Norwich City 3-1 Newcastle United: Pukki hat-trick fires Canaries to storming Premier League win
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Teemu Pukki became the first Norwich City player since Efan Ekoku in 1993 to plunder a top flight hat-trick in Norwich City’s 3-1 win over Newcastle United at Carrow Road.
Pukki made it four for the season already in an emphatic statement of intent from Daniel Farke's new boys before Jonjo Shelvey pulled back a stoppage time scant consolation for Steve Bruce's visitors.
Moritz Leitner got the nod in one change to the Liverpool starting line up for Kenny McLean, who was passed fit to be named on the bench after missing two days training to rest a back problem.
Timm Klose (hip), Onel Hernandez (knee) and Josip Drmic (hamstring) were all absent. Christoph Zimmermann was another absentee, as the City defender works his way back from summer knee surgery.
Leitner underlined his intent to make an early impression with a driving run and exchange of passes with Todd Cantwell but the eventual corner came to nothing for the hosts.
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Pukki was in behind again in the fifth minute before a cut back to Cantwell who swivelled and hit in one flowing motion at the near post but Martin Dubravka stuck out a left leg to block the shot.
City's Finnish striker then hooked wide on the turn from 12 yards with Marco Stiepermann picking out the frontman in a frenetic start from the hosts.
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Emil Krafth however should have punished the Canaries in the ninth minute when Farke's side allowed a cross to travel all the way to the back post, but he skied over when unmarked.
Tom Trybull and Miguel Almiron clashed heads in the 14th minute with the Newcastle forward coming off worst but referee Atwell saw fit to allow City to restart with an uncontested drop ball.
Norwich continued in the same vein with Aarons drilling a ball into Pukki, who had again escaped detection, but Dubravka was out with a smothering near post stop.
Ritchie played a wall pass against Joelinton but Tim Krul was able to drop on his effort with no real alarms, although it again underlined the visitors' threat on the counter.
Jonjo Shelvey then had precious time to look up and guide a ball intended for Joelinton but which skipped through to Krul.
Back came Norwich in the 25th minute, with Cantwell quick to collect a slack pass from Newcastle's defence only for Pukki to drag his angled shot at Dubravka.
City escaped a minute later when the unmarked Joelinton rose eight yards out but miscued Isaac Hayden's cross, with the Canaries' backline undone by the Brazilian's initial movement.
But Pukki moved centre stage with a wonderful volley to open the scoring in the 32nd minute. The Finnish strike composed himself before connecting perfectly with Buendia's deep cross to smash a shot inside the near post, despite Dubravka getting a hand to the stinging effort.
Krul foiled Fabain Schar in the 38th minute from inside his six yard box with a parry and then a claim after the Magpies had worked a clever free kick that left the Newcastle defender isolated up against Leitner at the far post.
Newcastle started on the front foot after half-time with Ritchie hooking an effort wide from Godfrey's poor clearance. Leitner then needed to sense danger with a near post clearance.
Krul kicked away Shelvey's low cross then produced a vital near post parry from a Magpies' corner with growing signs the visitors were starting to establish a measure of control.
But in a repeat of the first half, Norwich turned to their master marksman to quell the visiting surge. Cantwell superbly turned away from his marker in the centre of the park before a slip pass to Pukki who checked back inside and whipped a low right-footed strike that wrong-footed Dubravka.
Joelinton hobbled off in the 67th minute after failing to shake off an earlier aerial collision with Grant Hanley.
But it was Pukki who emphatically won the battle of the leading men when he ranged alongside Cantwell from Stiepermann's pass before veering around the final man to roll it past Dubravka from 12 yards.
Mario Vrancic replaced Stiepermann for the final spurt and unleashed a deflected strike moments after his arrival, after Buendia was left in a heap by Paul Dummett in the build up.
There was one sour note as City cruised to the finish line when Lewis was forced to hobble off after a heavy challenge in the final minute of normal time, before Shelvey dived inside Hanley to spoil the bid for a clean sheet with a lifted finish.
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Hanley (C), Lewis (Byram 90), Trybull (Tettey 86), Leitner, Cantwell, Stiepermann (Vrancic 83), Buendia, Pukki. Subs (not used): Fahrmann, Roberts, McLean, Srbeny.
- Booking: Aarons (foul on Ritchie, 37)
- Goals: Pukki (32, 63, 76)
- Newcastle United: (3-5-2): Dubravka, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Krafth, Hayden, Shelvey, Ki (Longstaff 74), Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton (Muto 67). Subs (not used): Clark, Willems, Fernandez, Manquillo, Darlow.
- Bookings: Joelinton (foul on Aarons, 44); Dummett (foul on Buendia, 84); Longstaff (foul on Leitner, 90)
- Goal: Shelvey (90+3)
- Added on time: 2 minutes / 4 minutes
- Referee: Stuart Attwell
- Attendance: 27,059