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Match Reports

City hit three in win over Luton

25 July 2018

A blistering first-half display from Norwich City set them on their way to a 3-1 victory over Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

Grant Hanley bagged on his return from injury to open the scoring before Jordan Rhodes (pen) and Teemu Pukki netted to make it 3-0 at the interval, although the two were subsequently replaced through injury.

Luke Gambin added a consolation for the Hatters in a much brighter second-half from them but City were relatively comfortable as they held on.

Daniel Farke handed first starts to Tim Krul and Emi Buendia as they Canaries lined up in their increasingly familiar 4-1-4-1 formation. Ben Marshall, the returning Hanley, Ben Godfrey and Max Aarons made up the back four with Louis Thompson just in-front. Buendia started on the right and Pukki on the left with Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell in the centre of the midfield and Rhodes started as the lone frontman.

After a positive start by the hosts, City were much the better side in the first-half. They took the lead with virtually their first effort on goal when Marshall’s inswinging corner eventually bounced to Hanley who slotted by James Shea in the Luton goal.

It was two moments later and Marshall was once again the creator. He slipped inside brilliantly from the right and was hacked down just inside the penalty area, allowing Rhodes to notch his second goal of pre-season with a cool spot-kick.

The only blight on a controlled first-half display was an injury to Rhodes. Both he and Jack Senior went full throttle into a 50/50 challenge but the City striker came off worse and was replaced by Marco Stiepermann.

Krul had had a relatively quiet first 45 minutes in a City shirt but he was called into action five minutes before half-time as a low drive from Andrew Shinnie forced the Dutchman to beat the ball away.

Pukki then went close to making it three after an intelligent cutback from Buendia but the Finnish striker wasn’t to be prevented a second time in quick succession as he connected superbly with a Marshall cross to add a third in first-half stoppage time.

Luton improved after the break and had a reward for their endeavours on 57 minutes. Danny Hylton’s close-range header was well saved by Krul but Gambin reacted quickest to tap into an empty net.

After introcuding Moritz Leitner and Christoph Zimmermann at half-time, Farke made four changes midway through the second-half but one was essential as Pukki picked up a knock and was replaced by Dennis Srbeny.

Srbeny and Passlack both went close from range in the final ten minutes as City eased to the victory.

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