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Stoppage-time Pukki goal helps Norwich City beat Bolton

8 December 2018

Norwich City produced another late show at Carrow Road as a stoppage-time strike from Teemu Pukki saw them beat Bolton Wanderers 3-2.

A brilliant low strike from Mario Vrancic gave City the lead in the first-half and their advantage was doubled shortly after the break after another powerful finish from Marco Stiepermann.

Bolton rallied in the second-half and goals from Sammy Ameobi and Mark Beevers looked to have salvaged a point. 

However, Pukki once again made sure City had the last laugh, smashing the ball past Ben Alnwick in the 92nd minute to send Carrow Road into raptures.

Daniel Farke initially named an unchanged starting eleven from last weekend’s match with Rotherham United, but he was forced to make a late change just minutes before kick-off. Timm Klose had to pull out from the side with a knee injury and he was replaced by Ben Godfrey. Elsewhere, Onel Hernandez returned to the bench after recovering from injury, replacing Felix Passlack.

City had plenty of the ball in the opening minutes but it was the visitors who went close first. Godfrey cleared a low cross from Ameobi but only as far as the advancing Jason Lowe whose firm half-volley was palmed away by Tim Krul.

There was more danger moments later for City when Ameobi slid the ball through to Will Buckley but the Bolton winger fired wide from inside the box.

Despite the early threat, City continued to be patient and almost got a reward on 17 minutes. Stiepermann surged forward, beat a couple of challenges and forced Alnwick into a low save down to his left. The resulting rebound from Max Aarons was deflected behind for a corner, which came to nothing.

City then began to crank up the pressure and Alex Tettey should have given them the lead midway through the first-half. A corner was swung to the far post by Vrancic but the skipper somehow headed across goal and wide from about six yards. Moments later, Todd Cantwell curled wide after a precise lay-off from Emi Buendia

Bolton then started to get themselves back into the flow of the game but failed to test Krul like they did in the opening minutes. Instead, it was City’s turn to go close again in the 34th minute – Vrancic dummied before curling inches wide of Alnwick left-hand top corner.

Shortly after a low drive from Stiepermannwas beaten away by Alnwick, Vrancic went one better to give City the lead. Buendia squeezed the ball wide to Aarons who fizzed the ball first-time into Vrancic and he planted the ball into the bottom corner from range, giving Alnwick no chance in the Bolton goal.

The game was fairly open at the start of the second-half with both teams sweeping forward at every opportunity. However, the best either side could muster was when Buendia dispossessed Joe Williams in the box but saw his low strike smothered by Alnwick.

A moment of real quality from Jamal Lewis helped City earn a two-goal cushion on the hour mark. He found Vrancic in the box with a defence-splitting pass and the Bosnian poked the ball through to Stiepermann who hammered the ball past Alnwick at his near-post.

However, just minutes later Bolton gave themselves hope. A cross was hooked back into the six-yard box by Andrew Taylor and Ameobi ghosted in at the back post to tap home.

That gave Bolton a boost and manager Phil Parkinson brought on another striker in the form of Josh Magennis as they aimed to grab an equaliser.

Despite the change, City continued to dominate possession and in-turn, attempt to restore their two-goal cushion. They almost found it on 75 minutes when Stiepermann shot inches wide of the post after linking up with Vrancic once again. Shortly after, Pukki was sent clear but Bolton recovered well to stop City’s top scorer getting a shot away.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Farke made two changes with Hernandez and Jordan Rhodes replacing Buendia and Stiepermann.

With just a few minutes left on the clock, a long punt forward caused havoc in the City box and the loose ball was on a plate for Beevers to smash home and it looked to have earned Bolton a precious point.

Ameobi was later shown a red card after accruing two bookings and, as the game entered stoppage time, City once again found a late winner. A cross was headed down and it fell kindly to Pukki who fired the ball home on the half-volley to give City their fifth home win in a row.

Today’s Golden Goal times were:
 
1st Goal: 38.26
2nd Goal: 58.15
3rd Goal: 62.20
4th Goal: 87:32
5th Goal: 90:00
 
Lucky Number 2635

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