‘I stole the ball from Todd’ – In-form Pukki was desperate to score a City hat-trick
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Norwich City talisman Teemu Pukki was proudly holding his Premier League match ball after an excellent 3-1 win over Newcastle, after finally notching the first hat-trick of his prolific Canaries career.
The Finn scored a brace in six games during his phenomenal Championship campaign of 2018-19, as he scored 29 league goals after moving on a free transfer from Brondby, winning the division's Golden Boot and Player of the Season award.
So after kicking off Carrow Road's return to top-flight football in memorable style, Pukki just could not stop smiling.
"My first hat-trick in a Norwich shirt, so really happy about it, and three points, that's what we came for today," City's star striker said, after making it four goals in two Premier League games.
"It was a great game from us, we totally deserved to win this game, so obviously really happy about it."
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It was the first top-tier treble from a Norwich player since Efan Ekoku scored four at Everton in September 1993 and left Pukki as the Premier League's joint top scorer overnight, tied on four goals with Manchester City and England superstar Raheem Sterling on Saturday evening.
"Last season there were many times when I scored a couple of goals and I could never do the third one," the Finland international continued.
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"So that's something I've been trying to do and I think I stole the ball from Todd (Cantwell), I'm not sure I even tried to pass, I just wanted the third one.
"It's a great start for us and for me personally, so I can be happy about that and next week is a big game (at home to Chelsea), so we can take a lot of positive things out of this for the next game."
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Cantwell set up two of Pukki's goals and the striker was happy to praise his young team-mate, adding: "Todd's been really good in the pre-season and in the Liverpool game as well, so it's nice to play with him.
"Like all the other guys, they are trying to find me a lot of the time, so I just enjoy playing with the guys in this team."
The 29-year-old's first was an unstoppable volley from around 15 yards, smashing in at the River End after Emi Buendia's cross from the right had been headed upwards.
Asked if it was the best goal of his City career, he said: "Probably. I was a bit surprised myself as well but I got a great shot out of it and it was a great goal, probably the best in a long time that I have scored."
It all made for an extremely happy atmosphere at Carrow Road, as the sun shone and Daniel Farke's impressive team bounced back from a 4-1 loss at European champions Liverpool during the opening weekend.
Pukki said of the win: "It was really important, we want to win a lot of games at home and with the support we are having from our fans, it is amazing to play there and amazing to score early and get points early. We can build from this."