Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s vital 1-0 Premier League win against Leicester City
PUBLISHED: 00:50 29 February 2020 | UPDATED: 00:50 29 February 2020
Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt delivers his Leicester City verdict after the Canaries’ uplifting 1-0 Premier League win
How do you feel now Norwich fans? How did you feel on Sunday evening after a no show at Wolves? Daniel Farke's squad responded in sterling fashion to revive their fading relegation hopes.
It might still take a 'little miracle' from here but the roar that greeted the full-time whistle at Carrow Road after Jamal Lewis had secured a priceless three point was defiant as it was loud.
This is still not over. City can sit back, relax, and watch their relegation rivals go to work over the rest of this weekend. Leicester had plenty of the ball, carried a fair degree of threat but Tim Krul was well protected.
Then, after three long games without a goal they fashioned a superb winner from two of their own.
The reaction of Farke's players at the final whistle spoke volumes as well. They knew they had let themselves down at Molineux. This is the level they need to get to. This is the level they are capable of. Whether it will be enough, only time will tell.
2. Firing blanks, firing beauties
When you look at the creative potential even at the highest level available to Farke it does take some comprehension how they failed to muster a goal in open play since January 1.
They had not scored in the three previous encounters and it was heading the same way until the superb Max Aarons veered beyond Ben Chilwell to tee up Lewis. The composed finish brought Lewis a first career league goal.
There will be surely more to follow given the technique and the poise. But how good was Aarons all night? The England left back was decidedly second best in a fascinating personal duel.
Ondrej Duda was denied, Teemu Pukki pulled one wide and there was plenty of other moments of promise.
One can only hope the dam has now burst.
3. Ball is in Buendia's court
The sub-plot with Farke and Emi Buendia has threatened to dominate the real business of Premier League points since Farke's forensic analysis of the young midfielder's output prior to Wolves.
Farke was again good value on the eve of the Foxes' visit. The time he is not able to speak honestly and openly is when he retires from the touchline.
There was also another very warm public embrace for Buendia's special talent. Put the endless thrashing about when is a statistic worth the social media it is published on or not regarding Buendia's individual numbers.
This boils down to the young Argentine convincing the man who ultimately picks the Norwich line up whether he is worthy of a spot. Farke is the only person Buendia needs to convince. He got his recall here and there was much to admire.
The quality passes - one in particular for a big Ondrej Duda chance - and the probing bursts were interspersed with some losses of possession. And plenty of graft without the ball. Call it a mixed bag.
But Norwich look a better side with Buendia in it. Keep working on the parts of his game his head coach flagged, and continue to showcase what he has mastered, and he can still be a force for good over the run in.
It feels like a long time coming.
But City fell the right side of the Stockley Park officials in the second half when Kelechi Iheanacho levered Ben Godfrey before curling past Krul.
The television replays clearly showed the dropping ball had brushed the striker's hand. After what felt like an eternity the VAR officials agreed. The goal was chalked and Norwich lived to fight another day.
Home fans still bellowed anti-VAR chants in the aftermath.
Farke has maintained throughout this campaign he did not expect to get any favours from the VAR operators after what felt like a series of frustrating calls against his side.
In City's perilous situation they need intervention from any quarter going.
Few in these parts would feel sorry for Leicester.
5. Tottenham. Forward march
City's Premier League prospects may look even better by the end of the weekend if those nearest them in the table fail to pick up points.
But next up is by any measure a mouthwatering prospect. An FA Cup tie at the magnificent Tottenham stadium with 9,000 from Norfolk in attendance.
What a sight, what a sound that will be for Farke and the players he selects to try and book a first quarter-final berth in a generation.
In isolation, City showed on their first league visit recently they can cause what many outside of the Canaries' camp will portray as a cup shock.
Do that and who knows the positive impact for the remaining league tussles ahead on the back of this league win.
As sporting director Stuart Webber remarked recently, if Norwich are in the competition, they can still win it.
That might be a fanciful notion for many but cup progress injects some much needed positivity into the veins. Especially when this looks and feels increasingly as much about next season as the current one.
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