Buendia in the thick of the action as City’s tweaked formation provides support
- Credit: PA
Our latest Norwich City player watch followed EMI BUENDIA as the creative talent returned to the starting XI during last night’s 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
5 - Reads a Bruno Fernandes cross-field pass towards Luke Shaw, good touch and can advance but is tackled by Fred.
15 - Robs Jesse Lingard in City’s half and starts an attack, Todd Cantwell gets Jamal Lewis away on the left but cross is cleared.
19 - Alex Tettey tries to shoot but poor touch and then Buendia doesn’t react quickly enough as ball comes his way, stands rooted to the ground looking frustrated.
23 - Puts in a free-kick from the left wing, Fernandes heads away and Max Aarons fires a wild shot high and wide.
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29 - Robbed by Fred as he dallies on the ball - but chases after Juan Mata and wins back the ball well, gives over to McLean, who hits a rising shot well over from the edge of the box. Bit of bickering between Buendia and Cantwell soon follows ahead of a United corner, about where the last attack broke down.
33 - City counter but Cantwell puts too much on pass to Teemu Pukki, Buendia and Cantwell try to exchange passes through a crowd but lose possession.
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34 - Odd moment as he slides in to tackle Fernandes, holds him up but then gets up and limps rather than make sure the United man can’t walk off with the ball.
43 - Better from Buendia, ball deflects his way and makes sure he beats Lingard too it, then Fred fouls Lukas Rupp.
44 - Rupp’s shot is blocked. Aarons gets the ball back in the box, Buendia’s shot loops up and Cantwell slices an effort wide.
48 - Buendia’ corner from the left is good but cleared, Pukki knocks back into the box but again United scramble away.
51 - Shaw surges past Buendia too easily on the left, cross is knocked backwards mistakenly by Timm Klose and Odion Ighalo acrobatically turns past Krul from close range.
69 - Chips a pass to Pukki on the right, gets the ball back from Aarons and switches play to Jamal Lewis on the left, then takes control again and dances into the box, rolls his foot over the ball but can’t squeeze it through a sea of legs to Pukki.
70 - Buendia with a whipped free-kick from the left, no one makes contact and Godfrey can’t turn in at the back post.
71 - Throws his arms in the air in frustration as a move doesn’t come off, after trying to squeeze between two men yet again.
75 - ASSIST - Kenny McLean and Josip Drmic feed Onel Hernandez, who cuts inside and finds the Argentine, who after a quick stepover tees up Cantwell to attack the box and his midfield colleague unleashes a fine shot to find the bottom-right corner and equalise.
80 - Can’t keep pace with recently introduced Paul Pogba in the middle, Mason Greenwood streaks down the right and flashes a shot across goal.
83 - Drmic does well on the right, cuts inside and tees up Buendia on the edge of the box, who rolls his foot over the ball and smashes a low shot just beyond the far post.
84 - Plays Hernandez into the box but winger just can’t get the ball out of his feet and Brandon Williams tackles him well, Buendia tenaciously hunts down Shaw to stop him clearing out wide.
91 - Replaced by Ondrej Duda as extra-time begins.
VERDICT: Helped by presence of Rupp providing defensive cover alongside him in a 4-5-1 formation. Didn’t slack in efforts to track opponents generally but instinct to find attacking space kept leaving holes on the right. Could have done better in the lead up to United’s opener but played his part in the equaliser and went close to a winner. An action-packed encounter for City’s emotionally charged talent.
RATING: 7 out of 10