Teemu Pukki scored twice when Norwich City replaced Brentford at the top of the championship with a 4-1 win over Stoke City, winning four league games

The Canaries dominated a first half, in which their overall possession of the ball was rewarded with goals from Todd Cantwell and Pukki – the first was a low drive past Angus Gunn after jumping from the right, the second a close fight for the Finn to Emi Buendia robbed Morgan Fox

Stoke, who had an offside goal from Steven Fletcher in the first half, came into play when Dimitris Giannoulis played straight against Nick Powell and his low shot defeated Tim Krul

Giannoulis made up for his mistake with a run and a cross, which Buendia led past the former Canary Gunn After the Argentine was fouled in the penalty area, Pukki scored his second goal from the penalty spot to collect the points

Stoke’s disappointment worsened late when defender Nathan Collins was pulled back on a stretcher with a leg injury

For Daniel Farke this was a timely return to form after four games without a goal and a win without three games, but for Michael O’Neill and Stoke it was another blow to their dwindling play-off hopes

The Potters have been without a win since mid-December, a series of nine league games without a win, in which they fell into midfield from the fifth in early December

From the start, Norwich settled into their fluent short passing game despite Stoke’s enthusiastic press The movement of Buendia, Cantwell and Mario Vrancic opened up space and created attack options

Even Stoke’s best chances came from the home team, for example when Kenny McLean played blind for Stoke striker Fletcher, but despite Krul’s rounding, his shot on goal was cleared by home skipper Grant Hanley

Visitors improved after the break, with Powell and Jack Clarke using the wide space to reach the hosts’ defense

However, after Buendia hit back quickly to restore the two-goal lead after Powell reduced the deficit, the game drifted away from Stoke and Pukki’s free kick left them too busy

goal! Norwich City 4, Stoke City 1 Teemu Pukki (Norwich City) converts a penalty with a right-footed shot into the lower right corner

Attempt saved Lukas Rupp (Norwich City) tries a right footed shot from distance, held by the goalkeeper in the middle of the goal. Assisted by Todd Cantwell

Attempt missed James McClean (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box, but the ball misses to the right. Assisted by Nick Powell with a head pass

Norwich City – Stoke

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Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55959624