Buendia stresses importance of winning games in City’s ‘mini-league’ ahead of Villa clash

PUBLISHED: 13:44 23 December 2019

Emi Buendia returned to his best against Wolves on Saturday. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Emi Buendia returned to his best against Wolves on Saturday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Emi Buendia has stressed the importance of Norwich City winning games within their ‘mini-league’ as the Canaries prepare to face relegation rivals Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Argentine returned to his devastating best on Saturday, with his creativity the source of numerous first-half opportunities against Wolves.

Despite facing criticism, Buendia has created the fifth-most chances (41) in the Premier League this season, with his relationship with Teemu Pukki pivotal to City's offensive productivity.

Pukki has Buendia's contributions to thank for his form this season, with the midfielder supplying the assists for four of the Finn's nine goals.

Against Wolves, that was nearly the supply line that ensured three points for the Canaries, but City were left to rue missed opportunities as they squandered a one-nil lead.

Buendia has created the fifth most opportunities in the Premier League. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdBuendia has created the fifth most opportunities in the Premier League. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

"It's frustrating when you lose after playing like we did. We were hungry in the first half and had great chances. The second half was a bit tight and Wolves had two or three chances and scored two goals.

"Wolves are a really good team with good attacking players who took their opportunities. In the last few games we've played better and are more competitive," Buendia told the club's official channels. "We have to be focused on the details and the wins will come."

Buendia pulled the strings in midfield, with City's dominance in the opening period arriving courtesy of his trickery and ability to unlock defences.

His form in the Premier League has been inconsistent, leading to frustration from a fanbase that praised him heavily after his starring role in the club's promotion.

Discussing his own performance, Buendia said: "I felt good. When we play like we did, I enjoy it a lot because we have very good players with quality. I'm playing one-twos with Kenny [McLean], Todd [Cantwell] and Teemu [Pukki]; I enjoy it."

City travel to Villa Park on Boxing Day, with the need for victory pertinent given the positions of both clubs.

"We have to be focused on Aston Villa," Buendia said. "It's a really important game for our mini-league, so we have to smash it."

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