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Match Reports

City dig in to record impressive victory at Stoke

24 November 2020

Norwich City came out on top in a entertaining encounter against Stoke City to strengthen their grip at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-2 victory.

The Canaries were in cruise control at the hour mark after a clinical display thanks to goals from Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki (2), however they lost goalkeeper Tim Krul to injury during the first-half.

Buendia was shown a red card on the hour mark and Stoke scored twice in the final half hour through Tyrese Campbell and Nathan Collins as they threw the kitchen sink at Daniel Farke's team.

But City showed steel and determination to come through and seal another impressive victory.

Farke made three changes to his starting eleven from Saturday's victory over Middlesbrough, with Alex Tettey, Josh Martin and Pukki coming into the side in place of Lukas Rupp, Jordan Hugill and Przemyslaw Placheta.

There were places for academy trio of Dan Barden, Reece McAlear and Tom Dickson-Peters on the bench, with a number of injuries to first-team players forcing Farke to call on youth.

In a very cagey opening ten minutes, Stoke allowed City to dominate possession without letting them progress up the field of play. However, on 12 minutes, the Canaries began to make in-roads. A Buendia corner was cleared only as far as Martin whose shot was deflected over.

From the resulting corner, Grant Hanley almost met a Martin delivery from the other side but he couldn't rise high enough to meet the ball, despite being unmarked and six yards out.

The Canaries didn't have to wait long on a far superior start though. Martin was involved once more in the opener as he jinked past challenge on the left and moved the ball inside to Pukki who then found Marco Stiepermann surging forward. He slid the ball through to Buendia who shot across goal and into the bottom corner for the opener on 18 minutes.

Stoke improved after going behind but it was City who continued to look the more threatening of the two sides.

On 27 minutes, their lead was doubled. Buendia turned provider this time to fizz a sumptuous ball behind the Potters' defence and Pukki took them by surprise when he fired an unstoppable strike into the bottom corner on the volley.

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Stoke knew they had to start playing, and they indeed did shortly after going further behind. Stephen Fletcher met a cross but was kept out by Krul, before Nick Powell then nodded onto the crossbar in a real let off for the visitors.

The remainder of the half was marred by two enforced changes. As a result of his efforts, Fletcher was brought off with a suspected knee problem and on 40 minutes, Krul pulled up and was replaced by Michael McGovern.

There was more injury worries for City at the start of the second-half as Stiepermann was forced to the ground after nasty clash of heads with Danny Batth. Fortunately for City, he was declared okay to continue by medical staff.

City tightened their grip even further on proceedings on the hour mark when Pukki broke the offside trap and latched onto a Martin through ball before round Stoke goalkeeper Josef Bursik and tapping into the empty net.

Stoke threatened a resurgence shortly after Emi Buendia was sent off for a second bookable offence as Campbell powerfully headed home.

Batth was denied twice in quick succession on 75 minutes by McGovern and then the left-hand post, before substitute Nathan Collins rose highest to nod home a corner with just ten minutes left.

However, City dug in to navigate their way through the closing ten minutes to record another decisive victory.

Stoke City: Bursik (GK), Fox, Batth (Vokes, 79), Mikel, Smith (Collins, 46), Fletcher (Gregory, 35), Clucas, Powell, Campbell, Tymon (Ince, 46), Souttar
Subs not used: Nna Noukeu, Chester, Brown, Oakley-Boothe, Cousins, 
Goals: Campbell (70), Collins (80)
Bookings: Batth (18), Fletcher (28)

Norwich City: Krul (GK) (McGovern, 40), Aarons, Hanley (c), Buendia, Stiepermann (Vrancic, 60), Sorensen, Skipp, Pukki (Zimmermann, 73), Martin (Placheta, 60), Tettey, Gibson
Subs not used:, Barden (GK), Rupp, McAlear, Dickson-Peters
Goals: Buendia (18), Pukki (27)
Bookings: Stiepermann (23), Hanley (58), Buendia (64)
Red card: Buendia (68)


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