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Match Reports

Pukki and Buendia fire City to victory at Coventry

17 February 2021

Goals from Teemu Pukki and Emi Buendia saw Norwich City ease to a 2-0 victory over Coventry City on Wednesday night at St. Andrew's.

City dominated the opening period and were well worth their two goal advantage at half-time, Pukki and Buendia assisting each other for goals on 28 and 45 minutes respectively.

Coventry improved after the break but didn't create anything to threaten the scoreline.

Daniel Farke named an unchanged squad for the trip to St. Andrews, with Dimitris Giannoulis, Mario Vrancic and Buendia keeping their spots in the team after returning for the weekend win against Stoke City. 

Coventry, meanwhile, went into the match with four new starters following their weekend defeat to Cardiff City, with Tyler Walker returning for his first appearance since December.

The bobbly St. Andrews pitch made things difficult for both sides early on. Neither could string a sequence of passes to bring a chance at goal in the opening ten minutes.

However, it was City who should have taken the lead on 12 minutes. Cantwell attempted a one-two with Vrancic but Vrancic's pass instead found Pukki surging towards goal. He decided to square to Cantwell who was running adjacent on his right but the cutback was just behind him and Coventry were able to clear the danger.

Coventry took a while to get going but showed a threat from wide areas on 21 minutes. Julian Dacosta whipped a teasing cross in from the right but Callum O'Hare could only nod over from close range.

But City looked the slicker of the two in the final third in the opening half an hour and they deservedly took the lead on 28 minutes. Oliver Skipp pounced on a loose pass on his own half and moved the ball forward to Buendia who slid a precise through ball into the path of Pukki. The Finn showed tremendous composure to slide the ball past Wilson for the opener.

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It could have been two moments later when Giannoulis lashed towards goal from a tight angle but he effort was narrowly over.

A flowing City move on 37 minutes almost presented a second. Giannoulis' pass across the edge of the area was dummied by Pukki and rolled to Vrancic but he goalbound effort deflected just over. From the resulting corner, Grant Hanley nodded towards goal but the ball was blocked by the feet of Ben Wilson.

The Canaries were full of confidence and they doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. Pukki stole the ball from the indecisive Kyle McFadzean and he ran into the area and returned the favour for Buendia to tap into an empty net.

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Despite a bright start to the second-half by the Canaries, Coventry had the first opportunity of note. Julian Dacosta, who was lucky not to be given a second yellow card moments before, played a neat through pass to O'Hare but he was crowded out well by the onrushing Tim Krul.

Moments later, Gustavo Hamer took aim from distance and fired an effort inches wide of Krul's far post.

Coventry continued to improve with substitutes Maxime Biamou and Victor Gyokeres giving them fresh impetus going forward, however they struggled to create anything meaningful to threaten the scoreline.

Instead, it was the Canaries who went close next on 72 minutes. Cantwell spread a delicious crossfield ball to Max Aarons but the right-back was forced to cut in onto his left and a tame effort was saved by Wilson.

Coventry stepped up their efforts for a goal late on - Biamou and O'Hare exchanged passes on 86 minutes but Ben Gibson did well to block the latter's effort at goal.

That was as good as it got for Coventry, as the Canaries saw out the remaining minutes to record the clean sheet.

Coventry: Wilson (GK), Rose (Ostigard, 46), McFadzean (c), Allen (Biamou, 46), O'Hare, Hyam, Walker (Gyokeres, 64), James (Kelly, 78), Shipley, Dacosta (Pask, 58), Hamer
Subs not used: Marosi (GK), Sheaf, Bakayoko, Bapaga
Goals: None
Bookings: Dacosta (4)
Red cards: None

Norwich: Krul (GK), Aarons, Hanley (c), Vrancic (Dowell, 69), Cantwell (Zimmermann, 87), Buendia (Rupp, 87), Skipp, Pukki (Idah, 90+3), McLean, Giannoulis, Gibson
Subs not used: Barden (GK), Quintilla, Sorensen, Hernandez
Goals: Pukki (28), Buendia (45+1)
Bookings: Hanley (17), Gibson (70), Cantwell (84)
Red cards: None

HT: 0-2
Venue: St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Attendance: None


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