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Norwich win top-of-table clash to close in on instant Premier League return

The Canaries are now 10 points clear at the top.

Emiu Buendia celebrates his crucial goal.
Emiu Buendia celebrates his crucial goal.
Image: PA

NORWICH CITY LOOK more assured an instant return to the Premier League with every passing week, now 10 points clear of second-placed Brentford after a 1-0 win against their closest rivals tonight. 

Emiliano Buendia stuck the game’s only goal just prior to the half-hour mark, handing the Canaries a sixth-straight win and a 10-point lead with just 12 games remaining. Irish international Adam Idah was an unused sub for Norwich. 

The defeat leaves Brentford battling to hold onto the second automatic promotion place, and they lead third-placed Watford on goal difference alone after the Hornets’ 2-0 win over struggling Wycombe. Daryl Horgan, a likely inclusion in Stephen Kenny’s next Republic of Ireland squad to be named on 18 March, played all but the final 10 minutes for Wycombe, who are bottom of the table and looking doomed to an instant return to League One. 

Swansea City are one point and one place behind Watford – albeit with two games in hand – after a dramatic 2-1 win at Stoke City. Irish international Ryan Manning assisted Connor Roberts’ first-half equaliser for the Welsh side, and the game remained level until the 95th minute, when Andrew Ayew converted a last-gasp penalty to seal a win for the Swans.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, got themselves back in the play-off places – bumping down Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff in the process – with a 2-1 win at Bristol City, secured with a late Cameron Carter-Vickers goal. Shane Long came off the bench for the last 15 minutes of the game for Bournemouth. The Cherries are a point clear of seventh-placed Barnsley, who beat QPR 3-1 at Loftus Road. 

At the bottom, Rotherham cut the gap on Birmingham City on the edge of the drop zone to three points following a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday. 

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