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Match Reports

Buendia and Cantwell bring festive cheer in 2-0 win against Cardiff

19 December 2020

Norwich City stayed top of the Sky Bet Championship table with a professional 2-0 win at home to Cardiff City on Saturday, courtesy of goals from Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell.

Daniel Farke made two changes to the side that started Wednesday's 2-1 win at Reading, Cantwell and Mario Vrancic coming in for Josh Martin and Marco Stiepermann respectively.

The first half was full of Norwich attacks, starting with Jacob Sorensen finding Cantwell just outside the D, the latter seeing his shot blocked for a corner kick.

Norwich went close to breaking through in the 19th minute, Kenny McLean flicking a deep Buendia cross just wide of the post with his head.

McLean, Teemu Pukki, Cantwell and Vrancic all found their groove on the counter moments later, linking up with speed and precision before being denied by Greg Cunningham's last-ditch slide.

You'd have put your money on Pukki putting the Canaries in front in the 22nd minute, the Finn running behind Cardiff's defence and dragging a shot just wide after retrieving a well-timed pass from Cantwell.

Cardiff had their first sight of goal mid-way through the first half, Sean Morrison heading straight at Michael McGovern from Harry Wilson's free-kick.

But City's pressure paid off in the 27th minute, Buendia carrying the ball forward centrally to the edge of the 18-yard box and placing it into the bottom left corner for 1-0.

Sorensen sent a free-kick straight into the hands of Alex Smithies, before Wilson curled one wide of McGovern's near post.

The Norwich 'keeper, adorning a baseball cap in the low December sun, made a brilliant save with half-time approaching, diving to his right to deny Morrison from close-range who had again won a header from a Wilson free-kick.

City almost went two ahead in stoppage time, Buendia playing a lovely pass to Cantwell on the left, but the latter looked to curl the ball into the far corner and had his shot blocked.

half time v cardiff.jpg

In the second half, City had a flurry of chances on the counter-attack without being able to convert them, Pukki chipping the ball wide of the post early on.

Pukki had another shot caught by Smithies in the 59th minute, before Oliver Skipp did really well to send City from back to front. Cantwell, Pukki, Buendia and Vrancic were all involved, the latter dragging his shot just wide.

Buendia almost found the bottom left corner again after another City counter moments later, but this time Smithies got down to his right to push the ball out for a corner.

Vrancic was next to go close, shooting just wide from distance.

Eventually, Cardiff were broken down again. Cantwell picked the ball up about 25 yards from goal, took a few touches forward and leathered it into the top right corner for 2-0.

Cantwell teed up Buendia with less than ten minutes remaining, but the Argentine's shot went just wide of the post as City's desire for more goals remained.

Norwich City XI: McGovern (GK), Aarons (Tettey 90+2'), Hanley (C), Zimmermann, Sorensen, Skipp, McLean, Vrancic (Stiepermann 81'), Buendia (Dowell 85'), Cantwell, Pukki (Hugill 90+2')
Unused substitutes: Barden (GK), Omobamidele, Rupp, Martin, Omotoye
Goals: Buendia (27'), Cantwell (71')
Red cards:

Cardiff City XI: Smithies (GK), Morrison (C), Voulks, Bacuna, Ralls, Glatzel, Nelson, Cunningham, Pack (Hoilett 66'), Wilson, Ojo (Harris 76')
Unused substitutes: Phillips (GK), Benkovic, Whyte, Bamba, Bagan, Patten, Zimba
Bookings: Nelson (55'), Ojo (57'), Wilson (90+5')
Red cards:

HT: 1-0
Venue: Carrow Road
Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Tim Robinson

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