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Nick Szczepanik's press verdict: Norwich City

How the national media reported Saturday's 1-0 win over Norwich City.

By Nick Szczepanik • 05 July 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Neal Maupay celebrates with goalscorer Leandro Trossard.

The national press were not quite ready to declare Albion safe after the 1-0 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road or to confirm that the Canaries are down, but most of the writers who attended the match clearly expect Premier League matches to be staged at the Amex again next season.

Ed Aarons of The Observer set the tone.  ‘The game is almost up for Norwich,’ he wrote. ‘In a week that was meant to herald the start of a great escape for Daniel Farke’s side, an insipid defeat to a Brighton team heading in a different direction leaves them almost consigned to their fate.

‘Leandro Trossard’s first-half goal was enough to seal the victory for Graham Potter’s visitors which almost certainly assures their Premier League survival for a third successive season – matching the club’s best period in the top flight between 1979 and 1983. How Norwich must wish for such stability.

‘There was nothing Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul could do to prevent the Belgian winger from touching home Aaron Mooy’s precise cross from the right flank just after the drinks break. Not for the first time this season, Farke’s team were the architects of their own downfall after Timm Klose gave the ball away in Brighton’s half.

14:42

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Extended Highlights: Norwich 0 Albion 1

‘Norwich had to wait until the third minute of injury time before [Adam] Idah’s header came back off the inside of the post to create an opportunity themselves, summing up a deeply frustrating afternoon.’

Sam Dean of the Sunday Telegraph went into more detail about the Albion’s winning strike.

‘Brighton were clinical when the game’s best opportunity came their way, with Leandro Trossard finishing smoothly following a sharp counter-attack.

In contrast to Norwich, Brighton have been reinvigorated by the suspension of the league. Graham Potter’s side have now equaled their points tally for last season under Chris Hughton and, while their safety is not yet secured, this was a purposeful step away from trouble.

They celebrated fiercely at the final whistle.

“It is a huge win, a huge three points,” Graham Potter said. “We all knew the importance of the game, with Liverpool and Manchester City coming up. There are times in the season when you have to take the result. It is about character.”

‘Brighton, for whom young Tariq Lamptey was impressive, were soon in control. It was Yves Bissouma who seized on Klose’s poor pass, playing in Aaron Mooy, who crossed for Trossard.

The finish was deft, angled into the far corner, and it provided a reminder of the gulf in quality between the two sides in the first half. To be blunt, since the restart there appears to be a gulf in quality between Norwich and everyone else.’

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Potter: All about the result

In the Sunday Times, Gary Jacob noted that ‘the relief felt by Graham Potter, the Brighton manager, after the game was all too clear. “A huge win,” he said. “I don’t think it makes us safe. Our players are sensible people. They know not to listen to external noise and predictions. Anything can happen”.’

Daniel Matthews of the Mail on Sunday attempted to mix topicality with a dash of local colour.  ‘Pub doors along the Brighton seafront swung open on Saturday morning and by mid-afternoon, the time had come for Graham Potter and Co to put the champagne on ice.

‘Whisper it quietly but, with this win, Brighton’s Premier League status is all but secured for another year at least.

‘Leandro Trossard’s first-half goal was enough here to push Norwich closer to the Championship and give themselves vital breathing space. 

‘Given how perilously close they have hovered above the danger zone for so much of this season, that calls for a toast or two on the south coast.

‘Given their mixed fortunes, it was never going to come easily. In the 94th minute, Norwich substitute Adam Idah’s header came off the inside of the post and bounced out.

‘When the final whistle came moments later, the reactions said everything. As Norwich bodies dropped to the floor, the Brighton bench erupted. After everyone headed down the tunnel, Todd Cantwell cut a lonely figure, sitting on the Carrow Road pitch. 

‘Now, with five games to play, Potter’s side are nine points clear of the drop zone, having matched last season’s tally of 36 points.’

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Lamptey: I'm learning all the time

On the BBC website, Neil Johnston pointed out the Albion defence impressed once more, writing that ‘while Norwich have faltered since the restart, Brighton have thrived.

‘The Seagulls were just two points above the relegation zone when the season was suspended. They are now nine points clear of 18th-placed Aston Villa and 19th-placed Bournemouth, both on 27 points.

‘Brighton carved out more and better openings than their hosts, the move for Trossard's composed finish coming straight off the training ground. Yet once again they impressed especially at the back.

‘With Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster dominant at the centre of defence, they came away with an eighth clean sheet of the season and are now unbeaten in five straight league away games.

‘And despite 11 places separating the two sides in the table, Brighton have conceded only as many goals - 44 - as fourth-placed Chelsea.’

 

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