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Norwich City 1-0 Brentford: Emi Buendia strike extends Championship leaders’ cushion to 10 points


Emi Buendia’s sweet low shot was his 10th Championship goal of the season

Norwich City moved 10 points clear at the top of the Championship as Emi Buendia’s sweet strike earned them a sixth successive win and dented second-placed Brentford’s automatic promotion chances.

The Canaries had little trouble seeing out victory at Carrow Road after the Argentine cut in from the right to find the bottom corner 26 minutes in.

Brentford’s best spell came before the goal, with Sergi Canos making a terrible mess of a glorious close-range chance and top scorer Ivan Toney failing to get a true connection on a volley.

Norwich took control after going ahead, with Teemu Pukki wasting a second glorious one-on-one opening their most notable miss.

But the hosts, with Grant Hanley outstanding in defence, did not need the cushion of a second goal, despite some strong late Brentford pressure, as the Canaries recorded a 22nd league win of the season.

Cute Canaries avoid Bees sting

The Bees were looking for a third successive win, but have now lost four of their past six games and lacked precision and tempo in their passing as they were kept at arm’s length for much of the evening.

City’s top scorer Pukki wasted two excellent chances at either end of the first half as a 19th goal in Norwich colours this season eluded him.

The Finn dinked his first effort wide when he went through one-on-one with keeper David Raya inside two minutes and he was thwarted by the Spaniard on the second occasion, Raya staying on his feet to block another chipped Pukki attempt following a swift counter-attack.

The Bees looked sharper and more incisive before falling behind, spurning two wonderful opportunities of their own.

After a venomous Canos strike forced Tim Krul into a decent save, the Spanish midfielder should have scored a few minutes later only to dribble a follow-up effort wide when Krul could only push away Bryan Mbeumo’s driven cross.

But they soon trailed as a sloppy Canos pass surrendered possession and the hosts worked the ball out to the right where Buendia cut in, evaded a couple of weak challenges and drilled a low shot into the far corner.

The Bees lacked cohesion thereafter, too often misplacing passes and allowing the home side to recover their defensive positions.

Norwich looked far likelier to score the second goal, Pukki smashing an effort wide and hitting an 18-yard shot that forced Raya into action, while defender Ben Gibson tamely headed at Raya from eight yards from a free-kick.

Toney and Henrik Dalsgaard were both off target late on, but the visitors could not force a leveller as Norwich made it 15 consecutive league games without losing on home soil for the first time since April 1987.

Line-ups

Norwich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 5Hanley
  • 34Gibson
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 20Skipp
  • 23McLean
  • 17Buendía
  • 8VrancicBooked at 51minsSubstituted forRuppat 69′minutes
  • 25HernándezBooked at 71minsSubstituted forSørensenat 83′minutes
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forHugillat 87′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Zimmermann
  • 7Rupp
  • 9Hugill
  • 10Dowell
  • 11Placheta
  • 19Sørensen
  • 27Tettey
  • 35Idah
  • 50Barden

Brentford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Raya
  • 22Dalsgaard
  • 23ReidBooked at 41minsSubstituted forRasmussenat 76′minutes
  • 5Pinnock
  • 29Bech Sørensen
  • 8Jensen
  • 27JaneltSubstituted forNørgaardat 67′minutes
  • 20GhoddosSubstituted forForssat 76′minutes
  • 19Mbeumo
  • 17Toney
  • 7CanósSubstituted forFosu-Henryat 67′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Nørgaard
  • 9Marcondes
  • 15Forss
  • 24Fosu-Henry
  • 28Daniels
  • 30Rasmussen
  • 31Zamburek
  • 37Gilbert
  • 41Bidstrup

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