Stoke City 2-3 Norwich City: Buendia red card, Krul injury but Canaries stay top of the Championship
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City stayed top after an incident-packed 3-2 Championship win at Stoke City that saw Emi Buendia sent off and Tim Krul hobble off.
The Canaries looked to be in cruise control when Teemu Pukki’s double added to Buendia’s first half opener.
But the Argentine’s second half dismissal for two yellow cards triggered a Stoke onslaught with Tyrese Campbell and Nathan Collins setting up a fraught finish.
Norwich held out to stretch their unbeaten run to nine games but Krul’s first half injury exit with a suspected thigh issue was the latest entry in a depressing theme of fitness concerns.
Farke made three changes from the side that won 1-0 at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Josh Martin made his full league debut for the Canaries in place of Przemyslaw Placheta. Pukki returned from the start with Jordan Hugill ruled out with shoulder ligament damage. Experienced midfielder Alex Tettey also made his first league start of the season with Lukas Rupp dropping to the bench. The German had been struggling with a hamstring issue either side of the international break.
The depth of City’s injury list was underlined by Farke using only eight of his allotted nine substitutes, with development prospects Reece McAlear and Daniel Barden retaining their place on the bench from the Riverside. The duo were joined by Scottish teenage striker Tom Dickson-Peters.
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Pukki was very interested in Marco Stiepermann’s cute touch from Tettey’s initial set just four minutes in but Joe Bursik raced from his line to gather at the Finn’s feet.
Buendia freed the frontman again after a flowing move from the back triggered by Grant Hanley but Tommy Smith conceded a corner Stoke cleared without any alarms.
Krul survived a scare in the eighth minute, as Steven Fletcher closed him down on the penalty spot after failing to control Hanley’s square pass, but the Dutch keeper cleared a fraction ahead of the Scot’s diving challenge.
Martin underlined his confidence when he demanded the ball inside from Jacob Sorensen to tee up Stiepermann, who rejected the chance to shoot to service Max Aarons who forced another corner.
From the set piece, Stoke only partially cleared to Martin but his curling effort was deflected over the top from 16 yards.
Martin was never far from the action in the early stages, bending another corner to the back post where the unmarked Hanley leapt four yards out but completely misjudged the flight of the ball which veered out of play.
The captain’s anguished reaction as he hauled himself to his feet told the story.
Harry Souttar then thwarted Martin with a last-ditch block from a City counter led by Pukki.
Stoke were firmly on the back foot but did threaten Krul’s goal in the 16th minute when Sam Clucas clipped a left footed strike a couple of yards over.
It was no surprise Martin was pivotal to Norwich’s breakthrough in the 18th minute. The youngster’s quick feet released Pukki, who was just as nimble to feed Stiepermann as Stoke players dived in. The attacking midfielder’s perfectly-timed pass was guided home on the angle by Buendia with a low, right footed finish from 10 yards.
Stoke defender Batth was booked in the aftermath for his ugly lunge that had left Pukki on the deck after he played his part in a flowing move.
Stiepermann evened up the card count moments later with a poor lunge of his own that caught Souttar on the ankle as he tried to retrieve a heavy first touch.
Pukki doubled City’s lead in fine style in the 27th minute, controlling Buendia’s exquisite first time pass on the turn before guiding a left footed strike into the opposite corner past the sprawling Bursik.
But City were indebted to Krul and the woodwork on the half hour, Krul foiling Fletcher at his far post before Nick Powell’s header thudded the bar and rebounded into play.
That was the end of the road for the bustling frontman, who dropped to the ground minutes later with an apparent injury before a slow trudge to be replaced by Lee Gregory.
But disaster struck for Norwich in the 38th minute when Krul pulled up sharply after making a clearance, before signalling to the bench immediately. The City number one appeared to indicate a problem with his left thigh prompting a first appearance of the season for Michael McGovern. Krul headed straight down the tunnel.
Stoke appeared to draw confidence from Norwich’s injury setback with Tyrese Campbell racing in behind, but Ben Gibson tracked the run and blocked the shot.
Stoke made a double change at the interval which included the entrance of Tom Ince.
The Potters tried to up the ante but Norwich ruthlessly exploited the space left in behind in the 57th minute when Martin threaded in Pukki, who raced clear before swerving around Bursik and rolling the ball into an empty.
Hanley was booked for hauling down John Obi Mikel but Ince lifted his free kick over.
That was Farke’s cue to make a double change of his own with Mario Vrancic and Placheta replacing Stiepermann and Martin respectively.
Buendia was booked for a full blooded collision with Batth as tempers started to fray.
Powell then headed over at the back post for the hosts under pressure from Hanley.
But the game lurched again when Buendia picked up a second yellow card in a head high attempt to control a bouncing ball too close to Powell, who went down with Stoke players leading the appeals.
Campbell was too strong at the back post barely a minute after Buendia’s dismissal to despatch Morgan Fox’s deep cross.
McGovern was then called in action with a superb goalline parry to foil Batth as Stoke piled on the pressure.
Farke turned to Christoph Zimmermann to bolster his backline with the hosts’ sensing blood – Pukki making way.
Gibson switched to left back with Sorensen pushed into his more accustomed central midfield role.
McGovern then had to drop on a bouncing ball in his six yard box with Gregory in close attendance.
But Stoke pulled another back in the 79th minute when Nathan Collins levered Zimmermann off the ball far too easily at the near post to power home a Stoke corner.
Sam Vokes was introduced by Michael O’Neill and the Welsh international hooked a volley wide in the 83rd minute.
Mikel then saw his shot blocked by Gibson before McGovern was adjudged to have been fouled as Stoke bundled the corner into the net.
Powell’s swerving shot clipped Hanley into five additional added on minutes before McGovern took two excellent pressure-relieving catches as the visitors bravely held on.
• Stoke (4-2-3-1): Bursik, Fox, Batth (Vokes 79), Mikel, Smith (Collins 45), Fletcher (Gregory 35), Clucas (C), Powell, Campbell, Tymon (Ince 45), Souttar. Subs: Nna Nokeu, Chester, Brown, Oakley-Boothe, Cousins.
• Bookings: Batth (foul on Pukki, 18); Fletcher (foul on Gibson, 28),
• Goals: Campbell (70), Collins (79)
• Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul (McGovern, 40), Aarons, Hanley (C), Gibson, Sorensen, Skipp, Tettey, Buendia, Stiepermann (Vrancic 60), Martin (Placheta, 60), Pukki (Zimmermann, 72). Subs: Barden, Rupp, McAlear, Barden, Dickson-Peters.
• Bookings: Stiepermann (foul on Souttar, 23); Hanley (foul on Mikel, 59); Buendia (foul on Batth, 64)
• Sending off: Buendia, (foul on Powell, 69)
• Goals: Buendia (18), Pukki (27, 57)
• Added on time: 5 minutes / 5 minutes
• Referee: Geoff Eltringham
• Attendance: BCD