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Norwich City 2-1 Nottingham Forest: Emiliano Buendia strikes as Canaries regain top spot in Championship

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Emi Buendia
Emi Buendia’s winner was his fourth goal of the season

Norwich City regained top spot in the Championship as Emi Buendia’s deflected strike earned victory over a Nottingham Forest side who have now picked up just one point in six matches.

Buendia fired home via the unfortunate Joe Worrall just four minutes after substitute Anthony Knockaert had drawn the Reds level with a teasing cross that eluded everyone and found the net.

Forest almost broke the deadlock in the first half through a Joe Lolley shot that hit the post, but the Canaries went ahead in first-half injury time when Jacob Sorensen found the net with a low strike.

Knockaert’s equaliser was reward for a much-improved performance by the visitors.

But the excellent Buendia’s effort earned a second successive 2-1 win in front of the returning fans at Carrow Road and sent Norwich three points clear of second-placed Bournemouth at the top of the table.

Knockaert’s goal – his first since reuniting with Forest’s former Norwich boss Chris Hughton – did at least end a run of five games without a goal for Forest.

But it will be scant consolation as they hover just one point above fierce local rivals Derby County, who occupy the final relegation place.

Norwich, with the impressive Mario Vrancic orchestrating play from midfield, just about had the better of a tight first half.

Vrancic and Buendia both had shots beaten away by keeper Brice Samba, while Lolley went closest for the visitors after a typically lively darting run from the right.

But Sorensen’s measured strike put the Canaries ahead and they almost made it 2-0 after the restart when Marco Stiepermann forced Samba into another fine save, while Teemu Pukki also went close.

Lolley then sent a free-kick wide at the other end before Knockaert’s quality finally produced a Reds goal, only for Buendia to secure the points in the cruellest of circumstances.

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Norfolk:

“I couldn’t be prouder. We are struggling with injuries at the moment. We were outstanding in the first half when we dominated and created so much.

“It is hard to score against a good team who played a good game with so many bodies in their own box. They have unbelievable quality and in the second half they showed their quality. They have top-class players.

“After the equaliser the lads showed a great reaction, scored a great possession goal and in the last few minutes we had to fight with spirit and togetherness to get over the line.”

Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton told BBC Radio Nottingham:

It’s a disappointing one as I don’t think it’s one we deserved. I got a reaction in the second half and once we got the equaliser I couldn’t see us losing the game.

“The character in the second half was better. But we can’t deny we are on a bad run. There is some encouragement but again disappointment with the result.

“We are not in a false position. The league doesn’t lie. I think we are better than the results we are getting, but what we need to do is start picking up points.”

Line-ups

Norwich

  • 33McGovern
  • 2AaronsBooked at 74mins
  • 6Zimmermann
  • 5Hanley
  • 19Lungi Sørensen
  • 20SkippBooked at 53mins
  • 8Vrancic
  • 17BuendíaBooked at 59minsSubstituted forMcLeanat 83′minutes
  • 18StiepermannSubstituted forTetteyat 76′minutes
  • 24MartinSubstituted forCantwellat 76′minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forOmotoyeat 90+3′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Hugill
  • 10Dowell
  • 14Cantwell
  • 23McLean
  • 27Tettey
  • 44Omobamidele
  • 50Barden
  • 53Omotoye

Nottm Forest

  • 30Samba
  • 2ChristieSubstituted forJenkinsonat 86′minutes
  • 3Figueiredo
  • 4Worrall
  • 5Ribeiro
  • 21SowBooked at 27minsSubstituted forMightenat 86′minutes
  • 18Ribeiro Dias
  • 23Lolley
  • 31ArterSubstituted forKnockaertat 71′minutes
  • 11Ameobi
  • 33TaylorSubstituted forGuerreroat 63′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Mbe Soh
  • 12Smith
  • 16Jenkinson
  • 17Mighten
  • 19Guerrero
  • 20Dawson
  • 28Knockaert
  • 44Ioannou
  • 48Swan

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