Adam Brandon taking review duties, on a comfortable night for City.....
ChAmPiOnS-eLeCt Brentford losing?
Maybe, but seriously…
I think we’ve always known it, but if it wasn’t obvious before this month then the last two games have highlighted it further.
Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki are the most feared duo in The Championship. Nothing illustrates better the understanding these two players have than Norwich’s first goal. A Buendía to Pukki classic.
We’re a different side when those two are in full flow and it is a pleasure to watch them play for our club.
Matty James and Julien Dacosta are the latest pair of opposition players to be allowed by the referee to “play for free” as football fans say in South America.
Against Swansea it was Marc Guehi and Conor Hourihane.
Against Stoke it was just Nick Powell, but he could have been sent off for dissent alone about four times.
I was furious with the referee and fellow Norwich fans after the Middlesbrough game regarding the Emi Buendía red card and all the evidence presented since convinces me I was right. How humble of me, I know. No confirmation bias here.
Look at how much better we are defending from the front with him in the side. He is an incredibly intense player that reportedly even annoys his teammates in training with the level of commitment he shows.
I’ll always maintain that you can only try and curb that to a point before you lose the essence of what makes him great.
Ultimately, there will always be a referee who decides he is trouble. It is hugely frustrating that he clearly has a reputation now despite being one of the players most sinned against in the league.
Moment of the Match
The second goal. We were completely dominant after we went a goal up and the Norwich short passing machine was running with precision.
We had already missed a couple of good chances to make the half-time oranges (or is it energy drinks?) taste even sweeter. So when Pukki stole the ball to play Buendía in to score I quite literally breathed a sigh of relief.
I wonder if he regrets some of the line-up decisions he made against Millwall and Swansea. McLean and Skipp in midfield just works.
A quiet night for Farke as he selected an unchanged XI that went out and did the job we expected of them.
Of the subs, Dowell came on first and that felt significant. You get the feeling Farke will probably replace Vrančić with Dowell once the signing from Everton is up to speed.
Random Star Performer
His first couple of appearances were understandably unconvincing, but now the man from Greece with a thirst for Norwich is really beginning to look the player we were promised. The balance of the side now feels the best it has been all season and he is becoming increasingly confident going forward.
Also a special mention to Oliver Skipp who has gone to another level in the past couple of games and is the main reason we have kept clean sheets recently, especially with those behind him making errors. The 20-year-old Spurs loanee’s reading of the game is that of a seasoned Premier League defensive midfielder worth tens of millions. The fact we know Jacob Lungi Sorensen is likely to be a very capable replacement is reassuring too, although I’d still love to see Skipp in a Norwich shirt in the Premier League next season.
As a long-term defender of Todd, one thing I didn’t understand after this game was him getting MOTM. It was a 7/10 display, but nothing more. It is also a great example of how results can influence people’s perceptions of player’s performances.
Cantwell had a better game in our 2-0 defeat to Swansea but was castigated by many despite being the only one to offer creativity and bravery on the ball that night.
We are good again and we will go up if Emiliano Buendía plays the vast majority of games between now and May.
Same as it ever was.