A hattrick from Glenn Murray was one of many positives on the pitch as Brighton and Hove Albion sent a message out to the other teams fighting for automatic promotion.
The Seagulls were clinical in front of goal and although they were helped out by some horrific defending by Norwich, Chris Hughton’s men won every battle on the pitch in all positions.
This was as close to a perfect performance as possible, but Brighton did start the game slowly.
The passing was sloppy, and Norwich did enjoy the majority of possession in that first 45.
Yes Murray scored inside six minutes, but that was only because of Michael McGovern’s heavy first touch.
Apart from that, it is hard to remember any real save McGovern had to make in the Canaries goal during that first half.
Saying that, take nothing away from the Seagulls and Hughton, who deserves a result like that after what has been 18 months of hard work on the south coast.
Since the former Newcastle boss took over, Brighton have looked a formidable force in the Championship. After last seasons heartache, its clear there is no Play-off hangover at the Amex.
The win yesterday is a testament to what the 57-year old manager has achieved already at the club.
Seagulls fans haven’t seen their side destroy a side like they did yesterday for a while, and for it to be another team that will be fighting for the top two positions makes it all the sweeter.
It’s hard not to look at Murray as the standout Brighton player on the day for his stellar performance, but Gaetan Bong , Shane Duffy, Steve Sidwell, Dale Stephens and Jiri Skalek all deserve a mention too.
The back four were immense. No Norwich player was able to find any space within 18 yards of goal, and their best chance came from a Wes Hoolahan volley from 25 yards.
Shane Duffy won every header ahead of Cameron Jerome, whilst his central defensive partner Lewis Dunk got himself on the scoresheet with a powerful header from Jiri Skalek’s corner.
The Czech international assisted Albion’s second and third goals of the game with pinpoint crosses, something which gives him the edge over Jamie Murphy and possibly the returning Solly March as Brighton head into a tough November.
Steve Sidwell worked his absolute socks off in the second half to break down and intercept Norwich attacks.
And of course Murray deserves another mention for his hattrick.
Ok, two of which came from Norwich errors, but if the 33-year old plays like he did yesterday for the rest of the campaign he will net 20 plus easily.
He outmuscled defenders, won all headers he battled for, held up the ball well and finished instinctively. It was the perfect centre forward performance.
Let’s not forget Norwich were a Premier League side last season, and still have a majority of their squad from the last campaign. That’s what makes this a huge 3 points.
A tough trip to Bristol City is next for the Seagulls, before home matches to Aston Villa and Fulham respectively.