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 By Paddy Davitt

Dieumerci Mbokani and Nathan Redmond give Norwich reason to smile

Norwich City went down fighting but that only made Premier League relegation harder to digest after a 4-2 win over Watford.

The Canaries' fate was sealed by Sunderland's 3-0 victory over Everton in the northeast but, in truth, Norwich will look back at some missed opportunities this season when the post-mortem begins in earnest.

Nathan Redmond was unplayable at times, hauling his side back on level terms after Troy Deeney's opener, before Dieumerci Mbokani and Craig Cathcart's own goal eased City into a comfortable lead.

Odion Igahlo notched his first goal in 13 games following the interval but Mbokani's second earned a first win in six. That was cold comfort as news filtered in from the Stadium of Light. But Norwich fans embarked on a remarkable show of support, despite the dawning realisation their men were closing in on a swift return to the Championship.

The renewal of a bitter rivalry with Ipswich Town was almost celebrated before Alex Neil was hailed like a conquering hero on a lap of appreciation at the final whistle. Neil was again asked about his future after the game but for now, there is only sadness and pain at failing to keep his club in the top flight.

City bow out at Everton on Sunday before a huge summer of renewal is required to meet the challenge of bouncing back at the first attempt.

Norwich CityNorwich City
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Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK John Ruddy, 6 -- Will feel he should have held Odion Ighalo's shot that was crashed home on the rebound by Deeney for Watford's first goal.

DF Ivo Pinto, 6 -- Not quite the attacking presence of the previous two games but again showed enough to suggest he could establish himself as Norwich's longer-term right-back.

DF Russell Martin, 6 -- Far too weak in the challenge with Deeney that saw the Watford captain square for Ighalo to slot the visitors' second goal.

DF Ryan Bennett, 6 -- Failed to track the darting run of Ighalo for Watford's second. Appeared to visibly tire in the closing stages after his recent viral infection.

DF Martin Olsson, 6 -- Fine attacking outlet down the left in the first period. One of Norwich's better performers over the finale.

MF Nathan Redmond, 8 -- Two assists, a goal and struck the post on two other occasions. This was vintage Redmond but sadly it may prove to be his last outing in a Norwich shirt at Carrow Road.

Dieumerci Mbokani and Nathan Redmond
Nathan Redmond and Dieumerci Mbokani were the stars of the show on Wednesday.

MF Gary O'Neil, 7 -- Combative to the extent he actually tackled Redmond in the early skirmishes.

MF Graham Dorrans, 7 -- Rare start with Jonny Howson ruled out for the season with a knee injury but given time and space, Dorrans showed his range of passing. His trigger pass sparked Norwich's first goal.

MF Wes Hoolahan, 7 -- Deflected cross produced Norwich's third goal via a deflection off Craig Cathcart. Much more involved than recent weeks with City on the front foot.

MF Steven Naismith, 7 -- Best outing since his debut for the club in January. Assist for Nathan Redmond's goal and looked keen to impress.

FW Dieumerci Mbokani, 8 -- A goal in each half and a constant menace to the Watford backline. Mbokani is on course to be Norwich's leading Premier League goalscorer this season.

Substitutes

MF Robbie Brady, n/a -- One surging run earned a stoppage time free kick.

MF Matt Jarvis, n/a -- Tucked in down the left but little or no impression.

MF Vadis Odjidja, n/a -- Booked for kicking the ball away.

Paddy is the chief Norwich City correspondent for media group Archant. He has covered the Canaries for more than 10 years. Twitter: @paddyjdavitt.

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