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Norwich 1 – 0 Brentford


Norwich took another giant step towards an immediate return to the Premier League by beating closest challengers Brentford 1-0 at Carrow Road.

A sixth consecutive Championship victory put the Canaries 10 points clear at the top of the table with just 12 games to go.

The game was settled with a moment of magic from midfielder maestro Emi Buendia who scored a brilliant individual goal in the middle of the first half to give the points to his team.

It was a fourth loss in six games for Brentford, who are now surely fighting for second place in automatic promotion with Swansea and Watford.

Picture:
Emi Buendia celebrates Norwich goal

The visitors made an impressive start and wasted a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after just 11 minutes.

Bryan Mbeumo jumped Dimitris Giannoulis over the right edge of the box and appears to have put him on a plate for Sergi Canos, but with the goal at his mercy, the former Norwich winger slipped as he prepared to shoot and didn’t even hit the target. .

Bees’ top scorer Ivan Toney then did well to secure a deep free-kick, his effort going straight into the arms of a grateful Tim Krul.

Norwich have always been a threat going forward and put their nose forward in the 25th minute with a superb goal from Buendia.

A quick counterattack saw the ball reach the Argentinian playmaker on the right and he passed two defenders to the edge of the box before beating David Raya with a perfectly judged low shot in the bottom corner.

It was Buendia’s 10th goal of the campaign and he almost added another assist to his tally at halftime.

Not for the first time this season, a beautiful crossing ball gave Teemu Pukki a breakthrough, but Raya produced a strong hand to deny the Finn and keep his side in the game.

Raya made another top drawer save to turn Pukki down again five minutes into the second half, pushing a sparkling shot from the edge of the box around the upright.

However, it was the visitors who held most of the ball but they were kept at bay by a well-trained City defense and Norwich nearly made two after 65 minutes.

Ben Gibson got his head on an inswinging Buendia free kick to test Raya, who then comfortably collected a snap from Onel Hernandez.

Toney sent in a narrow shot in the first minute of stoppage time, as there were strong calls for a penalty when Mbeumo fell into the area under a challenge from Grant Hanley, but Norwich earned the points.





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