Teemu Pukki’s brace helped league leaders Norwich City extend their unbeaten nine-game run as they survived a fight from Stoke City

The Canaries were forced to work for their win in the final 20 minutes after Emi Buendia – who scored the opener and then provided a superb assist for Pukki’s first – was sent off for two bookings

Pukki’s second place had given Norwich a 3-0 lead at that point and it was a much needed cushion as Tyrese Campbell and Nathan Collins both headed for late goals for Stoke , who couldn’t find an equalizer

The result means Norwich, who are looking to return to the Premier League on first request, remain one point clear of Bournemouth at the top of the table – after the Cherries beat Nottingham Forest – while Stoke remains seventh

Argentina Buendia had put Daniel Farke’s side on the right track, ending a helping hand from the Canaries by scoring Marco Stipermann’s deep ball

Finn Pukki, who scored twice during the international break and came off the bench to score the winner against Middlesbrough on Saturday, struck from a tight angle after knocking down Buendia’s pass on first contact

Despite struggling in the first half, Stoke failed to convert a scramble with Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul saving from Steven Fletcher, Tyrese Campbell seeing his call blocked and Nick Powell directing the free ball against cross bar

It was a moment that saw Fletcher slip through billboards and suffer a cut to his leg, forcing him to leave before the break

Despite Stoke improving, Pukki netted his eighth league goal of the season midway through the second half, beating local goalkeeper Joe Burski after an assist from impressive teenager Josh Martin

And then Buendia, whose creativity on the ball can be tempered by his indiscipline, made a single night more difficult for the Canaries, picking up a second yellow card for a high boot – it was his third red card in so many seasons

Stoke, who had won three of their last four games and would have been tied with the visitors with a win, came to life after the sent off and showed the push that saw them take back-to-back wins on Reading and Huddersfield

Morgan Fox crossed for Campbell to strike in a superb header and Collins nodded into Sam Clucas cross to set up a frantic last 10 minutes

And Norwich, who saw goalkeeper Tim Krul leave with what looked like a hamstring injury to bring his absentee list to 10 first-team players, survived a late scare when the substitute for Krul, Michael McGovern, hit a looped ball into his own net, only for a foul against the home side

Michael O’Neill, Stoke boss: “You’re disappointed when you come back into the game and don’t get anything out of it We were second best for 35 minutes, Norwich was excellent We got a foothold before the mid- time and I think we were the best team in the second half

“We conceded at a bad time and sending off gives a lifeline but we couldn’t find a third goal The forbidden goal was a bit soft”

Norwich boss Daniel Farke: “It’s a tough situation but under these circumstances we found a way to win It wasn’t the prettiest game in the world but it was full of mentality and wit combative “

On Buendia’s red card: “I was a little dubious Sometimes a little naive, but he was exceptional and his workload was good He was by far the best player on the pitch

“The first is a 50-50 tackle, he got a yellow card and then should calm down a bit He was eager to get the ball back and his foot his top for the second yellow He apologized to the squad for making life difficult for us He is still a young player “

Unsuccessful attempt Sam Vokes (Stoke City) with a header from the center of the box is high and wide to the right Assisted by Nick Powell

Unsuccessful attempt Nick Powell (Stoke City) header very closely misses right Assisted by Sam Clucas with a cross after a corner

Attempt blocked John Obi Mikel (Stoke City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked

Recorded attempt Sam Vokes (Stoke City) header in the center of the box is recorded in the lower right corner Assisted by Nathan Collins with a cross

Failed attempt Sam Vokes (Stoke City) left footed shot from the center of the box is close, but misses to the left Assisted by Tom Ince with a cross

Attempt blocked Tyrese Campbell (Stoke City) left foot shot from outside the box is blocked Assisted by Nathan Collins

Stoke – Norwich City

News from around the world – FI – Norwich leaders survive Stoke fight

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54969157