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Match Reports

Pukki and Cantwell lead comeback at Hillsborough Stadium

14 March 2021

Norwich City came back from a goal behind to take a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Jordan Rhodes early finish gave City an uphill battle for majority of the match, but excellent finishes from Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell saw City take the three points.

Head coach Daniel Farke named an unchanged starting eleven from the side that beat Luton Town 3-0 last week but brought Przemyslaw Placheta and Orjan Nyland in to join the bench.

Sheffield Wednesday saw the better of the early chances, Ben Gibson’s pull on Josh Windass seeing the midfielder brought down as he approached the City box.

The defender was booked, and Barry Bannan stepped up to the free-kick, his set-piece ricocheting off the wall into the path of Jordan Rhodes, who side-foot his chance past Tim Krul by the seventh-minute for an early lead.

Lukas Rupp looked to level just a minute later as he surged towards the Wednesday goal, firing from distance to test Keiren Westwood, the keeper’s first save a comfortable catch.

Up the other end, Kadeem Harris replicated Rupp’s shot with a curled effort from far-out of his own, the shot forcing Krul into a low save.

City’s best change of the opening exchanges would come when Ben Gibson’s long-pass found Emi Buendia, who played a nice one-touch pass through to Pukki inside the Wednesday box. The Finn cut inside and, despite the nice move, saw his shot deflected by a last-ditch tackle.

The Canaries next big chance wouldn’t fall until close to half time, when Oliver Skipp’s lofted ball over the top went looking for the head of Buendia, but the Argentine was just short of getting a nod on it inside the 18-yard box.

The hosts ended the first half on the front foot, a cross into the City box finding Rhodes, his header high and wide of the target.

It was a lively opening for City in the second half, Cantwell’s shot and cross both testing the Wednesday defence early on and rebounding out for corners.

Pukki’s poach of the ball from Sam Hutchinson saw the striker fouled by the defender, the referee awarding the Canaries a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box. Kenny McLean stepped up, but his effort was just high of the target.

Continuing their push for the leveller, a neat one-touch team move from City ended with Rupp’s pull back for Cantwell, who’s shot was clear of the bar.

The hosts had to wait until the 52nd minute for their first chance of the half, Bannan’s curled shot from range just missing it’s target from a difficult angle after intercepting Oliver Skipp’s clearance.

Then, after the stroke of the 60th minute, City found the elusive leveller. A short-pass from Buendia found Skipp on the edge of the box, who lightly layed it in for Pukki, who laced it across the face of goal past Westwood into the top corner for 1-1.

The Finn came close to doubling the lead just minutes later with a sweeping effort past the far post from inside the box.

Kieran Dowell looked to make his impact after coming on as a substitute, charging into the Wednesday box and fouled just before he could play Cantwell in. The midfielder stepped up to the free-kick, coming back to him off the wall, his subsequent volley firing wide.

With just over ten minutes to go, the scores had turned in City’s favour. An excellent tackle from Buendia recovered City possession, getting the ball high up to Cantwell, who curled his shot into the far top corner perfectly for the lead.

Cruising through the last ten minutes, City's comeback was complete as they took all three points back to Norfolk.

Norwich City starting XI: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis, Skipp, McLean, Buendia (Zimmermann, 90+1), Rupp (Dowell, 62), Cantwell (Sorensen, 88), Pukki (Hugill, 90+1)
Subs not used: Vrancic, Placheta, Nyland, Hernandez, Tettey
Goals: Pukki (61), Cantwell (77)
Gibson (5), McLean (40), Hugill (90+4)

Sheffield Wednesday starting XI: Westwood, Lees, Hutchinson, Urhoghide, Harris, Bannan, Pelupessy, Palmer, Windass (Paterson, 86), Reach, Rhodes (Marriott, 66)
Subs not used: Penney, Brown, Shaw, Wildsmith, Hunt, Brennan, Kachunga
Rhodes (6)
Bookings: Harris (45+4), Bannan (71)

HT: 1-0
Hillsborough Stadium
Tony Harrington

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