Sigurdsson brace earns hosts deserved victoryNORWICH City succumbed to a 2-0 defeat against a quality Tottenham Hotspur side on Saturday afternoon.
Gylfi Sigurdsson notched both goals for the hosts as they earned a merited three points at White Hart Lane.
City will be disappointed not to have offered more in the final third, with their best opportunities coming through Ricky van Wolfswinkel in either half.
Chris Hughton named an unchanged line-up from the win over Southampton, but supporters will have been delighted to see Gary Hooper named among the substitutes after he recovered from a shin injury in time.
Spurs gave a debut to deadline day signing Christian Eriksen, with former Canary loanee Kyle Naughton named on the bench.
Sigurdsson and Andros Townsend both tried to test John Ruddy from long-range early on, and Spurs went close to opening the scoring on 11 minutes.
Eriksen worked himself some space in the box, and after his low shot was parried by Ruddy, Roberto Soldado’s backheel on the rebound was blocked on the line by Sebastien Bassong.
City’s skipper then deflected a Soldado shot over the bar on 25 minutes with the home team dominating the ball, and they got their reward three minutes later.
Soldado held up the ball up well and laid it off to Eriksen, and he timed his pass to perfection for the on-running Sigurdsson, who stroked the ball into the bottom corner past Ruddy.
Norwich were struggling to keep the ball in the opposition’s half for any sustained period but were unfortunate when Danny Rose just got a foot to van Wolfswinkel’s shot after a good cross by Nathan Redmond.
Soldado then flicked a Kyle Walker cross wide on 40 minutes, but they couldn’t add to their single goal lead before the break.
HALF-TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Norwich City
Four minutes into the second half, City’s task grew even harder as Tottenham doubled their advantage, however.
Brazilian midfielder Paulinho found himself in space on the right-hand side after being found my Eriksen, and he slid a ball across the six-yard box that Sigurdsson met at the back-post to tap home his second.
The former Reading and Swansea City man was hungry for a hat-trick and stung Ruddy’s gloves with a piledriver on 61 minutes, and Norwich’s keeper kept out Townsend with his feet moments later.
City had their first real opening of the half when they won a set-piece and the right – Robert Snodgrass’ delivery bounced out to Redmond, and the winger’s left-footed drive fell to van Wolfswinkel in the box.
Regrettably, City’s striker took a second too long to get his shot away and it was eventually cleared.
Tottenham were in complete control of the game as it entered its final phase, but Norwich got a break on 85 when Hugo Lloris was booked for inadvertently handling outside the area when coming to punch the ball clear.
Unfortunately, Snodgrass' effort was blocked by the wall and that proved to be the game's last main action.
FULL-TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Norwich City
GOALS: Tottenham Hotspur: Gylfi Sigurdsson (28, 49)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Lloris; Walker, Dawson (c), Vertonghen, Rose; Paulinho, Dembele (Lamela 83); Sigurdsson (Sandro 79), Eriksen (Holtby 71), Townsend; Soldado. Subs not used: Friedel (GK), Kaboul, Naughton, Defoe.
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Bassong (c), Turner, Garrido; Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson (Howson 64), Redmond (Pilkington 74); Elmander (Tettey 74); van Wolfswinkel. Subs not used: Bunn (GK), Martin, Hooper, Olsson.