Teemu Pukki
Teemu Pukki slots in his seventh goal in five games

Norwich went seven points clear at the top of the Championship as they edged out hard-working Wycombe for a fifth straight win.

Emiliano Buendia picked out Teemu Pukki whose shot deflected off Chairboys defender Josh Knight and past home goalkeeper David Stockdale to put City ahead soon after half-time.

Buendia had earlier guided a header against the bar as the Canaries dominated first-half possession, but found clear chances hard to come by.

After Norwich wasted several gilt-edged chances following Pukki’s opener, Adam Idah finally settled any nerves with a late second, poking home from close range after Stockdale had kept out Kenny McLean’s flick-on.

With rivals Watford and Swansea both losing on Saturday, Norwich took advantage to take a further step towards automatic promotion, moving 10 points clear of the third-placed Hornets and seven clear of closest challengers Brentford, who they play on Wednesday.

Disciplined Wycombe, who were buoyed by a midweek win over promotion hopefuls Reading, stifled the visitors in the first half, Stockdale diving at full-stretch to tip over Mario Vrancic’s fine free-kick to deny City an early opener.

But the hosts had no answer as Daniel Farke’s side stepped up the intensity after the break, and the Canaries could have been out of sight by the hour mark with better finishing.

Onel Hernandez, making his first start since October in place of the injured Todd Cantwell, put a free header past the post and then skewed a shot wide when one-on-one with Stockdale.

Buendia showed strength, pace and composure to tee up Pukki’s 18th goal of the campaign – taking him top of the Championship assists table with 10 for the season – but then blazed over a golden chance to double the lead after superb build-up play from Pukki and Hernandez.

The misses kept Wycombe in the game, and after Uche Ikpeazu came within inches of an equaliser with an audacious scissor-kick, the hosts tested City’s nerve with a spell of late pressure.

But Idah’s tap-in condemned Gareth Ainsworth’s side to a ninth home defeat of the season which left them five points adrift at the bottom and 11 points from safety.

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth:

READ  Football: Jimenez-Traore show seals win for Wolves over Bournemouth

“It doesn’t feel like a 2-0 defeat. We set up to frustrate Norwich and we probably had the better chances in the first half.

“In the second half we started a little bit slow, there’s a slight mistake and they get the cross in. Even then it takes a deflection to beat David Stockdale, who’s been in great form. That took the wind out of our sails.

“We let them have it in their half and let’s stay solid and break. It almost worked but we didn’t take our chances.”

Norwich boss Daniel Farke:

“We are absolutely happy with 70 points at this stage, but we know we have to be relentless and keep going. I want to have 80 points as soon as possible.

“If you’re 10 points clear of relegation, you’re probably safe, but if you’re fighting for promotion that gap can close really quickly.

“It was difficult to open them up. In these games you have to be relentless, but you also have to be patient.

“We didn’t give them any real chances, although they tried everything with their physical threats, but you also have to be switched on against a side like this.”

Line-ups

Wycombe

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 31Stockdale
  • 2Grimmer
  • 12Knight
  • 5Stewart
  • 27ObitaSubstituted forJacobsonat 67′minutes
  • 19McClearyBooked at 60minsSubstituted forKashketat 68′minutes
  • 4GapeBooked at 57minsSubstituted forOfoborhat 68′minutes
  • 7WheelerBooked at 52minsSubstituted forThompsonat 68′minutes
  • 23Onyedinma
  • 33MehmetiSubstituted forHorganat 67′minutes
  • 9Ikpeazu

Substitutes

  • 3Jacobson
  • 11Kashket
  • 17Horgan
  • 18Thompson
  • 20Akinfenwa
  • 25Samuel
  • 26McCarthy
  • 28Ofoborh
  • 32Anderson

Norwich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 5Hanley
  • 34Gibson
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 20SkippSubstituted forSørensenat 90+2′minutes
  • 23McLean
  • 17BuendíaBooked at 74minsSubstituted forPlachetaat 90+2′minutes
  • 8VrancicSubstituted forRuppat 85′minutes
  • 25HernándezSubstituted forIdahat 84′minutes
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forZimmermannat 88′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Zimmermann
  • 7Rupp
  • 9Hugill
  • 10Dowell
  • 11Placheta
  • 19Sørensen
  • 27Tettey
  • 35Idah
  • 50Barden

Live Text





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here