Ed Aarons was at Carrow Road as Brighton all but ensured their Premier League survival. Here’s his verdict. Click to enjoy … and thanks for reading this MBM. Stay healthy!
A very happy Graham Potter’s verdict. “It’s one of those days when the result is the most important thing. To get three points and a clean sheet you need a little luck, and we had it at the end with the post. But we’re absolutely delighted. We’ve got five more games to go, and we’re still fighting for the points. This is a unique season and what has happened in the past [36 points has been enough to ensure survival in each of the last three seasons] we can’t take too much from that. But 36 is a decent number, though we need more. I’m so pleased for the boys.”
FULL TIME: Norwich City 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
A huge three points for Brighton, who are surely safe for another year. Norwich aren’t mathematically kaput yet, but it’s really not looking good now. A deserved win for Brighton, even if they were hanging on a bit at the end, and enjoyed a huge slice of good fortune when Idah’s header hit the post. They were the better team for the most part.
90 min +5: A heading chance for Cantwell, in a pocket of space on the penalty spot. He floats it harmlessly wide right. That could be Norwich’s last chance.
90 min +4: Brighton breathe a huge sigh of relief, then run down the clock by replacing Lamptey with Duffy.
90 min +3: Norwich come within inches of equalising! Buendia curls in from a deep position on the left. Idah rises highest and flicks a header past Ryan … but off the inside of the right-hand post! The ball bounces along the line, then is belted away by Burn!
90 min +2: Buendia waltzes in from the right and has a belt that’s immediately blocked by Webster.
90 min +1: The first of six added minutes floats by without incident … or, indeed, a booking.
90 min: Now Cantwell goes in the book for a fairly crude lunge on Lamptey. He hasn’t got grounds for complaint, but makes one anyway.
89 min: Gross has been booked as well, for some infringement of the laws, no doubt.
88 min: Lamptey is booked for faffing around over a throw.
86 min: McLean is pestered by Maupay in the centre circle, and briefly considers losing the rag. But just before the commencement of the throwing of hands, McLean’s temperature drops and instead we play on.
85 min: Buendia bustles towards the Brighton box but is soon surrounded. If Norwich are going to grab an equaliser, you’d think he’ll be involved somehow.
83 min: Pukki looks to release Idah down the middle, but Dunk steps in to intercept just in the nick of time.
81 min: It’s gone very bitty in the wake of that Six Nations-style slew of substitutions. Brighton will be happy enough with that, as the world continues to turn.
79 min: A double-change for Brighton: Stephens and Mac Allister come on for Bissouma and the goalscorer
78 min: Norwich sub: Tettey off, Vrancic on.
77 min: Bissouma has an opportunity to shoot, just to the right of the D, but decides against it. Bernardo has a thump from a less promising position, and his effort is easily blocked.
76 min: Buendia throws a free kick into the Brighton box from the right, hoping to sow confusion. Brighton deal with it easily enough.
74 min: It’s mainly Norwich now, Brighton deploying another defensive player and hoping to soak up whatever Cantwell, Idah and Pukki can throw at them.
72 min: Brighton make their first swaps. Mooy and Connolly are replaced by Gross and Bernardo.
71 min: Norwich pin Brighton back for the first time in a while. Cantwell nearly sashays through the defence, then Buendia whips a low ball across the face of goal from the left. There’s nobody to run it home, not for the first time this afternoon. Despite being second best for the most part, Norwich have created a couple of chances today, but nobody’s been on hand to take advantage.
69 min: Bissouma glides in from the left and unleashes a fierce, swerving, rising shot that Krul can only punch clear in a very uncertain style. That could easily have pinged off the keeper’s gloves and in, but he does enough. That was a proper piledriver.
67 min: That’s drinks, and an opportunity for Norwich to replace their entire front three. Duda, Drmic and Hernandez make way for Cantwell, Idah and Pukki.
65 min: Drmic clumps an ambitious shot straight at Ryan. A hail-mary effort made in the knowledge that he’s about to get the hook.
64 min: Propper slides a ball down the inside-right channel to release Lamptey into the Norwich box. Lamptey can’t quite sort his feet out to shoot, then decides to go down having clipped Hernandez’s knee. Brighton want a penalty, but there’s not enough contact to interest either ref or VAR, and Lamptey’s inelegant fall probably didn’t help.
