Norwich manager David Wagner full of praise for midfielder Marcelino Nunez after star performance
The Chilean midfielder lit up Carrow Road with a brilliant volley from well outside the box to open the scoring on 27 minutes and produced an assured finish from Kenny McLean's cross to make it 2-0 before the break. Birmingham pulled one back on 52 minutes through Maxime Colin's low drive but the Canaries then kept the visitors largely at arm's length before substitute Christos Tzolis added a third in injury time when they Blues were caught upfield. But the match will be remembered for Nunez's wonderful angled volley into the top corner after Kevin Long had got a good head on Kieran Dowell's corner and his manager was full of admiration for the player, who had only scored one goal for the club before the game. "It was an unbelievable strike from 'Nacho' - and his overall performance was brilliant too, a real 10 out of 10," said Wagner, whose side are now just one point adrift of the play-off zone. "He hasn't had too many opportunities since I have been here and when he was played it has often been in wide areas, which isn't really playing to his strengths. "But tonight he was given the number 10 role and I thought he gave a perfect performance in that role. It's something that really suits him as a player and after his great strike he showed it with the second goal when he got into the box to convert Kenny's cross. "He was also all over the pitch, working hard and we love him as a player - and as a character too. He isn't one of those players who learns the language quickly but that hasn't stopped him from being a really popular member of the group, someone who always has a smile on his face. "Overall it was good performance and I think a deserved win. Now it's about finding that consistency and trying to make it three home wins on the trot against Cardiff on Saturday. Birmingham manager John Eustace, while disappointed with the outcome, felt his side had given a good account of themselves. "I thought the lads battled away well and could easily have taken something out of the game, " he said. "We were up against a top team, with lots of Premier League players in there, and gave a good account of ourselves, especially in the second half. "Obviously the first goal was an outstanding strike but the second was very disappointing from our point of view. We didn't stop the cross coming in and then the marking was poor - not getting the basics right is costing us dearly at the moment. "We had two different formations in each half, both of them attacking, and I thought we gave them plenty of problems although against a quality side like them you can always concede at the other end. "It's just a shame we gave ourselves so much to do by conceding twice in the first half - that is something we need to look at."
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