There is an old saying in football that great players conjure up crucial moments in important games. Emi Buendia proved himself to be that player when Norwich City beat Brentford 1-0.
In a pulsating and tactical affair between the top two on Carrow Road, the little Argentine brought another wonderful piece of magic to the table for the leaders three key points to secure.
Brentford tirelessly sought an equalizer in the second half, but this was a victory achieved through sheer transplant and defensive determination. As Daniel Farke’s warriors found their way through a lot of work, Alex Tettey and the others who warmed up encouraged and trained from the sidelines.
Ivan Toney, a striker on the way, set the record for goals in a single championship season crack has been reduced to very little. Their defense was brave, intelligent, but never the last ditch.
The roar that greeted the final whistle served as confirmation. This was a seismic victory and Norwich City knew it. The celebrations should have been shared by a crowd on Carrow Road, but this was another moment coronavirus stole all of us.
Farke, a coach who prefers continuity and consistency, named an unchanged starting XI after It was confirmed that Todd Cantwell would be sidelined with a calf injury that prevented him from beating Wycombe on Sunday.
Onel Hernandez kept his starting XI with Przemek Placheta on the bench. Mario Vrancic started again as number 10 when Farke defied demands for Kieran Dowell.
Brentford was without influential midfielder Josh DaSilva due to a persistent hip complaint, he was replaced by Mathias Jensen. The 22-year-old is unlikely to be seen until the end of this month’s international break.
Rico Henry was also dismissed with a hamstring injury, which meant Mads Bech Sorensen was forced to play out of position as a left-back. Championship top scorer Ivan Toney led the line for the bees.
Both sides observed a minute’s silence and wore black armbands to commemorate former city manager Glenn Roeder, who aged on Sunday died of 65 years.
City had the unique opportunity to land an early blow within the first two minutes when Buendia Teemu Pukki galloped through the gate. The Finn hit David Raya for the ball, but saw his chip land on the wrong side of the post.
Brentford’s first opening came after Toney tossed the ball at Bryan Mbeumo in front of Ben Gibson, which meant the There was space for visitors to walk inside. The bees worked the ball on Sergi Canos, who cut and shot inward. Tim Krul dived to his right and the effort went away.
An excellent play by Mbeumo led him to hit and cross Dimitris Giannoulis in the penalty area. Krul parried it in the ex-City winger’s path, but rubbed off his efforts and the Canaries were able to clear.
Brentford was a real test for City. From the Canary Islands point of view, the goal was to generate sales and meet them on the counter. This worked perfectly when Buendia scored the first goal of the game.
Giannoulis’ interception of a headstrong move from Canos sparked a violent breakout from town. Buendia picked up the ball on the right before drifting inward and given the room to ripple a ball behind David Raya to bring the Canaries forward.
City could have doubled its lead on the sidelines of half-time after Buendia showed more brilliance, whose wonderfully weighted pass gave Pukki a clear path to goal. The striker was in such a rich form of scoring but wanted to throw the ball behind Raya just so the goalkeeper could save with a strongly outstretched right hand.
Pukki saw another attempt by Raya five minutes after the break when he benefited from Kenny McLean’s flick-on.
The striker kept the ball alive before shooting in and firing a violent shot that bounced off the surface. Brentford’s goalkeeper made an impressive stop to spin him far.
Brentford was very lucky not to be reduced to 10 when Winston Reid, who was already yellow carded, was late at Vrancic outside the area . Tim Robinson opted to let the challenge go unpunished, but replay suggests the West Ham borrower should have been sent off.
Pukki saw another chance begging after Buendia left her behind. The Finn caught his attempt but failed to get the ball to the goal.
The win put Norwich 10 points away from Thomas Frank as the march back to the Premier League continues.
Norwich’s Emiliano Buendia scores his team’s first goal at the Sky Bet Championship game on Carrow Road in Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Ltd 44 7904 640267
– Photo credit: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Ltd.
– Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Giannoulis; Skipp, McLean; Buendia, Vrancic (Rupp, 69), Hernandez (Sorensen, 83); Pukki (Hugill, 87). Unused Subs: Barden (GK), Zimmermann, Tettey, Dowell, Placheta, Idah
– Brentford (4-3-3): Raya; Dalsgaard (C), Reid (Roerslev, 76), Pinnock, Sorensen; Jensen, Janelt (Norgaard, 67), Ghoddos (Forss, 76); Canos (Fosu, 67), Toney, Mbuemo. Unused subs: Daniels (GK), Gilbert, Zamburek, Bidstrup, Marcondes
This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry is facing test times, so we ask for your support. Any contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that will make a measurable difference for our community.