62 min: Trossard and Maupay flick the ball down the left, the goalscorer eventually bursting into the box and dinking a cross straight into the arms of Krul. Overly intricate. Nothing’s quite coming off.
60 min: Propper drops a shoulder and has a crack from the edge of the box. It’s deflected out for a corner, which Mooy wastes. Another goal can’t be long in coming.
59 min: Lewis has clearly decided that he’s not going down without a fight. Another fine run down the left earns a free kick. Norwich load the box, but Buendia’s delivery isn’t good, straight down the throat of Ryan, an easy claim. Better from the hosts, though.
57 min: Lewis drops a shoulder to vex Mooy out on the left. It’s a splendid trick, and the following low whipped cross that fizzes through the six-yard box is even better. But there’s nobody in yellow anticipating or taking a gamble. Lewis should be celebrating an assist there.
56 min: Finally, a decent spell of Norwich probing. They ping it this way and that. Finally Buendia peals a shot goalwards from the edge of the box. Dunk takes one for the team, right in the gut. Norwich claim a penalty, but they’re not getting one.
54 min: Mooy has the ball just inside the Norwich box, on the left. If anything, he’s got too many options: Maupay and Trossard in close attendance, plus space for a shot. He can’t decide, and Aarons eventually purchases an extremely cheap free kick when the ball’s inaccurately passed to Trossard. Brighton are well on top, but they can’t afford to pass up too many opportunities like this.
53 min: Nothing comes of the corner. But Brighton have quickly re-established control. By comparison, Norwich are offering absolutely nothing.
52 min: Lamptey takes a cute touch to cut in from the right and drive Brighton forward. Bissouma takes over, neatly dribbling down the wing and winning a corner.
50 min: A free kick for Brighton out on the left, and a chance to load the box. Mooy takes, and sends long. Burn rises highest at the far post. He can’t connect with a header, but the ball pings off his back and nearly nestles into the top right. It’s inches wide. It would have been a messy finish all right, but what a delivery by Mooy. Almost impossible to defend.
49 min: Connolly drifts in from the left and looks to send a curler into the top right. His effort was heading in, but Klose reads the danger and bravely blocks.
48 min: Buendia wriggles into enough space for a shot from the edge of the Brighton box, but falls as he takes it, and the ball dribbles through to Ryan.
47 min: No early second-half surge from the hosts. Lewis has a look down the left but his cross is cleared easily by Burn.
And we’re off again! Norwich get the ball rolling for the second half. No changes. Meanwhile before the action picks up once more, here’s Marlon Cameron, taking the opportunity to sing while Brighton are winning. “My girlfriend just commented that, as the season goes on, Trossard looks more and more like Robbie Williams circa 1996.” She’s not wrong, is she.
Half-time reading. Here’s Paul Doyle on the travails of Leicester City, who have never looked the same since getting thumped by Liverpool on Boxing Day.
HALF TIME: Norwich 0-1 Brighton
That’s the end of a half in which Norwich started brightly, only to fall away alarmingly as Brighton scored, then assumed control. The visitors deserve their lead, as they begin to sense Premier League survival. Can Norwich react? A defeat here would nudge them ever closer to the Championship.
45 min: This nearly cheered him up, though. Buendia busies himself in the D of the Brighton box, draws a few players, then slips a clever pass down the inside-left channel to find Hernandez. The winger drops a shoulder, shifts his feet, and snaps a shot goalwards, but it’s blocked by Mooy and spins up harmlessly into the arms of Ryan.
44 min: Drmic and Duda try to combine down the inside-right channel, but the ball harmlessly squirts out of play for a goal kick. On the touchline, Daniel Farke looks thoroughly miserable, with a hint of concern washing across his coupon.
43 min: Norwich ping it around the middle, but can’t make further headway, and soon enough possession is given up. Mooy curls in from the right but there’s nobody in the middle to take advantage of a trouble-making pass.
41 min: Brighton are in total control now. Maupay senses blood and cuts in from the left again, but is crowded out on the edge of the box. Norwich need to hear the half-time whistle, because Brighton are pressing hard for a second goal.