Norwich City picked up their first league victory of the 2018-19 Sky Bet Championship season with a 2-0 win over Preston North End at Carrow Road.
The game was goalless for 80 minutes as both sides struggled for the decisive goal but City took the game by the scruff of the neck in the closing stages.
Teemu Pukki finished brilliantly to give the Canaries the lead and an Alex Tettey stunner sealed the points with just minutes left on the clock.
Daniel Farke made just the one change to the side which was beaten at Sheffield United on Saturday with Ivo Pinto returning to the starting eleven in place of Tom Trybull. Pinto slotted in at right-back, allowing Ben Marshall to play in an advanced role of a midfield four and therefore, pushing Pukki into the centre of midfield.
The first-half was relatively quiet with little in the way of goalmouth action. City spent most of it in possession, but they struggled to break through a structured Preston who were happy to sit tight and play on the counter attack.
It took until the 28th minute for the first real chance to be registered and it came from the visitors. Lukas Nmecha burst in the penalty area and his low shot was well saved by Tim Krul, with Darnell Fisher’s rebound booted into the Barclay.
City only really threatened from set-pieces in the first-half, but even then they were only half-chances. Headers from Grant Hanley and Timm Klose, following in-swinging deliveries from Ben Marshall, were well over.
The Canaries’ best chance in the first half fell to Moritz Leitner on the stroke of the half-time whistle. He exchanged passes with Onel Hernandez on the left before shooting over from inside the area.
The early stages of the second-half followed a similar rhythm to the first and City were still finding it difficult to make any in-roads.
After the hour mark, Preston started to enjoy more possession and first Nmecha fired over from distance before Callum Robinson broke and smashed a crisp strike against the crossbar.
In between those chance, Farke introduced Emi Buendia for his City debut and shortly after, he was forced into his second change, bringing on Christoph Zimmermann for the injured Pinto.
The game looked to be heading for a stalemate but City had other ideas in the final ten minutes. Jamal Lewis burst forward down the left and fed the ball through to Pukki to slotted the ball into the far bottom corner brilliantly.
And the points were wrapped up a few minutes later when Tettey let fly from distance on the half-volley and the ball flew past Declan Rudd and into the far corner to seal City’s first league win of the season.