Norwich thrash Blackburn as Owen Coyle suffers nightmare start at Ewood Park
Three goals in the first 25 minutes gave Norwich the perfect reintroduction to Sky Bet Championship football as they thrashed Blackburn 4-1.
Jacob Murphy capped his first Norwich league start with a spectacular opener after 12 minutes, before Wes Hoolahan's low drive doubled the lead and Cameron Jerome's close range strike ensured the game was over as a contest midway through the opening period.
Steven Naismith's low strike made it four early in the second half before substitute Anthony Stokes headed a debut consolation.
It was the worst possible start for Owen Coyle, whose side conceded four on the opening day for the first time since 1990.
Norwich fans were celebrating a first opening-day triumph since 2002.
Liam Feeney was handed a second Rovers debut, having previously been on loan at the club, while Alex Neil handed Murphy a league bow and it did not take long for him to make an impact.
The youngster first let the home defence know his intentions five minutes in when he was on the end of a slick passing move but could only slice wide.
He was not so forgiving in the 12th minute when he picked the ball up 25 yards out and superbly wriggled free of attention before unleashing a ferocious hit that crashed into the roof of the Blackburn net.
Things got worse for the home faithful five minutes later when another sweeping Norwich passing move found Hoolahan whose first touch took him into the area and he was able to make space all too easily to fire into the bottom left corner.
The nightmare introduction to life at Ewood Park continued for Coyle with a third in the 25th minute which left the home fans furious, and some to even make their exit.
Hoolahan was the architect again after Rovers needlessly surrendered possession and he fed Ivo Pinto who crossed on the right for Jerome to slide in despite Jason Steele's best efforts.
The game had a training exercise feel to it and Norwich went close to a fourth soon after the interval as Naismith found Murphy on the right but Steele diverted his low shot on to a post.
It was only a temporary reprieve thought, Hoolahan nonchalantly nutmegged Adam Henley to find Naismith in the 58th minute and he easily fired in from 12 yards.
Substitute Stokes at least tried to lift the mood
First he rose highest to head home Feeney's 67th minute cross and late on, curled a low free-kick which was fumbled.
But it did not matter as Norwich made a strong statement of their intentions this season with an emphatic win.
Source : PA