REPORT: ALBION 5 NORWICH 0
- Glenn Murray scores a hat-trick
- Lewis Dunk and Anthony Knockaert also on target.
- Brighton secure their biggest win of the season to date
- The Seagulls extend their unbeaten league run to nine games
Brighton & Hove Albion secured their biggest win of the season with a magnificent 5-0 win over Norwich City.
Glenn Murray’s hat-trick and a goal each from Lewis Dunk and Anthony Knockaert wrapped up a tremendous victory, keeping the Seagulls second and just three points behind league leaders Newcastle.
Chris Hughton made two changes to the side that beat Wigan Athletic last week, as Lewis Dunk and Dale Stephens came in for Connor Goldson and Oliver Norwood.
Albion took the lead in fortuitous circumstances after six minutes, when goalkeeper Michael McGovern took a heavy touch from a backpass and Murray outmuscled the shot-stopper to fire home into an empty net.
The Canaries had a frustrating first quarter of an hour, as Wes Hoolahan saw his shot drift harmlessly wide.
The game of football paled into insignificance with 18 minutes on the clock, as both sets of fans took part in a minute’s applause to remember the life of Albion fan Scott Mills.
The first flashpoint in the game came when Martin Olsson and Murray both entered the referee’s book for an off-the-ball altercation.
The Canaries made inroads into the Albion box for the first time when Hoolahan and then Graham Dorrans both saw their attempts blocked.
Olsson was lucky not to receive his marching orders after bringing down Jiri Skalak on the edge of the box, but referee Andrew Madley chose not to dish out a second yellow card.
The Seagulls broke forward quickly on the counter-attack through Murray, and he found Sam Baldock, whose shot was comfortably saved by McGovern.
Albion created their first chance after the restart when Bruno fed in Anthony Knockaert, and the winger showed some fine footwork and fired the ball across the face of goal from a tight angle.
The lead was doubled on the hour mark when Gaetan Bong linked up well with Skalak, and the Czech winger delivered a perfectly- weighted cross to Murray, whose downward header beat McGovern.
The Canaries almost halved the deficit a minute later, as David Stockdale pushed away Hoolahan’s strike from distance.
But it got even better for Albion with 65 minutes on the clock when Dunk opened his tally for the season with a fine header from Skalak’s corner to make it 3-0.
The game was effectively put out of sight when Murray capped off a superb performance when he took advantage of some woeful defending and fired home past McGovern in the 73rd minute.
Murray got a rapturous ovation from the Amex crowd when he was replaced two minutes later by Tomer Hemed, who almost got in on the act himself, but saw his shot saved by McGovern.
But Albion were far from done and scored again in the 85th minute when Skalak slid the ball in to Knockaert, who nonchalantly chipped it over McGovern to make it 5-0.
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1ST GOAL TIME 6 MINS