Pukki (61), Cantwell (77)
Superb strikes from Pukki and Cantwell as City fight back to beat Owls
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Superb strikes from Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell saw Norwich City fight back to win 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday, with an excellent second half re-establishing the Championship leaders' 10-point lead.
Former Canaries loanee Jordan Rhodes claimed an early lead as the struggling hosts frustrated City and worked hard for their 1-0 lead at the break.
However, Norwich were much better after half-time and both Pukki and Cantwell picked out the top-left corner to claim the lead with 13 minutes remaining - equalling a club record.
It was an eighth win on the spin, equalling the club record in all competitions, previously managed in League One during 2009-10 and during the Championship title triumph of 2018-19.
The club's second-tier champions of 1985-86 managed 10 successive league wins though, so that is the next target.
Yet with 79 points racked up with 10 games to play, the more important record in sight is the 94 points managed by the City title winners of 2004 and 2019. Break that and they will not only be promoted soon but the Championship trophy would be certain to follow.
The Canaries named an unchanged XI but the hosts made four changes from their 3-0 defeat at Reading the previous weekend, with Darren Moore switching to a 4-5-1 shape against the leaders.
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After six consecutive defeats, the changes brought the response the Owls boss needed, with Ben Gibson booked after hauling down Josh Windass on the edge of the box in the sixth minute.
Barry Bannan's free-kick was blocked by the City wall but Joey Pelupessy followed up with a low shot, which took a double deflection to fall kindly into the path of Rhodes, who poked past an exposed Tim Krul from close range.
The striker's celebration was reasonably tame, checking there was no offside flag before smiling as he was mobbed by his team-mates.
It was just a fourth goal of the season for the striker and only his seventh since returning to Yorkshire in 2019, having scored nine in 40 games for Norwich during a title-winning season.
Lukas Rupp was denied by a good Keiren Westwood save in the ninth minute, springing to his left to turn the ball behind.
Krul was twice tested by low Wednesday shots from the edge of the box after slack defending from Dimitris Giannoulis, with Oliver Skipp unable to prevent the efforts from Adam Reach and Kadeem Harris.
Pukki's first sight of goal arrived in the 26th minute as he was found on the left side of the box by Emi Buendia, turning inside Sam Hutchinson only for Tom Lees to make a vital block as the Finn pulled the trigger.
In truth the Canaries were looking shaken though, with the lowly hosts buoyed by their surprise lead, pressing hard from the front and dropping deep when out of possession.
There were no further big chances before the break, as City continued to struggle for their usual attacking spark against spirited opposition, although Kenny McLean was also booked for tripping a charging Rhodes after Cantwell had lost possession.
Daniel Farke made no changes at the break, with his players having conceded just a third goal in eight games.
The visitors looked far brighter during the early stages of the second half but all they really had to show for it was a Cantwell shot being blocked and McLean curling a free-kick over tamely after Pukki had been caught late by Sam Hutchinson.
Cantwell drove a shot over as he rushed on to a Rupp pass on the edge of the box in the 52nd minute, after some nice passing.
City were sharper in mind and deed though and worked their way to a superb equaliser in the 61st minute, with Pukki smashing home his 21st goal of the campaign.
Buendia and Max Aarons linked well on the right and Skipp surged into the box before teeing up his striker, who had time to take a touch and pick his spot, putting his laces through the ball to lash his effort across Westwood into the top-left corner.
Kieran Dowell had been waiting to come on and was still introduced in place of Rupp in the aftermath of the goal.
Pukki and Dowell both fired wide as nerves kicked in for Wednesday and the confidence returned for the leaders.
Some fine play from Dowell, surging infield from the right, was wasted as he hesitated with Cantwell unmarked in the box but the former Everton midfielder was brought down by Barry Bannan on the edge of the box - only to fire the free-kick into the wall himself and lash the loose ball well wide.
The game was turned in the 77th minute though, Buendia timing a tackle perfectly to win back possession and slip Cantwell into the right channel, with the Dereham Deco's control buying him the space to curl left-footed into the top-left corner superbly, with his fifth goal of the season claiming a 2-1 lead.
Dowell had a bouncing shot turned wide by Westwood for City and Pelupessy also squeezed a late shot in for Wednesday but it was held by Krul, as the visitors rolled through their substitutions.
Next up for the Canaries is a trip to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday (7pm), who have pushed up to 17th and nine points clear of the relegation zone under former Norwich boss Chris Hughton after a 1-1 home draw with play-off chasing Reading on Saturday.
SHEFF WEDS (5-4-1): Westwood; Harris, Lees, Hutchinson, Urhoghide, Palmer; Windass (Paterson 86), Pelupessy, Bannan (C), Reach; Rhodes (Marriott 68). Subs: Wildsmith (GK), Hunt, Penney, Brennan, Shaw, Brown, Kachunga
Booked: Harris (foul on Skipp, 45+4), Bannan (foul on Dowell, 71)
NORWICH (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Giannoulis; Skipp, McLean; Buendia (Zimmermann 90+1), Rupp (Dowell 62), Cantwell (Sorensen 88); Pukki (Hugill 90+1). Subs: Nyland (GK), Tettey, Vrancic, Hernandez, Placheta
Booked: Gibson (foul on Windass, 6), McLean (foul on Rhodes, 40), Hugill (time-wasting, (90+4)
REFEREE: Tony Harrington (North Yorkshire)