Buendia’s fine form continued as creative livewire grafted during City’s draw with Palace
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Our latest Norwich City player watch followed the fortunes of Emi Buendia, with the Argentine proving his creative capabilities in the Premier League again during a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
3 - Blocks a Jairo Riedewald shot after the ball broke to him in space on the edge of the City box.
5 - Strong in the challenge to keep the ball and good feet in the box, exchanging a one-two with Todd Cantwell and then seeing his attempted shot squeeze back to Cantwell, who fires across the keeper into the bottom-left corner for 1-0, with the players slow to celebrate as they waited to see if VAR was checking for offside.
9 - Plays Teemu Pukki clean through, James Tomkins takes him down from behind, but offside flag is up. VAR checks for red card but confirms offside was correct.
12 - Tackles Wilfried Zaha in the City box and gets the ball, had to get that one right.
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15 - Lovely skill to keep the all away from Luka Milivojevic and Zaha. Mario Vrancic then gets the ball back to him but goes down easily in the tackle, referee not interested but Sam Byram recovers with a good tackle back on Max Meyer.
24 - Poor control on his chest in the centre circle and Byram has to work hard to rob Meyer.
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26 - Wonderfully controlled volley on the edge of the box after Mamadou Sakho's header looped upwards, keeper holds the shot.
28 - Cheers as Buendia works hard to relieve the pressure in defence, with Jordan Ayew chasing him down.
35 - Zaha tries to throw Buendia off him, free-kick given. Does appear to stand on Palace player's foot in the challenge, so foul is for retaliation.
37 - Kenny McLean fouled out wide, Buendia swings in a good free-kick from the right but Grant Hanley can't make clean contact with his header and Vrancic can't win a corner.
39 - McLean robs Tomkins and City break, eventually Buendia stands on the ball as he tries to squeeze into the box.
45+1 - Defensive mistake gave the ball to Buendia and eventually Vrancic poked wide to Aarons in a great position just inside the box, drove the ball low and beyond the far post, with Buendia wanting the pass to his left.
47 - Clips Ayew as he gets past him, conceding a free-kick.
50 - Zaha runs at Aarons and Buendia is there in support, misses first attempted tackle but then intercepts and City clear, all just inside the box.
51 - Picks up a poor attempted pass but James McArthur robs him, no foul and eventually Christoph Zimmermann clears under pressure from Zaha.
53 - A couple of minutes after McLean had words with Buendia about a couple of loose defensive moments, he goes up the other end, hurdles three challenges, great shimmy away from Meyer, who takes out Vrancic 25 yards from goal. Buendia takes the free-kick himself, curling towards the post but the keeper sprawls to his right to push the ball behind for a corner.
55 - Rrobs Zaha in the right-back position but loses the ball, Meyer fires low from the edge of the box, Alex Tettey can't quite block but Tim Krul gets down to hold comfortably.
61 - Beautiful poke to the left to Cantwell, who twice can't get a shot away, Byram helps keep the move alive, Tettey's shot is deflected behind. Buendia sends in the corner from the right, McLean nods across goal but Vrancic can only fire into the outside of the net.
65 - Lovely turn away from Zaha gets a big cheer as he tracks back and Aarons can push away in attack.
73 - Initially sees a pass fail to reach Pukki but helps to get an attack going again, links nicely with Aarons and eventually McLean smashes the crossbar.
88 - Hanley does well to twice tackle Zaha, after forcing him wide, after he'd tangled with Zimmermann in the box, Buendia gets the ball to Aarons to clear, amid some chaotic defender after Palace's late equaliser.
VERDICT: Another really impressive display and the best player on the pitch, again. Post-match stats show he made the most successful tackles (nine), key passes (five) and dribbles (six) in the game, tying with Todd Cantwell with two shots on target as well. Has responded to being dropped to the bench for three games in seriously impressive fashion, since reclaiming his starting role in early December.
RATING: 8 out of 10