Brighton beat Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road on Saturday to all but secure their Premier League safety and push Norwich closer towards a prompt return to the second-tier.
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Leandro Trossard swept home the only goal of the game in the first half as Brighton defended well and Norwich had plenty of possession, as always, but couldn’t make it count.
With the win Brighton move on to 36 points, while Norwich have lost all four of their games since the restart and remain bottom of the table on 21 points, seven points from safety with five games to go.
Three things we learned
1. Same old story for Norwich: Lovely flicks, patient build up and then, well, nothing. Norwich are good to watch, their full backs bomb on in support of attacks but they had no cutting edge at all. Then they were hit on the counter time and time again as Brighton just had to connect a few passes out wide to be down the other end of the pitch in moments. Norwich have tried to play the right way but since December there’s be no cutting edge up top and that is why they are likely to be relegated. Norwich have lost six-straight games in all competitions and they just haven’t been good enough this season.
2. Brighton solid and safe: This win means Brighton are all but safe from relegation as they sit nine points above the bottom three with five games to go. Brighton have Man City and Liverpool to play in their next two but Graham Potter’s side have picked up seven points from the first 12 available since the restart and they were solid defensively, kept mistakes to a minimum and were dangerous on the break. Job done for the Seagulls and Potter’s first season in charge has been a big success in terms of staying up (pretty much) and their new style of play.
3. Next two games crucial for Canaries: All is not lost. They have to play relegation rivals Watford and West Ham in their next two games and they just have to win both. They have to. That will be a tall order but if they play the way they did in the first half against Brighton, they can get results. Their final three games of the season are against Burnley, Chelsea and Man City. Time is running out, though, as they try to stop a fifth relegation from the Premier League.
Man of the Match
Tariq Lamptey – The youngster was a January addition from Chelsea and he’s slotted in really well out wide. Lamptey offers an outlet at right back and works hard defensively. Brighton look like they’ve got themselves a bargain.
After a free kick found him at the back post, Aaron Connolly smashed a shot just over the bar as Brighton had the first big chance but Norwich started the better of the two teams.
Onel Hernandez had a shot blocked after cutting inside and the Canaries had plenty of possession as they tried to force the issue in the first half. Hernandez went close again soon after but just after the water break Brighton took the lead against the run of play.
Maupay played in Aaron Mooy down the right as his cross was perfect for the arriving Trossard to steer home and put Brighton 1-0 up.
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In the second half Brighton went close through Connolly as his shot was blocked, while at the other end Emiliano Buendia had his shot blocked by Lewis Dunk.
Norwich huffed and puffed as they tried to get back in the game but despite bringing on Pukki, Cantwell and Adam Idah.
Idah flicked an effort past Mat Ryan in stoppage time but it hit the post and came back out as Farke’s side ran out of ideas and are now surely heading straight back to the Championship.