- English Football League - Championship
- Saturday, October 31st 2020
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 1-3 Norwich City
Saturday, October 31st 2020
City were unable to take their opportunities in an attacking, open game at Ashton Gate, where Teemu Pukki’s double helped Norwich City in their 3-1 win.
Two through balls proved a treat for the Finland striker in this Halloween showdown, who powered the ball past Dan Bentley as Norwich raced in a 2-0 lead inside 14 minutes.
City responded immediately and would pull a goal back through Jack Hunt’s close-range finish, only for Emiliano Buendia to strike the Canaries’ third of the day on the stroke of half-time.
Chris Martin smacked an effort against the post and Nahki Wells would have the chance to score from the penalty spot after a foul on Tomas Kalas, but the striker scooped the ball over the crossbar.
The 3-1 result means City have lost for the second game in a row and fall to seventh in the standings, ahead of the later kick-offs.
Martin, Jay Dasilva and Chris Brunt were all restored to the starting XI to face Daniel Farke’s Norwich as City looked to bounce back from their midweek defeat at Bournemouth. Kalas continued to lead in an unchanged back five, while Callum O’Dowda earned his second successive start in midfield and Wells rejoined the strike force.
Pukki at the double
Dean Holden’s men were behind quickly in this game when Marco Stiepermann was allowed too much time on the ball. He unlocked the perfect pass for Pukki and the striker got himself into space between Zak Vyner and Hunt, taking one touch to control the ball and another to put it past Bentley with a quick shot.
And he was in again with a similar goal inside the 14th minute. Jacob Sorensen provided the pinpoint ball for Pukki who pulled away from Kalas, his first time shot took a deflection off the recovering centre-back but beat Bentley at his near post as Pukki doubled his tally to four goals for the season.
Yet a minute later, City launched the ball down field where Wells slipped in Jamie Paterson whose shot was saved, but the midfielder reacted quickly to lift the ball back across the danger area and Hunt arrived to stab the ball home.
City battle back
It gave City a platform to get back into the contest and while Pukki blazed over at one end, Wells went close with a driven effort at the other.
Holden was seeing better play from his Robins as they looked to stop Norwich from settling and their pressure began to give the visitors something to think about.
Martin almost had City level as they looked for an equalising goal but Canaries keeper Tim Krul kept out his header, while Wells was flagged offside in the goalmouth follow up.
Norwich extend the lead
Bentley did have to use his frame to deny Buendia one-on-one, though for all of City’s hard work up to now Buendia wouldn’t be denied grabbing Norwich's third goal of the day in the first half's final moment. He got beyond Kalas on this occasion, latching on to a route-one ball from Sorensen and calmly placed the ball into the far corner.
Norwich were wasteful with their half-chances that followed as Stiepermann shot over, Lukas Rupp trickled an effort wide and Pukki misfired at the near post as he chased a hat-trick.
Farke’s side could have rued those missed opportunities but Martin could only smack a long-range, curling shot against the post with Krul at full stretch.
A tactical shift followed to help Holden keep his side in the game, when young midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson replaced Taylor Moore. It looked to tighten up the back line, while attacking substitutions with the introductions of Antoine Semenyo and Famara Diédhiou looked to boost City’s forward play.
Paying the penalty
Wells would be one of the sacrifices but not before he had an opportunity to score from the penalty spot, following a foul on kalas. He coolly dispatched his penalty against Swansea City last weekend but this time his chipped effort sailed over Krul’s crossbar.
Bentley wouldn’t be beaten again as the visitors threatened to stretch their lead through Przemyslaw Placheta and Buendia but City’s shotstopper kept them at bay, while Jamie Paterson struck straight into the arms of Krul in the latter stages.
Next for City is an away trip to Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night (November 3rd, 7pm). The match will be available to supporters via a £10 matchday pass with Robins TV.
- Hunt (15')
- Taylor Moore, Chris Brunt, Nahki Wells
- Missed penalties
- Nahki Wells
- Pukki (6') , Pukki (14') , Buendía (47')
- Przemyslaw Placheta, Marco Stiepermann, Teemu Pukki