Norwich City 1-0 Rotherham United: Pukki goal moves Canaries seven points clear

Norwich City 1-0 Rotherham United: Pukki goal moves Canaries seven points clear

Teemu Pukki scores for Norwich
Teemu Pukki has scored four goals in his past three Norwich games

Teemu Pukki’s 15th goal of the season saw Norwich beat a spirited Rotherham side to go seven points clear at the top of the Championship.

The Finland striker ran through after a clever dummy from Todd Cantwell to slot under the excellent Millers goalkeeper Viktor Johansson and score the only goal in a game full of chances.

Lewis Wing struck the post direct from a corner and Clark Robertson had a goal disallowed as the visitors threatened before falling behind, though the Canaries sliced them open on numerous occasions thanks to free-flowing play between Emi Buendia, Cantwell and Pukki.

Rotherham made the leaders sweat for their victory, Ben Wiles smashing a second-half volley against the bar and Ben Crooks’ strike kept out by a last-ditch Max Aarons block, but Norwich held firm and could have won by more.

Defeats for Brentford, in second, and fourth-placed Swansea mean Daniel Farke’s side further extend their cushion, while their South Yorkshire opponents slip into the relegation zone after Birmingham’s victory at Sheffield Wednesday.

Norwich looked like scoring every time they attacked in the first half, Mario Vrancic side-footing wide, Cantwell slicing over and Argentine playmaker Buendia seeing his effort cleared off the line by Robertson.

But the Millers – managed by boyhood Canaries fan Paul Warne – hung in there and put pressure on in seven minutes of added time, without creating one big opening.

The hosts are now unbeaten in their past 14 league games at Carrow Road, equalling their streak between August 2009 and January 2010 under Paul Lambert.

Pukki’s goal went down as a Buendia assist, making it a league-high seven goals that they have combined for this season, and the goalscorer came close to a second when his shot from a narrow angle was superbly saved by Johansson and Vrancic put the rebound wide.

Meanwhile, Rotherham are now two points from safety after their third successive defeat and have picked up just one point from their nine Championship games against the current top six.

Reaction – Norwich ‘best team in the league’

Norwich head coach Daniel Farke told BBC Radio Norfolk:

“I think we were fantastic in the first half. We had so many chances and the game should be buried.

“It’s always the same against Rotherham – if you just score one goal this team is always brave, they play with courage, they go for goals, so you have to punish them.

“If you want to win something you need to be there with a top-class defence and this is what we deliver at the moment, with many clean sheets.”

Rotherham manager Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:

“I think the best team won – I think they were better than us, they’re the best team in the league by quite a distance in my opinion.

“We harshly had a goal ruled off in the first half, we gifted them a goal and the back line looked a bit nervous but we grew into the game.

“Second half we asked them to play with a bit more belief and I think we did – all in all I’m pleased with the performance levels but just disappointed with the result.”

Line-ups

Norwich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 6Zimmermann
  • 5Hanley
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 20Skipp
  • 23McLean
  • 17Buendía
  • 8VrancicSubstituted forTetteyat 90+6′minutes
  • 14CantwellSubstituted forRuppat 90+1′minutes
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forIdahat 90+4′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Rupp
  • 10Dowell
  • 16Quintillá
  • 19Sørensen
  • 25Hernández
  • 27Tettey
  • 35Idah
  • 44Omobamidele
  • 50Barden

Rotherham

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Johansson
  • 21MacDonaldSubstituted forOlosundeat 45′minutes
  • 20IhiekweBooked at 59mins
  • 15Robertson
  • 19HardingSubstituted forJozefzoonat 84′minutes
  • 8Wiles
  • 26BarlaserSubstituted forLadapoat 67′minutes
  • 5Wing
  • 30Giles
  • 24SmithSubstituted forHirstat 67′minutes
  • 25CrooksSubstituted forSadlierat 76′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4MacDonald
  • 6Wood
  • 9Hirst
  • 10Ladapo
  • 17Sadlier
  • 18Clarke
  • 22Olosunde
  • 27Blackman
  • 28Jozefzoon

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Norwich City 1, Rotherham United 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Norwich City 1, Rotherham United 0.

  3. Alexander Tettey (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Foul by Freddie Ladapo (Rotherham United).

  5. Attempt missed. Kieran Sadlier (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  6. Attempt missed. Lewis Wing (Rotherham United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  7. Substitution, Norwich City. Alexander Tettey replaces Mario Vrancic.

  8. Substitution, Norwich City. Adam Idah replaces Teemu Pukki.

  9. Substitution, Norwich City. Lukas Rupp replaces Todd Cantwell.

  10. Tim Krul (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Foul by Freddie Ladapo (Rotherham United).

  12. Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Oliver Skipp.

  13. Foul by Grant Hanley (Norwich City).

  14. Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Ryan Giles.

  16. Attempt blocked. Todd Cantwell (Norwich City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  17. Foul by Teemu Pukki (Norwich City).

  18. Clark Robertson (Rotherham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Foul by Teemu Pukki (Norwich City).

  20. Lewis Wing (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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