Norwich 1-0 Brentford: Emi Buendia hits Canaries winner
Three defeats in a row for new Brentford boss Thomas Frank.
Last Updated: 27/10/18 8:38pm
In-form Norwich claimed their third straight Sky Bet Championship win after Emi Buendia's goal saw them claim a 1-0 victory over Brentford at Carrow Road.
The Canaries could even afford to miss a penalty as they firmly consolidated their position in the top six, with the Bees suffering another defeat another new boss Thomas Frank.
The game was settled by a well taken first half goal from Buendia, with Jordan Rhodes going on to miss from the spot just before half-time.
That miss did not matter in the end, although it would been a different story had the Bees taken the one clear opportunity that came their way all afternoon, with top scorer Neal Maupay somehow hitting the bar when presented with an open goal midway through the second period.
Brentford made a bright start, with former Norwich winger Sergi Canos testing Tim Krul with a couple of snap-shots.
Ollie Watkins then fired wastefully over after being set up by Maupay, but the in-form hosts gradually got a foothold in the game and midway through the half Buendia should have done better when the ball was cut back to him by Marco Stiepermann.
It was was not long before the Argentine playmaker took centre stage however. With 34 minutes on the clock central defender Timm Klose picked out his run with a superb long ball and Buendia did the rest, flicking the ball past the onrushing Daniel Bentley to record his first goal since joining the club in the summer from Spanish outfit Getafe.
All of a sudden the Bees' defence looked all at sea and City very nearly doubled their advantage in their next attack, with Rhodes screwing a low shot just wide of the far post after good work from Todd Cantwell.
It should have been 2-0 just before the break when Norwich were awarded a penalty after Watkins had blocked the run of Max Aarons as the youngster burst into the box in an attempt to get on the end of a Jamal Lewis cross.
But keeper Bentley guessed right and comfortably saved Rhodes' spot-kick, with referee Oliver Langford blowing for half-time seconds later.
Rhodes headed a Buendia corner just over as the Canaries continued to press during the early stages of the second period.
As the rain teemed down Brentford had more than their fair share of possession, but were finding difficult to penetrate a well organised home back four, with Krul a spectator for long periods.
Their big opportunity finally arrived in the 73rd minute - and top scorer Maupay fluffed his lines horribly. Krul did well to keep out shots from substitutes Said Benrahma and Lewis Macleod but the net was gaping when Maupay latched on to the second rebound. But from just outside the six yard box the French striker lost his footing on the greasy surface and smashed the ball against the crossbar when it looked easier to score.
With less than eight minutes remaining, Norwich finally worked a chance of their own, but with a clear sight of goal an overlapping Cantwell could only fire weakly at Bentley.
Brentford forced a couple of late corners but the hosts saw out the game with the minimum of fuss.
Daniel Farke: "In situations like that, when players are chasing a long ball, they usually take a touch. But Emi has shown his class by taking it first time and beating the goalkeeper. It was a goalscoring masterclass.
"He is a player with great technical ability and you saw it there. But he also works very hard for the team and I am so pleased for him that he now has his first goal."
Thomas Frank: "I think the result was very harsh on us - to me it should have been a 1-1 game. But we can't feel sorry for ourselves. This is all part of football and you have to deal with it. We will keeping working hard and if we keep playing like we did today, and against Bristol City last week, we will start winning games again soon.
"I thought we started the game really well and created five or six really good counter-attacks but the end product was poor. Then we give away a soft goal from a long ball, which was really disappointing."