From the moment the ball left Borja Sainz's right boot, there was only one place it was heading. 

It was a goal befitting of winning any contest from a player who seems increasingly capable of producing the x-factor when Norwich City need it most. 

Sainz's influence and stature at Norwich has grown in recent weeks - David Wagner opted for a cautious approach to his integration, just as Daniel Farke did with Emi Buendia, and is being rewarded by a player who looks ready to take the Championship by storm. 

Since that petulant dismissal away at West Brom, Sainz's levels had dropped. There wasn't the same impact on matches, and Wagner felt his work had dropped below the level he is capable of. 

But a scorching strike at Anfield and a match-winning moment against Coventry have propelled him back into the good books. He is a player, much like Jon Rowe, capable of producing special moments. 

This strike was special. It seemed to pick up pace as it left his boot and had the necessary curl and dip to beat Brad Collins, who failed to get anywhere near the shot as it whistled into the net. 

Even more than that, his overall performance was more structured and energetic. His defensive efforts to protect Dimi Giannoulis were much improved, and his attacking endeavour was constant. 

That was displayed during the tussle he enjoyed with Milan van Ewijk in the first half, when he celebrated after winning his team a throw-in. 

Sainz is a ball carrier who wants to drift into half-spaces to try and impact matches. His career history displays someone with encouraging goal contributions - he now has six in just 10 starts for the Canaries in all competitions. 

The Pink Un: Borja Sainz was the headline grabber in Norwich City's 2-1 win over Coventry.Borja Sainz was the headline grabber in Norwich City's 2-1 win over Coventry. (Image: Daniel Hanbury/Focus Images Ltd)

Norwich's task is ensuring he gets the ball in promising positions where he can influence attacking phases of play more consistently than has been the case at points throughout this campaign. 

When that happens, Sainz has the qualities to produce goal-scoring moments either through his technical quality or by picking out his teammates - as he proved on this occasion. 

Whilst some worried about Rowe's absence through injury, Sainz smelt an opportunity. After having to wait in the shadows behind the youngster, he reminded everyone of his quality in this encounter. 

As City begin to plot for the post-Rowe era, Sainz is someone who can ease that particular burden. It may be next season after a full pre-season where his skillset really comes to the fore. 

In a summer of recruitment that was designed to add an insulated layer of experienced into Norwich's squad, Sainz's arrival served as somewhat of a throwback. 

The deal to bring him to Carrow Road showed ingenuity from City's much-maligned recruitment team. The activation of a relegation release clause from Turkish side Giresunspor enabled Sainz to join Norwich on a free transfer. 

It was the type of move that the club made during the halcyon days of Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber - perhaps it is a deal that will reflect positively on City's former sporting director in the years to come. 

Sainz only turns 23 within weeks, and his performances offer hope that his upward trajectory will continue in the upcoming months and years. 

The Pink Un: Borja Sainz enjoys the dirty work at Norwich City.Borja Sainz enjoys the dirty work at Norwich City. (Image: Daniel Hanbury/Focus Images Ltd)

There are natural comparisons with Buendia, given the height, energy, and edge that Sainz possesses to go about his business. 

Like the Argentine, Sainz has that streak that makes him an exciting footballer to watch - one that can create brilliant moments or overstep the mark, as he did on Boxing Day. Norwich need to help him ensure that he falls the right side of that line more often than not. 

Similarly to Buendia, it is not just his technical elements that create that excitement but his counter-pressing and aggression to win it back. Given how Wagner wants football to be played, he is in the right system to make the most of his quality. 

As his adaptation to English football continues, the feeling is that Sainz will continue to improve and is well on his way to superstardom at Norwich. 

If he can develop a consistency and increase his assist numbers, he will become a very attractive commodity very quickly. 

There are elements that require polishing and his decision-making process needs to be refined - but the minerals that are there cause a great deal of excitement. At last, it feels like Sainz is beginning to put his best foot forward at Carrow Road. 

The celebrations that followed his strike graphically illustrated his hunger to make a success of his move to England. So far, so good on that front. 

The Pink Un: Borja Sainz produced the moment of magic to win the game for Norwich City.Borja Sainz produced the moment of magic to win the game for Norwich City. (Image: Daniel Hanbury/Focus Images Ltd)

Sainz has gears to find - that is something that Norwich will find a mouthwatering prospect given the moments of quality he has produced thus far. 

VERDICT: A performance that felt like an introduction from Borja Sainz - who stepped up to produce the moment of magic to win this contest. An overall display dripping with energy and technical quality. He is getting better and better. 

RATING: 8 out of 10