Match Reports

Dean Smith era starts with a win as Pukki and Hanley net against Southampton

Norwich City started life under new head coach Dean Smith with a victory at Carrow Road.

The team battled back from a goal down against Southampton to level through Pukki, before putting in a dominant second half display that saw skipper Hanley head home a deserved winner with 12 minutes to go.

Smith made three changes to the side that had beaten Brentford last time out as Hanely returned from injury to skipper the side and Billy Gilmour and Todd Cantwell replaced Pierre Lees-Melou and Kieran Dowell in the starting XI.

The match was only three minutes old when Southampton took the lead. Norwich City struggled to clear a ball on the edge of their box and when Ché Adams got hold of it he managed to hold off the challenge of Hanley before sending a right foot shot into the bottom corner.

Lifted by the vocal support from a boisterous home crowd, the Canaries were level four minutes later when Max Aarons got to the byline and clipped a cross to the near post which Pukki headed home for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Southampton began to control the possession and territory for large spells after this, but James Ward-Prowse's effort, that was comfortably saved by Tim Krul to show fort their efforts.

Elsewhere there was brave defending from both Hanley and Ben Gibson to block effort from Mohamed Salisu and Adam Armstrong, before Tino Livramento sent over a cross to the back post that looked dangerous but was a yard too far in front of Adams for him to connect with.

On the counter, Norwich looked threatening with Billy Gilmour holding onto the ball well, but a couple of Brandon Williams’ balls into the box were headed away well by Salisu.

Southampton then had a really good chance to take the lead on 42 minutes when Hanley slipped in possession on halfway. Armstrong worked the ball well into the path of Adams, but his effort was superbly saved by Krul.

Then on the stroke of half-time Gilmour won a free kick on the right and then delivered a good ball into the box that both Hanley and Gibson were inches away from connected with.

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The first chance of the second half fell to Southampton as Oriol Romeu chipped a ball into the area for Adams to glance a header wide.

Norwich responded moments later though as Mathias Normann fizzed a pass into the feet of Milot Rashica and his swivel and shot forced a save out of Alex McCarthy. Then a minute late Normann won the ball back high up the pitch which allowed substitute Josh Sargent a sight of goal but his effort was well blocked by Salisu.

That saw the home side begin to get on top of the game, with Normann fizzing a great pass down the line for Rashica to then cross. His ball was cut out for a corner though and the resultant delivery into the box was headed over the bar by Gibson.

Normann was then next to go close, on 67 minutes, as he lined up a shot from 30 yards that whistled past the upright. Southampton replied with a shot from Romeu but then after good work in midfield from Gilmour, Pukki managed to work his way into the box before firing a right foot shot at goal that McCarthy turned around the post.

So it was a just reward for the second half performance when, having forced another corner, the ball was crossed to the back post by Gilmour for his fellow Scot Hanley to head home with 12 minutes to go.

There was a chance in stoppage time for Southampton to equalise but subsitute Theo Walcott headed wide from eight yards out.

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Norwich City: Krul; Aarons, Gibson, Hanley (C), Williams; Normann, McLean; Cantwell (Sargent, 45), Gilmour (Rupp, 85), Rashica (Tzolis, 89); Pukki. Subs not used: Gunn, Płacheta, Lees-Melou, Giannoulis, Idah. Goals: Pukki (7), Hanley (78) Bookings: Kurl (90+2), Normann (90+3)

Southampton: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Livramento; Elyounoussi (Broja, 56), Romeu (Lyanco, 72), Ward-Prowse, Diallo; A Armstrong, Adams (Walcott, 61). Subs not used: Forster, Long, Perraud, Smallbone, Tella, Valery. Goals: Adams (3) Bookings: Walker-Peters (71)

HT: 1-1 Venue: Carrow Road Attendance: 26,855 Referee: Martin Atkinson

*Today’s official Golden Goal times were: 1st Goal: 03:19, 2nd Goal: 06:51, 3rd Goal: 78:41

*Tonight’s lucky number was 1432 – the winner will get a VIP Away for two people for the West Ham United away game

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