Norwich City's performance and result against Brentford was a 'massive step' in pursuit of Premier League return
Wednesday night’s 1-0 victory over Brentford feels like a massive step towards the Premier League for Norwich City.
A wonderful first-half goal from Emi Buendia was enough to secure all three points and make it six wins on the bounce.
It would of course be naïve to think mission is anywhere near accomplished, but with 12 games to go, we find ourselves in a commanding position at the top of the table – having moved 10 points clear of the Bees in second.
As team performances go, it was near faultless from Daniel Farke’s side.
Defensively, Grant Hanley and Ben Gibson dealt comfortably with the threat of 25-goal striker Ivan Toney – ably assisted in the wide areas by Max Aarons and the ever-improving Dimitris Giannoulis.
At the other end of the pitch, Buendia once again demonstrated why he is by far the best player in the Championship – with his low strike proving to be the decisive moment in the game.
But the real difference was in midfield, where Kenny McLean and Oliver Skipp took control of proceedings and stopped Brentford from ever getting going.
The partnership between McLean and Skipp has flourished this season and the level of protection they provide the back-line is one the key reasons why we have become so difficult to beat.
In truth, when Skipp arrived on loan from Spurs last summer, I don’t think even he could have imagined what a successful spell he would have at Carrow Road.
The 20-year-old very quickly established himself as a first-team regular and has been remarkably consistent for a player of his age and experience, starting all 34 league games to date.
There is no doubt Skipp’s future lies at the highest level, but should promotion be achieved, one of the first priorities must be to try to secure his services for another year.
That is of course a conversation for another day – the most important thing is to get the job done, starting with three points against Luton tomorrow.