Gabriele Cioffi described Crawley’s first victory over Premier League opposition as a dream come true after they dumped Norwich out of the Carabao Cup.
Bez Lubala’s deflected strike settled the second-round tie in the League Two club’s favour to leave Broadfield Stadium bouncing.
Italian Cioffi said he envisaged nights like this when he was appointed Red Devils head coach in September 2018.
“I never saw the People’s Pension Stadium rocking this way and the first time I stepped inside the stadium I had this vision,” he said, referring to the ground by its sponsored name.
“Tonight was what I was dreaming.
“They (the supporters) have been amazing. We have written history because Crawley has never beaten a Premier League club.”
Congo-born Lubala fired home via the aid of a deflection off Canaries debutant Adam Idah in the 17th minute and – despite the visitors twice hitting the woodwork – the hosts held on for a famous victory.
The 21-year-old has hit five goals since arriving on a free transfer from Birmingham in the summer and hailed the giant killing as possibly the greatest occasion of his short career.
“(I’m) Happy for nights like this. It’s a great night for the club,” said Lubala.
“It (the goal) is something we worked on in training. This is probably the best night of my career so far.”
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke changed his entire starting XI in West Sussex following Saturday’s defeat to Chelsea.
Debutant Patrick Roberts struck a post in the first half, while substitute Emiliano Buendia rattled the crossbar after the break.
Despite being unhappy with the embarrassing early exit, the German was more concerned about a serious knee injury sustained by Timm Klose.
Swiss defender Klose – making his first appearance since April – was substituted in the first half after a collision with Crawley forward Panutche Camara and his manager fears he may not play again this season.
“Congratulations to Crawley, they invested everything today, they’ve fought for their life today,” said Farke.
“They deserve to celebrate. We are disappointed without a doubt.
“My thoughts are more with my players at the moment because concerns over injuries. And the first news I got from my medical department was more or less horrible.
“The first diagnosis with Timm Klose is ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and that would mean he’s out for, probably until the end of the season, or at least he’s out until March or April, or something like this.”
The usually mild-mannered Farke became frustrated in the second half and was shown a yellow card from referee John Busby as the game slipped away.
Asked about the booking, he replied: “I don’t want to speak about the referee – I think there were four, five penalty incidents or whatever.
“It’s up to you guys to judge what he’s done during this game so I won’t comment.”
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