Norwich City were relegated from the Premier League despite a 4-2 comeback win over Watford at Carrow Road on Wednesday evening.
Alex Neil's side knew that their fate was out of their hands and Sunderland's 3-0 win over Everton confirmed the Canaries' fate.
However, the performance on the night was not one of a group of players whose heads had dropped, despite an early setback.
Watford striker Troy Deeney met a long ball forward, nodding down for striker partner Odion Ighalo, but goalkeeper John Ruddy failed to gather the loose ball and Deeney tucked in the rebound. A resigned silence fell on Carrow Road.
But the lead lasted just four minutes as Nathan Redmond set about showing he is top-flight class. The winger played a one-two with Steven Naismith and drilled shot through the legs of Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes.
Having ended a 375-minute wait for a Norwich goal, another followed three minutes later when Redmond cut inside on the left and shot across goal. The ball rebounded off the post, but Dieumerci Mbokani was on hand to tuck home.
An inspired Redmond was at it again as he fired wide from the edge of the area and soon after he jinked inside and prodded the ball against the post as Norwich's dominance continued.
Martin Olsson had scored Norwich's most recent goal prior to kick-off -- a stoppage-time winner in a 3-2 defeat of Newcastle on April 2 -- and he went close to stretching the lead with a long-range effort that Gomes saved at full stretch.
And Wes Hoolahan, who was a fine second foil to Redmond, tried repeatedly to craft a third -- and did so after 37 minutes. Allan Nyom slipped attempting to intercept Redmond's ball to Hoolahan, and the playmaker's cross was diverted the ball into his own net by Craig Cathcart.
Norwich supporters were jubilant, but no sooner had they dared to dream of the great escape than news filtered through that Sunderland had opened the scoring at the Stadium of Light.
The Norwich players were made aware of their predicament, too, when Watford's fans sang of the score on Wearside.
Neil's side continued to push forward regardless, and both Naismith and Hoolahan were denied by Gomes before Norwich were applauded off by their impressed supporters at half-time.
Watford pulled a goal back after the break when Deeney crossed and Ighalo side-footed in to end his 12-match scoreless run in the Premier League.
And news of Sunderland taking a 3-0 lead followed, before Norwich's fourth.
Redmond and Mbokani combined and the striker stayed onside before lifting the ball over Gomes.
"Ipswich Town, we're coming for you," sang the Norwich faithful as the full-time whistle blew, trying to take some positives on a night when the club returned to the Championship.