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Norwich brush aside Newcastle thanks to Teemu Pukki hat-trick | Football


Teemu Pukki scored 29 league goals for Norwich in the Championship last season but he never got a hat-trick. He has one in the Premier League at the second time of asking, which not only suggests the Finn is cut out for top- flight football but that Norwich are a team with the possibility to prosper too.

“Of course this is one of the best games I’ve had in English football,” Pukki said. “A hat-trick in the Premier League I wouldn’t even have dreamt about a couple of years ago.”

Daniel Farke was at pains to point out that a striker only gets a chance to score three goals if the entire team are playing well and in the manager’s words Norwich delivered a “top-class performance” to brush Newcastle aside in front of a colourful and raucous Carrow Road.

For Steve Bruce the responsibility lay with his own team and a difficult week awaits as he attempts to elicit a higher level of performance away at Spurs.

Pukki scored a powerful volley in the first half and followed it with a precise finish off either foot in the second. The second goal killed the game as a contest but Norwich had dominated it throughout. They had 63% of the possession and eight shots on target to Newcastle’s three. Jonjo Shelvey’s added-time strike, well-taken from inside the box after he was left unmarked, was the only blemish for Norwich.

“It was our first game [at home] in the Premier League after several years and to be there with such a great result and a top-class performance, and with Carrow Road really rocking, we’re happy”, Farke said. “It was a great performance from Teemu, not only the goals, but his workload, his capability to link the play. He set the tone by chasing 80 yards to help out his defence. He really embodies the spirit of the team. No one is thinking about themselves.”

That dash from Pukki saw him charge back from the Newcastle box to disrupt a counterattack by toe-poking the ball from Joelinton. It was the Norwich player who looked like the £40m striker on this day, not Newcastle’s Brazilian, who put a decent headed chance over when the score was goalless and left the field injured in the second half, complaining of a hip injury. He limped off after a heavy challenge from Grant Hanley, while Miguel Almirón – his predecessor as Newcastle’s record signing – was virtually anonymous.

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After Newcastle’s opening-day defeat to Arsenal Bruce had taken heart from the performance, if not the result, but there was no place to hide after this showing. Newcastle not only failed to match Norwich’s possession but also their endeavour.

“It’s a difficult result, and hugely disappointing in the manner of it,” Bruce said. “That’s the biggest thing, the manner of it. With and without the ball we certainly didn’t do enough. We have to put that right.

“Joelinton has damaged his hip and we will do x-rays and scans in the next few days to see how serious it is. For him to come off he’s taken a nasty one. I am not going to criticise individuals, to win a match or lose a match it’s about the team.”

Norwich play Chelsea at home in their next match and that prospect will be exciting rather than daunting their supporters. Farke’s side enjoyed a more stable defensive performance than at Anfield, and Farke was full of praise for Hanley, who came back from scoring an awful own goal in the opening match to nullify Newcastle’s main tactic of the quickly crossed ball.

Hanley was not the only Norwich player to come under scrutiny in the past week, with Farke’s team receiving the full glare of the national media after their Liverpool drubbing. The manager was glad to have been able to put that scrutiny behind them.

“It’s always difficult in this business to ignore the noise”, Farke said. “But more or less our attitude is that we don’t care about the surroundings or even the results, but about what we have to bring on the pitch and the topics we have to be good at. This is quite important and big compliments to my lads for that today, they were brilliant.”



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