Match Reports

Pukki penalty helps City to vital victory

Teemu Pukki's first-half penalty was enough to hand Norwich City a vital 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth.

Steve Cook's acrobatic handball blocked debutant Ondrej Duda's effort from going in and it was an offence which the Bournemouth captain saw red for - Pukki rolled home the spot kick on 33 minutes to hand City the lead at the interval.

City had plenty of chances to extend their advantage in the second-half but came up against an inspired Aaron Ramsdale in the Cherries' goal. Ben Godfrey saw red for a late tackle on Callum Wilson with 15 minutes to play but it didn't alter the scoreline as City picked up a crucial victory.

Daniel Farke made three changes to the side which lost at Manchester United last weekend, with Ben Godfrey and Teemu Pukki making their returns from injury. Ondrej Duda was handed his first start, with fellow newbie Lukas Rupp on the bench.

Bournemouth created the first chance on 2 minutes during a cagey start by both sides. Ryan Fraser’s cross was flicked towards goal by the head of Callum Wilson but the effort was straight at Tim Krul.

City began to get into their rhythm after that but had to be patient against a well-organised Cherries back four. At the other end, Phillip Billing fired a long-range effort over on 10 minutes.

On 15 minutes, City threatened to open the scoring when Max Aarons’ crossed into a crowded penalty area but Emi Buendia’s header went narrowly wide.

City continued to look the likelier scorers but Bournemouth were allowing little room in the final third for Canary playmakers to create. They were restricted to pop shots from distance, one of them being Alex Tettey’s low drive which flew past the post on 26 minutes.

After a relatively slow start, the game sparked into life ten minutes before the break. Aaron Ramsdale rushed off his line to clear but the loose ball fell to Duda who curled a strike destined for the net, however defender Steve Cook flung an arm to tip the ball onto the post. The Bournemouth skipper was sent off and Pukki lashed the resulting penalty home to give the Canaries a deserved advantage.

Shortly after the restart, Buendia took aim from distance but he didn't go close to breaking his Premier League duck as his effort sailed over.

City continued to dominate the ball but had to wary of their opponents on the counter attack and at set-pieces. Ryan Fraser's corner on the hour mark caused havoc in the City penalty area but Godfrey did superbly to block a goalbound Nathan Ake effort from close range.

Minutes after Callum Wilson fluffed his lines from a Fraser cross, Pukki should have added to his tally. Buendia threaded a ball through the Bournemouth backline and Pukki raced onto it, however Ramsdale did well to smother the ball low to his left.

On 72 minutes, Duda poked the ball towards goal after being picked out by a low Aarons cross but once again, Ramsdale was their to keep City's advantage to just one.

Minutes later, it became ten versus ten as Ben Godfrey was shown a red card for a late challenge on Wilson. He was initially shown a yellow by referee Paul Tierney but the card was upgraded to a red after Tierney watched the incident back on the VAR monitor at the side of the pitch.

Bournemouth stepped up their intensity late on in their search for an equaliser and Ake forced Krul into a super reflex save on 80 minutes.

But City did well to make their way through a nervy closing period to see out the win for three points.

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Byram, Tettey (c), McLean, Buendia (Rupp, 90+3), Cantwell, Duda (Hanley, 78), Pukki (Drmic, 85)
Subs not used: Fährmann, Hernandez, Lewis, Trybull, 
Goals: Pukki (pen 33)
Buendia (50), Krul (76)
Red cards: Godfrey (76)

Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Smith, S. Cook, Ake, Rico, Lerma (Solanke, 77), Gosling (L.Cook, 86), Billing, H.Wilson (Francis, 34), C. Wilson, Fraser
Subs not used:
Boruc, Surman, Simpson, Surridge
Goals: None
Smith (90+5)
Red cards: S. Cook (30)

HT: 1-0
Venue: Carrow Road
Attendance: 26,781
Referee: Paul Tierney

Today’s Golden Goal times were:
1st Goal: 32:32
Lucky Number 1667

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