Blackburn Rovers defender’s praise for City star

PUBLISHED: 09:56 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:56 14 April 2020

Blackburn Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan has named Teemu Pukki as the toughest opponent he has faced. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Blackburn Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan has named Teemu Pukki as the toughest opponent he has faced. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Blackburn Rovers defender Darragh Lenihan has described Teemu Pukki as the toughest opponent he’s faced during his career.

The Norwich City hitman netted 30 goals in all competitions last season, a prolific return that saw him crowned EFL Player of the Season alongside becoming a title winner with the Canaries.

Pukki’s exploits drew praise from all quarters, with the Finnish international lauded for his efforts for City.

He has carried that form into the top-flight, netting on 11 occasions so far this season, despite having a dip in form prior to the coronavirus shutdown.

Pukki netted the winner in the Canaries hard-fought 1-0 victory at Ewood Park in December 2018.

The Irish international was impressed with Pukki's ability and movement. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdThe Irish international was impressed with Pukki's ability and movement. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

City completed the double over Lenihan’s men at Carrow Road in April 2019, winning 2-1 in the game that confirmed their return to the Premier League.

Lenihan admits he was lucky not to see red following a late lunge on the Finn during that encounter at Carrow Road, which prevented Pukki from making the scoreline look considerably healthier.

Rovers defender Lenihan was participating in a question and answer session on the club’s official website, and named City’s talisman as the best opponent he has faced domestically.

“The first person that comes to my head, playing against domestically, is probably Teemu Pukki”, Lenihan told Blackburn’s official site.

“I think we lost 1-0 (to Norwich) last year at Ewood and he didn’t really do much all game, but he got the winner late on, after the 80th minute, and then when we played them at their place, I potentially could have got sent off!

“I think I was last man and I fouled him, but his movement and his finishing, I don’t know how many goals he ended up with last year, but I thought he was very good.”

Rovers currently sit 10th in the Championship but remain three points behind Alex Neil’s Preston North End in 6th.

Former City duo Elliott Bennett and Bradley Johnson have been pivotal contributors to this season for Tony Mowbray’s men.

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