MX23RW : Thursday, February 21 00:47:07

Result: Flying Finn Teemu Pukki sends Boro to first league loss

The striker nets the only goal as Norwich win at Carrow Road.

Teemu Pukki maintained his hot streak in front of goal as Norwich beat Middlesbrough 1-0 at Carrow Road to condemn the visitors to their first league defeat of the season.

The Finnish frontman, who scored twice for his country while on international duty, settled a scrappy game just before the hour mark when he took advantage of some rare poor defending from Boro to slot the ball home.

It was a well deserved win for the Canaries, who had only tasted victory once in the Championship before today, while Boro could have few complaints about the final result having created few chances all afternoon.

The Canaries gave as good as they got in a dull first half, although it was the visitors who created the one good opportunity.

Former Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson had a clear sight of goal after being picked out in the box by Britt Assombalonga and it took a good save from Tim Krul at his near post to keep the scores level.

The resulting corner from Stewart Downing struck the angle of upright and crossbar before being cleared – but those were rare moments of concern for the home defence.

Norwich had the bulk of possession but were kept largely at arm's length by a disciplined Boro defence.

It wasn't until seven minutes before the break that Daniel Farke's side finally got an effort on target, with Marco Stiepermann's long-range effort comfortable for keeper Darren Randolph.

The home side also started the second period on the front foot and Randolph was called into action after 56 minutes to save a low Alex Tettey drive from just outside the box.

But they deservedly went in front a couple of minutes later when a break into the area from young defender Max Aarons caught the visitors out and George Friend inadvertently played the ball into the path of Pukki, who poked the ball home from eight yards via a slight deflection.

It then needed a good block from Daniel Ayala to keep out a powerful shot from Onel Hernandez as Norwich pressed for a second.

Tony Pulis' side needed to show a lot more attacking intent if they were to get anything out of the game and they finally made Krul work again midway through the half when substitute Martin Braithwaite made himself some space in the box and fired goalwards.

There was a reprieve for Norwich 15 minutes from time when referee Andy Davies went back on his decision to show a second yellow card to Timm Klose.

The Swiss defender, who had already been booked, was penalised for hauling back Assombalonga and started to walk before the official consulted with his assistant and a free-kick was given the other way for offside.

Boro kept pressing but were unable to carve out another decent chance as the home side saw out the game with few alarms.

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Marcelo Bielsa pictured in charge of Leeds United on August 11, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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