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Daniel Farke “unbelievably proud” as Norwich clinch Championship title

Norwich City v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Joe Giddens)

Norwich manager Daniel Farke was staying in the moment after watching his side beat Reading 4-1 at Carrow Road to seal the Championship title.

Kieran Dowell bagged a brace and Xavi Quintilla and Teemu Pukki added further goals after Josh Laurent had given the visitors the lead.

Farke said: “I’m not willing to think too much about the Premier League at this moment.

“We will just enjoy ourselves and value what we have done because this belongs to our supporters and the club.

“We have got the feeling we are better prepared as a club and will give it a real go as the only self-funding club to survive.

“If we are better than two years ago we will see but now we are thinking only of celebrations.

“I don’t want to be too scared of Liverpool and Manchester City and all the other top sides, we just want to enjoy ourselves.

“It feels a bit surreal to celebrate in an empty stadium but to bounce back from relegation with a second title in two years I’m not sure if any club has done that, it’s certainly a first for Norwich.

“It is the best season in the history of the club in terms of points but it has been such a difficult season in terms of the challenges after relegation and this pandemic. We are unbelievably proud and happy to bring some joy to the supporters.”

Reading had stunned the Canaries by taking a 12th minute lead through Laurent’s back-post header but Norwich equalised on the half-hour mark when Dowell capitalised on some poor defending, with an unnecessary back pass from Tom Holmes leading to a blocked clearance from Rafael Cabral.

The second half was one-way traffic and the hosts took the lead when Dowell doubled his tally after 64 minutes before late goals from Quintilla and Pukki – his 26th of the season – wrapped up a comfortable win.

As it turned out, Norwich would have been champions whatever the result, with second-placed Watford losing at Brentford, but the long-time leaders had performed their part of the bargain in style and will finish with 99 points if they win at Barnsley next weekend.

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic was magnanimous in defeat.

“I want to congratulate Norwich on winning the title,” he said. “They are a fantastic side and have been throughout the whole season.

“We came here to match up against a team that is the best this season and we did a very good job in the first half. Unfortunately we conceded a goal that was avoidable and made some mistakes where we could have done better.

“The second half we didn’t start well and they took over very quickly. They got their goal advantage, we tried to fight back but we conceded two more – the fourth was an unlucky mistake from an honest approach to the game, that’s all.”