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Match Reports

Norwich City battle to important victory over Millwall

2 March 2019

Norwich City produced a gritty, determined display to beat Millwall 3-1 at The Den.

They took the lead when Marco Stiepermann nestled home a rebound but Millwall responded just before the interval through a Shaun Williams header.

But the Canaries wrestled back the initiative in the second-half and goals from Christoph Zimmermann and Teemu Pukki helped them to three priceless points.

Daniel Farke named an unchanged starting eleven for the third successive game, with his squad boosted by the return of Alex Tettey on the bench. Aston Oxborough also made a rare appearance in the matchday squad to ensure City’s 18 complied with homegrown rules.

There was a scare early on for City as Millwall showed their threat from set-pieces. A deep corner from Shane Ferguson was nodded towards goal by Jake Cooper but a combination of bodies ensured the ball was cleared.

City weathered the early storm and managed to settle into their passing style, eventually reaping the benefits on 16 minutes. Onel Hernandez cut inside from the left and exchanged passes with Emi Buendia before having a low shot well-saved by Jordan Archer, however Stiepermann was there to smash home the rebound from just inside the area.

Stiepermann almost turned provider on 28 minutes when he zipped a teasing left-footed delivery across the face of goal but Teemu Pukki couldn’t quite apply a finishing touch in the area.

It should have been two for City in the 38th minute. Steve Morison was dispossessed and Pukki was sent racing clear into the Millwall half. He decided to go alone despite support from Stiepermann to his right and Archer smothered his low strike.

Millwall improved as the game approached the break and managed to score an equaliser on the stroke of half-time. A low corner from the left was flicked on at the near post by Steve Morison and Williams managed to nod the ball home via the woodwork.

The opening exchanges of the second-half were scrappy and neither side could mount a flow of concerted pressure. The only real chance was when Max Aarons' deflected cross went just wide on 57 minutes.

Despite struggling to create in open play, City managed to retake the lead via a corner on 70 minutes. Emi Buendia's near post delivery was met by Zimmermann and he thundered his header past the despairing Archer.

City could have stretched their lead moments later when Aarons' crosse caused havoc in the penalty area. Pukki snatched at his first-time volley but it fell kindly for Buendia who scuffed his effort over from six-yards.

But the Canaries didn't have to wait long for their third. On 80 minutes, Buendia sliced the Millwall defence open with a pinpoint through ball and Pukki's first touch took him away from his markers before he finishes emphatically past Archer.

There was a huge scramble in the area on 85 minutes as Millwall searched for a route back into the game. Morison and Mahlon Romeo both try to divert the ball home but a combination of Tim Krul and City bodies prevented them.

And that was the last action of an important Norwich City victory in south London.

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