Brentford beaten by Norwich in top-two clash


Emi Buendia scored a quality goal as Brentford narrowly lost the top-of-the-table battle at Norwich.

The highly-rated midfielder pounced in a swift counter-attack and beat three Bees players, before firing a low shot into the bottom corner.

The Bees started the game well but hardly created anything after falling behind. They had plenty of possession in the second half, but failed to trouble Canaries goalkeeper Tim Krul, while David Raya made three saves after the break and one superb one just before it.

Brentford finally came close three times in second-half injury-time, but it was too little, too late as they slipped 10 points behind Norwich.

Sergi Canos had started brightly against his former club, forcing Krul to save a fierce shot, but he then missed a good chance when Krul pushed a Bryan Mbeumo cross straight to him.

Ivan Toney then nearly reached a free-kick inside the area, but once Norwich scored, they had the rest of the first-half chances.

The goal came when the Canaries intercepted a deep Canos pass and quickly counter-attacked. The ball reached Buendia on the right and he wriggled past Canos and then moved away from Mads Bech Sorensen and Vitaly Janelt, before placing a low shot into the far bottom corner.

Mario Vrancic twice shot over before Raya brilliantly denied Teemu Pukki either side of half-time. Firstly when he stood firm to block a shot from the striker, who had been put clean through by a pinpoint Buendia pass, and then when he tipped a 20-yard shot round the post.

Raya made further saves from Ben Gibson at a free-kick and from an Onel Hernandez shot, before Brentford came close to snatching a dramatic point right at the end.

First Henrik Dalsgaard headed on to Toney, whose low shot went just wide of the far post and then Dalsgaard himself headed wide, before the Bees claimed a penalty for an apparent foul on Mbeumo.

Finally from a corner Marcus Forss had an effort cleared off the line by Jacob Sorensen, but the ball would not go in and the Bees suffered their fourth defeat in six games.

Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Sorensen, Reid (Roerslev 76), Pinnock, Janelt (Norgaard 67), Jensen, Ghoddos (Forss 76), Mbeumo, Canos (Fosu 67), Toney.