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Saturday, 11 August, 2001, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Millwall 4-0 Norwich
Steven Reid and Stuart Nethercott celebrate
Steven Reid's first-half stunner put Millwall two up
Steven Reid's wonder goal summed up the panache of Millwall's return to Division One as the home side kept the Canaries caged.

The self-belief of the Division Two champions was clear to see as Norwich had no answer to their hosts' prominent display which produced two goals in each half.

Reid's sizzling 35-yard drive bent in the air before zipping past Robert Green's outstretched arm to put Millwall 2-0 up at the break.

The first goal arrived with just over 10 minutes gone when Steve Claridge slotted home from six yards.

Steve Claridge
Steve Claridge got the ball rolling

The Norwich defence was clearly ring rusty from the summer break and they allowed David Livermore, via Paul Ifill, to feed Claridge.

After stumbling over the ball, the veteran hitman even had time for two attempts before stabbing home beyond Green.

Norwich had begun playing a dangerous game and had a lucky escape when Malky MacKay bundled down lanky striker Richard Sadlier in the box.

The visitors were on the back-foot throughout and when skipper Neil Emblen limped off in the first half, Norwich were a rudderless ship.

Close-range header

Livermore and Reid both saw speculative shots come close and Tim Cahill, always a potent threat arriving late in the box, forced a fine reflex stop from Green.

But at the other end Tony Warner had hardly anything to do.

The former Liverpool keeper managed to kick Zema Abbey's bobbling drive around the post and also saved the Norwich striker's close-range header later on.

But they were rare sorties into the Millwall half, with Norwich's forward momentum snuffed out by the youthful Lions' midfield.

With Ifill, Reid and Claridge pulling the strings, it was not long into the second period that the game was put beyond doubt.

Again Reid was the fulcrum, sending a 25-yard drive that Green could only block, allowing Cahill to sweep up from close in.

The result was then confirmed as a deflected Lucas Neill effort left Green with no chance again.


Millwall: Warner, Ryan, Nethercott, Livermore, Dyche, Neill, Cahill, Ifill, Reid, Claridge, Sadlier. Subs: Gueret, Odunsi, Bircham, Bull, Phillips.

Norwich: Green, Drury, Fleming, Kenton, Mackay, Emblen, Holt, Mulryne, Roberts, Abbey, Llewellyn. Subs: McGovern, Russell, McVeigh, Easton, Crichton.

Referee: M Fletcher (Warley)

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Steve Lee
"Any questions about Millwall's credentials were erased"
Millwall boss Mark Mc Ghee
"On the first day back in Division One you can't imagine you would win 4-0"
See also:

08 Aug 01 |  Eng Div 1
Division One runners and riders
Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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