Norwich City’s Man of the Match v Fulham
Ryan Bennett has had to bide his time more than most in Paul Lambert's squad. City's January window acquisition was first returned to sender for another month's loan deal under the terms of his late deadline day move.
Bennett was then drafted into the Canaries' squad at the end of his first week with the club for the recent defeat at Stoke. Further watching briefs have come as a member of the suited and booted brigade. Against Fulham, Bennett was in the thick of it, operating on the right side of a defensive three. A role he occupied against the Cottagers' second string in a recent midweek reserve outing.
Bennett showed enough in two games against Fulham during the space of four days to suggest he will not be dominated aerially in either penalty box. Clint Dempsey was shoved to the ground following a near post collision in the first half that ended with a petulant reaction from the American. The fact Bennett stood his ground in the aftermath proved the 22-year-old is not one for taking a backward step, despite his elevation to such exalted company.
Two blocks also stood out either side of the interval. Denying Mousa Dembele a certain third from close range after Dempsey had struck woodwork before sensing danger to thwart the overlapping Stephen Kelly from Bryan Ruiz's superb pass. A debut to remember.