Pukki at the double as Canaries find form in 3-1 win at Bristol City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City are unbeaten in five games after scoring three goals in a league match for the first time in over a year, during an impressive 3-1 win at Bristol City in the Championship this afternoon.
Early goals from Teemu Pukki and a third from Emi Buendia just before the break earned the points but Tim Krul was needed to make two brilliant saves to make sure of an excellent away victory.
The Canaries stuck with Jacob Sorensen at left-back, as Xavi Quintilla rests a hip issue, with 19-year-old Bali Mumba on the bench as full-back cover.
Todd Cantwell and Mario Vrancic both dropped to the bench though, with Marco Stiepermann and Przemek Placheta coming in to Daniel Farke’s starting XI.
The hosts made four changes for the lunchtime kick-off, following their 1-0 loss at Bournemouth on Wednesday, night, with former Canaries striker Chris Martin and Nahki Wells coming in up front as they tried to end a run of four games without a win.
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Norwich on the other hand were unbeaten in four after seeing a winning streak end with a 1-1 draw at Brentford on Tuesday night, giving them 24 hours more rest than the Robins.
The hosts allowed the Canaries to dictate the pace and soon regretted it, as the familiar combination of Marco Stiepermann and Pukki combined to open the scoring in the sixth minute.
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Stiepermann had been finding space in midfield and threaded a nice pass into the box, with Pukki’s first touch just keeping him clear of home captain Zak Vyner to allow him to thump low under Dan Bentley for his third goal of the season.
Eight minutes later and it was 2-0, with Pukki grabbing his second. This time it was Sorensen threading him into the box, with the Finn finding the bottom-right corner with the help of a deflection from defender Taylor Moore as he stretched desperately.
With the sun shining brightly at Ashton Gate and the hosts looking lethargic, it looked like a good day was unfolding for Farke’s team - but within a minute the Robins hit back.
Wells played around Grant Hanley and Jamie Paterson was denied at the near post by Krul but was able to hook the loose ball into the box, where right wing-back Jack Hunt managed to bundle the ball in from close range.
A very open start continued with Pukki lashing a shot over and wasting another chance to test Bentley from another fine Stiepermann pass, with Max Aarons also finding the side-netting.
Wells blasted just wide in the 25th minute as Bristol settled into their task and they nearly had their equaliser in the 35th minute, just after a lovely counter from the visitors had finished with Placheta having a shot blocked.
Krul, as he had done twice at 1-0 down at Brentford in midweek, superbly kept out a Chris Martin header from a corner - scooping the ball away from his line and roaring in celebration as his defence congratulated him.
It proved hugely important, as Buendia scored his first of the season in first half injury-time, brilliantly controlling a long ball forward from Ben Gibson and slotting low past Bentley into the bottom-left corner.
Early in the second half Stiepermann blasted a low shot just over and straight at Bentley, either side of Lukas Rupp slotting tamely wide after Gibson had nodded down a deep corner from Buendia at the back post.
Pukki also scuffed an effort wide but Bristol came so close to pulling one back in the 59th minute, with Stiepermann losing possession in the centre-circle and Canaries academy product Martin curling a lovely effort from 25 yards which Krul got fingertips on to turn it against his far post.
But there was a massive let off in the 75th minute, as Nahki Wells wasted a penalty, chipping tamely over the bar after teasing Krul into a dive - after Sorensen had brought down Bristol captain Tomas Kalas.
With the hosts moving to a 3-4-3 shape after attacking substitutions, Placheta wasted three good chances before teeing up Buendia with a cross from the left in the 88th minute, with Bentley getting down well to deny the Argentine.
Bali Mumba was handed a debut in injury-time, as the hosts ran out of steam and City extended their unbeaten run to five games and move up to second place ahead of the 3pm games.
Next up for the Canaries are two tough hame games against teams who have started the season well, against Millwall on Tuesday and Swansea on Saturday, ahead of an international break.
BRISTOL CITY (3-5-2): Bentley; Vyner, Kalas (C), Moore (Barkinson 57); Hunt, Paterson, O’Dowda, Brunt (Semenyo 75), Dasilva; Wells (Diedhiou 78), Martin. Unused subs: O’Leary (GK), Nagy, Rowe, Massengo
Goals: Hunt (15)
Penalty miss: Wells (75)
NORWICH CITY (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Sorensen; Skipp, Rupp; Buendia, Stiepermann (McLean 72), Placheta (Mumba 90+1); Pukki (Hugill 84). Unused subs: McGovern (GK), Tettey, Cantwell, Vrancic
Booked: Sorensen (foul on Hunt, 60), Gibson (foul on O’Dowda, 66), Krul (time wasting, 73), Rupp (foul on O’Dowda, 77)
Goals: Pukki (6, 14), Buendia (45+2)
REFEREE: Jarred Gillett