Audio: Elliott Bennett breaks Norwich City scoring duck with a bang at Tottenham
Elliott Bennett ensured his first Norwich City goal was well worth the wait as Paul Lambert's Canaries stunned Tottenham Hotspur with a superb display at White Hart Lane.
The 23-year-old summer signing smashed a swerving effort inside Brad Friedel's far post on 66 minutes that proved decisive, as 3,000 City fans revelled in arguably the finest performance of their side's Premier League return.
The Canaries had led in the first half when poor Spurs defending allowed Anthony Pilkington to slot home 13 minutes into his return from injury – and they should have been awarded a penalty only for Jermain Defoe to dink home an equaliser seconds later.
But Norwich's impressive belief took them over the line against a side seeing their hopes of a Champions League berth next season unravel before their eyes – and it all helped Bennett's mood, whose own hard-working performance merited his stunning winner.
'I'm delighted to get my first goal – it's been a very long wait – but more importantly it's three points and an unbelievable performance at a very tough place,' said Bennett, who scored eight times from midfield for then-League One outfit Brighton last term.
'To be fair, I thought it would have hit one of their players because there were quite a few around me, but I'm just delighted to get the win. Obviously you are happy when you score a goal, but that's why I think we've done well this year: it's not about individuals. We have all stuck together and it doesn't matter who scores if we are picking up points.'
And City continue to do just that – now 43 of them as they sit 10th in the Premier League table with five games to play, and level on points with Liverpool.
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'This is a performance and a result that no one really expected,' added Bennett. 'Most people would have thought we would come here and get beat, but that's not what we are about. We don't want to come here and get our tummies tickled by the big boys.
'We want to show we can compete at the highest level and here we have managed to do that and come away with three points. So it's a brilliant feeling and an unbelievable day for the football club.'
City's Easter Monday efforts deserved three points, while the winning margin could have been greater had referee Michael Oliver been more obliging with at least two genuine penalty claims.
Firstly, as skipper Grant Holt was sent tumbling by Spurs centre-back Ledley King in the first half, and a second after the break as Aaron Wilbraham received an indiscreet shove in the back under a high ball.
But Bennett admitted those decisions should not diminish from City's performance in north London, given the Canaries have gone close to pipping Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea this season.
'It was an unbelievable performance – everyone is delighted and if we can keep turning in performances like that then we will be a match for anyone,' said Bennett, as City prepare for a visit from Manchester City on Saturday.
'We have been unlucky away at a few big clubs this season and not managed to get the result – but we have here. We'll just look forward to next week now. We have managed to get a win against a top side and hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves on Saturday.'
It was Bennett's 30th appearance of the season on Monday – and the winger admitted he is now hitting his best form for City since arriving.
'I just think there is a bit more confidence in myself and you can play well when the team is playing well,,' said Bennett. 'This was an example. We were brilliant and every single player was brilliant, so it's not down to individuals.
'I'm not going to play brilliantly every week, but one thing I can guarantee everyone is that I'm going to work really hard, which goes for every one of our players. And I think that has stood us in such good stead this year, that if we're not playing well we're still going to work hard and grind a result out.'
Once again the City faithful were in full voice on the road, as White Hart Lane rang out with the sound of the visiting support long into the grey afternoon.
Bennett added: 'Every week they go everywhere. Newcastle away we took a lot of fans and that one isn't a short journey, let me tell you.
'But they are absolutely brilliant and they have been waiting for us to maybe get a big scalp against a big club and we've managed to do that here, so they can go home happy as are we.'