Leaders Burnley continued to prove they belong at the top of the Championship by beating Norwich City 3-0, their ninth straight victory.
The Clarets dominated the first half at Carrow Road, with Anass Zaroury scoring an early goal after goalkeeper Tim Krul made a mistake.
Seconds after coming on as a substitute, Vitinho glanced in Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s corner to double the away team’s lead.
Soon after, Burnley’s debutant Hjalmar Ekdal scored a third goal from close range, bringing them to within one game of the record for most consecutive victories in the Championship since the league’s name change in 2004.
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This victory pushed Leaders Burnley seven points ahead of second-placed Sheffield United after their 0-0 draw at Rotherham and 20 points ahead of third-placed Middlesbrough after 29 games.
Norwich’s two-game winning streak under new manager David Wagner in the league came to an end, and they are still outside the play-off places after their seventh home game without a win (dating back to October 29).
The match details of The Leaders Burnley
The matchup between Burnley and Norwich, who had scored eight goals in their previous two games, had the makings of a mouthwatering matchup.
Burnley, on the other hand, played like a much more experienced team from the get-go. In the eighth minute, Ian Maatsen shot narrowly wide, and a superb block by City’s Grant Hanley followed a robbery of Kenny McLean on the edge of the box by Nathan Tella.
From the ensuing corner kick, Krul attempted to pass to right-back Max Aarons, but instead played it straight to the exciting Moroccan winger Zaroury, who fired low into the Norwich net for Burnley’s first goal.
To the chagrin of the home crowd, Vincent Kompany’s men demonstrated why they are so far ahead at the top of the Championship by defeating the hosts and moving to the top of the table.
The home team did find their footing in the game as the first half progressed, and they should have tied it 10 minutes after falling behind, but Kieran Dowell’s close-range effort was blocked by Bailey Peacock-leg Farrell’s following a great break by Teemu Pukki.
Shortly after the half, Burnley scored twice in six minutes to seal the deal. Swedish defender Ekdal, who joined from Djurgardens in January, side-footed home from a couple of yards after the onrushing Maatsen turned back a corner at the far post. Vitinho beat his defender to the near post and headed in the second.
Twenty minutes from time, Norwich claimed a penalty after the ball ricocheted off Ashley Barnes’ arm and hit his arm. On the ensuing corner, Marcelino Nunez’s half-volley went high over the crossbar.