Norwich City marched seven points clear at the top of the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon as a solitary strike from Teemu Pukki proved to be the difference as they saw off a stubborn Rotherham United side.
There was one change to the Norwich side which ran out as comfortable 2-0 winners away at Coventry City earlier in the week, with Christoph Zimmermann coming in for Ben Gibson at the back, with the German slotting in alongside Grant Hanley.
Whilst Rotherham made two changes of their own with Ryan Giles and Angus MacDonald coming in for Matt Olosunde and Richard Wood as Paul Warne looked to add fresh legs to his starting eleven after falling to defeat at Bournemouth in midweek.
There was good early play from the Canaries as Mario Vrancic steered a shot just wide, with Emiliano Buendia and Todd Cantwell looking to link the play at every opportunity.
We then almost had a breakthrough in bizarre circumstances as an in-swinging Rotherham corner from the left almost caught out Tim Krul at his near post, with the delivery striking the upright before it was cleared away.
Norwich then had their first real opening of the game as Teemu Pukki was set free into the area but his shot was far too tame and proved to be easy for Viktor Johansson to save.
The opening goal of the contest then arrived soon after as the home side took the lead as Buendia played a lovely through ball through to Pukki who timed his run to perfection before finishing with ease.
It was the least the hosts deserved as they continuously got the better of the away side’s high press, with the likes of Cantwell and Vrancic really dominating proceedings in the centre of the park.
There was then a stunning save from Johansson to deny Buendia as Norwich seeked to find a second before half time.
The first half then slowly fizzled out with a whimper with the Canaries sure to be the happier of the two sides at half time after what was a largely anonymous showing from Rotherham in the first 45 minutes.
Moving into the second half and the away side threw on Matthew Olosunde for Angus MacDonald in an attempt to be more creative.
And it was a move which almost paid dividends straight away as Ben Wiles thumped a volley against the bar with Krul beaten all ends up.
After a lull, the game then sprung back into life with two chances in quick succession as Pukki’s shot was saved well by Johansson after the Finn was put clean through before Rotherham went down the other end with Ladapo’s cutback being met by Matt Crooks who saw his shot well blocked.
As much as the away side huffed and puffed, they couldn’t quite create any real clear cut chances in the last quarter, with the Canaries comfortably coasting to a priceless victory on home turf.
However Paul Warne and his staff will take solace from the fact that his side only limited their hosts to only a handful of chances.
The win now takes them seven points clear of Brentford in second place, with the Bees having fallen to a 2-0 defeat earlier in the day away at Coventry, which means Norwich have now tightened their grip on top spot as a result.
Meanwhile the Millers once again slipped back into the bottom three after Birmingham City sealed a crucial away win at Sheffield Wednesday.
FULL TIME: Norwich City 1-0 Rotherham United