Buendia delighted and frustrated City fans but superb strike was pivotal against Swans
Our latest NCFC player watch kept a close eye on match-winner Emi Buendia as the Argentine playmaker proved pivotal to last night's win over Swansea.
2 – Gets a touch on a Wayne Routledge pass-back to get Marco Stiepermann on the attack.
4 – Whips a nice ball to Teemu Pukki into the right channel, Onel Hernandez is taken out by Matt Grimes on the edge of the box. Buendia whips in the free-kick but beyond everyone.
11 – Keeps tracking across the pitch and helps Hernandez dispossess Connor Roberts, finds Pukki, who wins a corner. The 22-year-old swings it deep from the left but Tom Trybull can’t win the header.
13 – Caught dawdling in midfield by Grimes, chases after Nathan Dyer but can’t get the ball back, throws his arms up in the air in frustration but then bursts after Dyer and deflects a pass out for a throw.
15 – Swans try a short corner routine but Buendia stays alert and blocks George Byers’ pass behind for another corner.
20 – Pukki wins back the ball, Buendia combines with Max Aarons on the right, gets lucky with a deflection off Grimes as he charges towards the box but can’t keep possession.
23 – Fed by Aarons, turns into space and tries to curl a low cross to Pukki but Cameron Carter-Vickers makes the interception.
27 – Sticks with Roberts to ensure the right-back can’t get on the end of Dan James’ chipped pass into the box and plays calmly to Trybull.
29 – Nice stepover and exchanges one-two with Kenny McLean on halfway before finding Hernandez on the left, who is offside.
32 – Marco Stiepermann finds Pukki, Buendia threads a perfectly-weighted pass in but Pukki fires beyond the far post on his left. Moments after Buendia tries similar pass but Mike van der Hoorn reads it.
39 – Kyle Naughton hurdles Buendia’s tackle, Aarons makes the interception but referee calls back for the free-kick. Youngster then doesn’t track Bersant Celina and Tim Krul makes a good save from deflected shot, punching the greasy ball away. Keeper then blasts the midfielder for his slack defensive work.
40 – Catches Roberts late wide on the left, Grimes whips in the free-kick and James glances a header wide.
46 – Lovely pass to Stiepermann on the left with outside of his boot, Roberts claims but Lewis and Buendia keep alive, lovely shimmy out of a tight space, Stiepermann wins corner. Buendia’s first is headed back to him, creates enough space to swing in another cross, ball is headed up and McLean blasts a poor volley well wide.
54 – GOAL – Hernandez holds up on the left and Buedia dummies his way past Grimes into the box then absolutely smashes a left-footed shot into the roof of the net past a helpless Kristoffer Nordfeldt for 1-0. Busts out the knee slide in front of the Barclay as Carrow Road goes wild.
61 – Sharp ball out to Jamal Lewis, eventually gets it back and exchanges a one-two but ball is deflected behind for a corner. ‘EMI, EMI, EMI’ chant the City fans as he takes a corner in front of the Snake Pit, which is headed clear.
67 – Catches Roberts late, given a final warning by the referee.
72 – Takes the ball off Hernandez mid-attack and a no-look pass to Lewis on the left, who finds Hernandez in the box, goes down under pressure from van der Hoorn but referee isn’t interested. Soon after Buendia tries a cheeky chip in to Pukki but it’s cleared.
73 – Bizarre decision to try and back-heel a Lewis pass in his own half and gives the ball to Roberts.
75 – Turns a Trybull pass into Pukki’s path on the right. Move progresses and exchanges passes nicely before winning a corner. Swings in and McLean just can’t climb high enough to reach an unchallenged header.
80 – BOOKED – James gets past Trybull on halfway and Buendia makes sure he doesn’t get through on goal with a trip.
88 – Sets Pukki into the right channel, the striker buys a few inches of space to squeeze a shot past Carter-Vickers but strikes against base of the left post.
90 – Waiting to take a corner but is replaced by Leitner to a huge standing ovation.
VERDICT: Some brilliant moments and some sloppy moments but a class act in possession and conjured up a moment of brilliance which could prove to be a very memorable and important goal in the promotion race.
RATING: 8 out of 10