimately to be their undoing.

    There seemed to be little on when Villa won the ball back high in the Chelsea half. One ball released Moussa Diaby who dashed into the space left by Gusto’s departure, and in a flash he fed Watkins.

    Colwill seemed to have things under control when he slid to block Watkins’ initial shot, but before he could recover and clear the Villa striker had taken up the ball and lashed his second effort past Sanchez from an angle and in off the far post.

    Ben Chilwell on as a substitute missed when one-on-one with Martinez, then moments later Axel Disasi, now moved out to right-back, burst into the box and skewed horribly wide as he lashed at his shot.

    Jacob Ramsey tested Sanchez when he stepped inside and curled towards the bottom corner, this time the goalkeeper finger-tipped the ball to safety.

    By then, Chelsea’s attacking rhythm had been critically disrupted, and Villa saw the win out amid a chorus of discontent around Stamford Bridge.

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