MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 16:36:28| >> :120:22420:22420:
Feb 13, 2021 at 3pm UK at Carrow Road
NorwichNorwich City
4-1
StokeStoke City
Cantwell (15'), Pukki (44', 80' pen.), Buendia (64')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Powell (61')
Powell (42'), Obi Mikel (43')

Result: Norwich rise to the summit after sweeping aside Stoke

Top scorer Teemu Pukki scored twice in what was the Canaries' biggest win of the season so far.

Norwich moved back to the top of Sky Bet Championship table – for one day at least – as they put a four-match winless run behind them by beating struggling Stoke 4-1 at Carrow Road.

Top scorer Teemu Pukki scored twice in what was the Canaries' biggest win of the season so far, with Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia also on target.

It took Daniel Farke's side a point clear of leaders Brentford, who will reclaim top spot if they avoid defeat at home to Barnsley on Sunday.

After an early escape, Norwich dominated the early stages and fully deserved their early lead.

Just 90 seconds had elapsed when Jon Obi Mikel somehow contrived to volley Sam Clucas' corner wide when he had a clear sight of goal.

But the Canaries then took control and it took two brave blocks and a brilliant reaction save from Angus Gunn to prevent them from taking the lead after four minutes, with Pukki, Buendia and Max Aarons the unlucky home players.

Pukki then screwed the ball wide from a tight angle and Mario Vrancic headed straight at Gunn before Norwich got their noses in front in the 15th minute.

After going four games without scoring, Daniel Farke's side finally showed some sharpness in front of goal as Cantwell picked the ball up on the right and played a neat one-two with Vrancic before firing a low drive into the bottom corner.

Stoke improved as the half wore on, with Steven Fletcher having a header rightly ruled out for offside, but it was Norwich who grabbed the second goal of the game just before half-time.

Buendia, back in action after a two-match ban, did well to charge down Morgan Fox's attempted clearance and did even better to get the ball under control and square for Pukki to sidefoot home into an unguarded net.

It was a huge blow for Stoke, who were looking for a first win in 11 games, but they started the second period well and should have pulled one back in the 49th minute after Kenny McLean's calamitous back pass had put Fletcher in on goal.

The Scotland international took the ball past Krul but his shot lacked sufficient power and was comfortably cleared.

Fortunately for the Potters, Norwich did not learn their lesson and they able to take advantage of another gift after 61 minutes.

This time recent signing Dimitris Giannoulis inexplicably chose to send a pass from the left across the face of the 18-yard box and it was cut out by Nick Powell, who had no trouble stroking the ball pass Krul.

It was a nightmare moment from the Greek left-back but he quickly atoned his error as the hosts restored their two-goal advantage three minutes later.

A surging run down the left ended with Giannoulis cutting the back ball from the byline into the path of Buendia and the talented Argentine produced a supreme first touch to guide the ball past Gunn.

Norwich wrapped up the points in the 78th minute when Buendia was brought down in the area by Joe Allen and Pukki confidently converted from the spot to make it 15 for the season.

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Watford manager Xisco Munoz pictured in February 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
7Reading461913146254870
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
11Millwall461517144752-562
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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