Brilliant Brazilians Gabriel Sara and Marquinhos seal Canaries win over Cardiff
Norwich City’s boys from Brazil took centre stage as they beat Cardiff 2-0 to keep their bid for the Championship play-offs firmly on track.
Gabriel Sara fired home in emphatic style just past the half-hour mark to put the home side in front and four minutes later Arsenal loanee Marquinhos marked his debut with another well-taken goal to effectively settle the game.
It was an impressive double from a Norwich side who had started the game slowly and they went on to record a comfortable win, their third in a row at Carrow Road after going seven games without a home victory.
They are now in the thick of the battle for a top-six finish, while Cardiff are still hovering just above the drop zone after a first defeat in three.
Despite their lowly position it was the visitors who made all the early running, with Ben Gibson making a good block to thwart Connor Wickham after just four minutes.
Mahlon Romeo then intercepted a poor crossfield pass from Max Aarons and sent in a powerful shot which Angus Gunn did well to gather low to his right.
Norwich were strangely subdued in the opening half hour, with just a couple of wayward shots to show for their efforts but, out of the blue,they conjured up two goals in the space of five minutes to completely change the complexion of the game.
They got their noses in front in the 33rd minute when Marquinhos squared the ball to his fellow Brazilian Sara just outside the area and the midfielder fired home a cracking low drive into the bottom corner.
It was soon 2-0 as the Arsenal man got on the scoresheet himself, side-footing home from close range after Onel Hernandez had found the byline on the left and picked him out in space.
Norwich should have put the game out of sight three minutes after the break when Adam Idah raced clean through after the visitors had carelessly lost possession. But after taking the ball past keeper Ryan Allsop he fired wastefully high and wide with only covering defender Mark McGuinness to beat.
The Canaries were now looking much more like the side who had won their two previous home games emphatically and Hernandez grazed the woodwork with a volley after latching on to a superb pass into the box from Kenny McLean.
Allsop then made a good stop with his feet to deny Teemu Pukki when he looked certain to turn in a cross from fellow substitute Dimi Giannoulis, while at the other end Jaden Philogene’s injury-time effort that struck an upright was the best the visitors could offer.
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