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Match Reports

Pukki scores 50th City goal as Norwich beat Blackburn 2-1

12 December 2020

Teemu Pukki scored his 50th Norwich City goal with a brace at Ewood Park as Norwich City beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 in the Championship on Saturday.

Daniel Farke made one change to the side that started Wednesday's 2-1 win at home to Nottingham Forest, Alexander Tettey coming in for Marco Stiepermann with Mario Vrancic moving further forward.

Norwich began the first half on the back foot, Michael McGovern making an outstanding reflex save, swinging his left arm up to deny Sam Gallagher from close range, who was heading towards goal from a corner kick.

Harvey Elliott curled wide of the post from a crossing position moments later, before Max Aarons showed good skill on the right wing and put a cross into the 18-yard box that Rovers cleared.

City went close to a sight of goal in the 14th minute, Emi Buendia finding Josh Martin, who scooped the ball over one Blackburn defender before being crowded out and failing to get the shot away.

Pukki looked to chip the ball over Thomas Kaminski after carrying it through Blackburn's half against three Rovers defenders, but the 'keeper read the situation.

In an end-to-end first half, Gallagher then headed over from an Elliot cross. 

But the visitors made the breakthrough moments later. After a corner wasn't fully cleared, Tettey had possession on the left of the box and found Pukki in a dangerous area.

The Finn showed excellent speed of thought to swivel from having his back to goal to picking out the bottom left corner at the near post for 1-0.

He almost got his 50th goal for Norwich City in the 34th minute, retrieving a quick free-kick from Buendia and dragging a shot wide of the far post.

There was a lovely passage of play from the Canaries with half-time approaching that almost resulted in the game's second goal. Buendia picked out Pukki close to the six-yard box, the latter cushioning his first-time effort onto the crossbar. The ball fell to Jacob Sorensen, whose shot was saved by Kaminski, before Pukki put the next chance over the bar.

On the brink of half-time, City had the ball in the net again through Oliver Skipp, but the Tottenham Hotspur loanee was offside when Vrancic's pass was played through to him.

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Tony Mowbray's side came flying out the traps at the start of the second half, Darragh Lenihan heading wide from a corner early on, before Gallagher thumped the ball onto the crossbar from distance.

Bradley Johnson headed a free-kick into the ground and straight at McGovern shortly after, and the City keeper kept his side ahead again with a dive to his right moments later to prevent Lewis Holtby from equalising from distance.

But the pressure paid off for Blackburn in the 59th minute, Elliot darting in from the right wing and putting the ball between Grant Hanley's legs and beyond McGovern to equalise.

The Liverpool loanee came in from the right and shot straight at McGovern moments later, before City took the lead once again.

Buendia had the ball on the edge of the are and shot towards the bottom left corner, but Pukki was in the path of the ball and got a touch on it to change the direction and wrong-foot Kaminski for his 50th goal in the yellow shirt.

Daniel Farke then introduced Todd Cantwell and Kenny McLean in place of Martin and Vrancic respectively, before Barry Douglas curled a free-kick over the bar for the hosts.

McGovern made another important save in the 88th minute, if a fairly routine one, getting behind a low shot from Adam Armstrong to keep the score at 2-1 City.

At the other end, Cantwell shot straight at Kaminski as Buendia and Pukki looked to link up again, before the Finn was replaced by Jordan Hugill. Buendia then curled a shot high and wide.

Stiepermann came on for Buendia in the game's dying embers and missed a chance to score a third for Norwich, but City professionally saw out another three points in the Championship.

Blackburn Rovers XI: Kaminski (GK), Nyambe, Williams, Johnson (Downing 73'), Armstrong, Rothwell (Buckley 73'), Gallagher, Holtby (Davenport 73'), Douglas, Elliot, Lenihan (c)
Subs not used: Pears (GK), Ayala, Chapman, Bell, Carter, Dolan
Goals: Elliot (59')
Bookings:
None
Red cards:
None

Norwich XI: McGovern (GK), Aarons, Hanley (c), Zimmermann, Vrancic (McLean 66'), Buendia (Stiepermann 90+3'), Sorensen, Skipp, Pukki (Hugill 89'), Martin (Cantwell 66'), Tettey
Subs not used: Barden (GK), Dowell, Omobamidele, Omotoye
Goals: Pukki (22', 65')
Bookings: Pukki (84')
Red cards: None

HT: 0-1
Venue: Ewood Park
Attendance: 0
Referee: Dean Whitestone


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