Norwich City 3-0 Luton Town: Teemu Pukki grabs double as Canaries extend Championship lead

Norwich City 3-0 Luton Town: Teemu Pukki grabs double as Canaries extend Championship lead

Norwich City's Teemu Pukki scores in the first half against Luton Town
Teemu Pukki’s fierce early strike was his eighth goal in his past seven games and his ninth goal soon followed

Luton Town boss Nathan Jones described Norwich City as the Manchester City of the Championship as Teemu Pukki grabbed his 19th and 20th goals of the season for the runaway leaders, who stylishly dismissed the Hatters for a seventh successive league victory.

The Canaries, who regained their 10-point advantage following Watford’s win over Nottingham Forest in the lunchtime kick-off, had an early scare when a James Collins shot hit the post.

But the attacking talents of Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia were too hot to handle for a Hatters side playing with confidence after back-to-back victories.

Pukki smashed in the opener from Cantwell’s pass and the in-form striker made it 2-0 just before the break, turning the ball home on the stretch at the far post for his ninth goal in his past seven appearances.

Cantwell’s low 18-yard strike sealed a deserved win after the break against a Luton side still 12 points clear of third-bottom Rotherham United following the postponement of their game against Brentford.

Norwich are in pole position to secure an immediate return to the Premier League, where Manchester City are putting in a similarly dominant performance with a 14-point advantage at the top.

“At this level Norwich are Manchester City – they are difficult to score against and they score plenty themselves so it was always going to be tough,” said Jones.

“We are not at their level. That’s not being negative, just realistic. The players put in a shift, they stuck at it and didn’t throw in the towel, but I certainly can’t complain about the result.”

The Hatters, who were looking to win three consecutive league games in the same season for the first time since February 2019 in League One, so nearly had the perfect start but Collins could not turn in a mis-hit Tom Ince shot.

From that moment on, the hosts seized control and a fourth consecutive success for Luton over champions-elect Norwich never looked likely.

The outstanding Pukki could have easily had four goals by the break, with keeper Simon Sluga making fine stops at 1-0 and 2-0, the second to keep out an outrageous backheeled attempt.

Pukki’s first goal was classily created, Cantwell running onto Lukas Rupp’s pass and playing a cute ball with the outside of his foot which allowed the Finn to blast his shot home.

The second goal was all about Pukki’s anticipation, the 30-year-old reacting smartly to force in Buendia’s half-blocked shot.

Pukki had to make do without a hat-trick however, the striker unable to turn a double into a treble for the sixth time this season despite Norwich continuing to dominate after the interval.

Cantwell hit a volley just wide before he wrapped up the points when he cut inside from the left and found the corner of the net with an accurate strike.

Reaction – Norwich ‘still have plenty of work to do’

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke: “I must congratulate my players for another excellent performance. It was probably even better than the 1-0 win against Brentford on Wednesday.

“They put in a lot of energy, both physically and mentally, into that game but they were still able to produce again just three days later. That is what winners do.

“They want it so much and showed it. All the players, whether they played for 90 minutes or one minute, were committed and focused and it was another good win.

“It has taken us on to 76 points but we still need another two wins to get past 80 and five wins to get past 90 so there is still plenty of work to be done.”

Luton boss Nathan Jones: “When you are playing a side like Norwich you have to make the most of your opportunities and we didn’t do that.

“But we were up against a very good side. The best side in the league.”

Line-ups

Norwich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 5Hanley
  • 34Gibson
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 20Skipp
  • 23McLeanSubstituted forIdahat 86′minutes
  • 17BuendíaSubstituted forDowellat 82′minutes
  • 7RuppSubstituted forSørensenat 78′minutes
  • 14CantwellSubstituted forHernándezat 78′minutes
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forHugillat 82′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Zimmermann
  • 8Vrancic
  • 9Hugill
  • 10Dowell
  • 19Sørensen
  • 25Hernández
  • 27Tettey
  • 35Idah
  • 50Barden

Luton

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 12Sluga
  • 2Cranie
  • 6Pearson
  • 24Naismith
  • 3Potts
  • 39InceSubstituted forCornickat 61′minutes
  • 4Tunnicliffe
  • 22Dewsbury-HallSubstituted forBreeat 78′minutes
  • 14MoncurSubstituted forMpanzuat 61′minutes
  • 8BerrySubstituted forClarkat 45′minutes
  • 19CollinsSubstituted forAdebayoat 61′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Shea
  • 7Cornick
  • 9Hylton
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 18Clark
  • 26Bree
  • 27Nombe
  • 28Morrell
  • 29Adebayo

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Norwich City 3, Luton Town 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Norwich City 3, Luton Town 0.

  3. Foul by Jacob Sørensen (Norwich City).

  4. Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Attempt missed. Jordan Hugill (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Kieran Dowell.

  6. Attempt missed. Ryan Tunnicliffe (Luton Town) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

  7. Attempt missed. Jacob Sørensen (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Kieran Dowell with a cross following a corner.

  8. Substitution, Norwich City. Adam Idah replaces Kenny McLean.

  9. Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by James Bree.

  10. Offside, Luton Town. Jordan Clark tries a through ball, but Elijah Adebayo is caught offside.

  11. Offside, Luton Town. James Bree tries a through ball, but Harry Cornick is caught offside.

  12. Substitution, Norwich City. Jordan Hugill replaces Teemu Pukki.

  13. Substitution, Norwich City. Kieran Dowell replaces Emiliano Buendía.

  14. Foul by Oliver Skipp (Norwich City).

  15. Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Substitution, Luton Town. James Bree replaces Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

  17. Substitution, Norwich City. Onel Hernández replaces Todd Cantwell.

  18. Substitution, Norwich City. Jacob Sørensen replaces Lukas Rupp.

  19. Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Dimitrios Giannoulis following a corner.

  20. Attempt missed. Dimitrios Giannoulis (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

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