21 November 2020 20:30
Middlesbrough 0-1 Norwich City: Pukki from the penalty spot as Canaries march on Teemu Pukki was on target for Norwich City in a 1-0 Championship win at Middlesbrough Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Paul Chesterton Teemu Pukki fired Norwich City to a hard-fought 1-0 Championship win at Middlesbrough in a tale of two penalties to move top of the table. City stretched their unbeaten run to eight games on Teesside, with second half substitute Pukki notching his sixth goal in the last nine outings for club and country from the penalty spot. Boro included former City favourite Jonny Howson but one-time Norwich loanee, Patrick Roberts, was on the bench for Neil Warnock's hosts. City made the brighter start, with Emi Buendia fooling George Saville with a body swerve before curling a right footer wide from 20 yards with Marcus Bettinelli at full stretch. Djed Spence harried Rupp to concede a free kick just outside his own box in the 10th minute but Emi Buendia blocked the inswinging set piece at his near post.
Norwich's discomfort was underlined when Krul raced to the penalty spot to clear a dropping ball but Chuba Akpom got a touch to veer around the keeper but Grant Hanley was back to thwart the striker. Buendia bemused two Boro defenders with his dancing feet two minutes from the break before shovelling the ball onto Marco Stiepermann, but his left footed shot was blocked. Norwich earned a huge let off in the 49th minute when Gibson upended Tavernier in attempting to clear the ball to concede a penalty. But the Boro man then remarkably slipped as he went to take the resulting spot kick and was penalised himself for touching the ball twice as it rolled past Krul into the net. Norwich hit back and when Aarons was upended by Hayden Coulson for a clear penalty to the visitors in the 72nd minute Pukki calmly stepped up to send Bettinelli the wrong way from the spot.
Twenty minutes later, Norwich's Max Aarons was brought down in the box by Hayden Coulson and Teemu Pukki coolly sent home keeper Marcus Bettinelli the wrong way. In a match between two of the Championship's best defences the lack of clear-cut opportunities was no surprise, though Marvin Johnson twice called Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul into action in the first half. Middlesbrough were awarded a spot-kick when Tavernier was brought down by ex-Boro centre-back Ben Gibson and though the penalty was scored, it was ruled out as the midfielder had been unfortunate to touch the ball twice as he lost his footing. Norwich gained impetus from their stroke of luck and Emi Buendia almost connected with Przemyslaw Placheta's low cross before half-time substitute Pukki side-footed his penalty into the corner. Marc Bola put his body on the line to prevent the visitors scoring a second but Boro failed to score for a third match running and have now lost each of their last five league games against Norwich by a 1-0 scoreline.
50 Barden Referee: Tony Harrington Match Stats Live Text Post update Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Norwich City 1. Full Time Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Norwich City 1. Post update Oliver Skipp (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half. Post update Foul by Oliver Skipp (Norwich City). Post update Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half. Post update Foul by Jacob Lungi Sørensen (Norwich City). Post update Sam Folarin (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing. Post update Foul by Przemyslaw Placheta (Norwich City). Post update Anfernee Dijksteel (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half. Post update Kenny McLean (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half. Post update Hand ball by Lukas Rupp (Norwich City). Post update Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half. Teemu Pukki (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Norwich City stretched their unbeaten run to eight with a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday thanks to Teemu Pukki's second half penalty. Daniel Farke made three changes to the side that started our 1-0 win at home to Swansea City two weeks ago, Ben Gibson, Lukas Rupp and Jordan Hugill coming in for Christoph Zimmermann, Kenny McLean and Pukki respectively. The first half was one of few clear cut chances, Emi Buendia getting things going with a shot just wide of the post from outside the D five minutes in. However, City had another sight of goal moments later, Marco Stiepermann pulling the ball back to Lukas Rupp, who charged into space and let fly from distance, the shot sailing well wide of the post. At the start of the second half, Pukki replaced Hugill for City. But the Canaries were on the back foot, and Gibson conceded a penalty with a foul on Tavernier in the 50th minute. City found the breakthrough moments later, Max Aarons winning a penalty after a foul from Coulson. Middlesbrough: Bettinelli, Dijksteel, Fry, McNair, Bola, Spence (Folarin 67'), Saville, Howson, Tavernier (Roberts 81'), Johnson (Coulson 67'), Akpom (Assombalonga (73') Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Sorensen (Vrancic 90+4'), Rupp, Skipp, Buendia (McLean 80'), Stiepermann (Tettey 90+2'), Placheta (Zimmermann 90+2'), Hugill (Pukki 46') Marcus Tavernier had a converted spot-kick ruled out after touching the ball twice, but when Teemu Pukki was offered the same opportunity for the visitors, he made no mistake in scoring the all-important winner. But Norwich were offered their opportunity with 19 minutes left on the clock when Coulson was adjudged to have fouled Max Aarons in the box.