Impressive Pukki hits treble against Newcastle

A Teemu Pukki hat-trick got Norwich off the mark at home in the Premier League as they eased past Newcastle in a 3-1 win.

The Canaries started brightly and were rewarded for their intensity when Pukki fired his side into the lead with a powerful volley from inside the box and past Martin Dubravka.

Pukki, the Championship’s top-scorer last season with 29 goals in 43 matches, added a second in the 63rd minute when he turned and struck into the bottom corner.

And just 12 minutes later the Finland international completed his hat-trick, twisting past the Newcastle defence before slotting home.

Jonjo Shelvey pulled one back for the visitors in injury time.

Goals were expected as there had been 24 goals in the previous four meetings between the sides.

Norwich started quickly and had a great chance to take the lead inside the opening five minutes when a break down the right by Pukki was cut back to Todd Cantwell but his close-range shot was straight at goalkeeper Dubravka.

The Canaries continued to look bright, with Pukki firing wide from the centre of the box following a Marco Stiepermann cross.

Dubravka was also called on again to deny Pukki, making a save at the near post after the striker burst into the box and struck from a narrow angle.

Newcastle looked to move the play out of their own half, and forced a save from their former goalkeeper Tim Krul, who dived low and to his right to deny Matt Ritchie.

The home side continued to enjoy most of the possession, but Joelinton came close to opening his account for the Magpies with his side’s best chance of the half.

The Brazilian found himself with a free header just eight yards out but sent his effort just wide of the target.

A well-struck volley from Pukki in the 32nd minute put Norwich ahead after the ball came in from the corner and was headed out but fell to the forward who hit the ball from the edge of the box.

Dubravka managed to get a hand to 29-year-old’s effort, but could not prevent it reaching the net.

A clever move from the Magpies almost resulted in an equaliser, when a Ritchie free-kick was fed into the area by Shelvey towards Fabian Schar whose headed effort was parried and then gathered by Krul.

The second half got under way with both sides enjoyed attacking passages of play but neither were able to create clear chances.

Just as Newcastle looked to be finding their way back into the game, Pukki doubled his side’s lead when Cantwell slipped the ball to the forward, who took one touch before hitting the ball into the corner.

In the 75th minute, the home side moved to secure all three points, after Pukki slid the ball home from 12 yards, making the most of Newcastle’s defensive mistakes after being fed through by Cantwell for a second time.

Shelvey managed to pull one back for the visitors in added time, making the most of a defensive mistake, to take a touch inside the box before hitting the ball past Krul.

But it was too little, too late for former Norwich defender Steve Bruce’s side as the Carrow Road faithful celebrated a well-deserved win.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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