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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Norwich close in on Premier League as Finnish striker scores 26th goal of the season

Teemu Pukki continued his prolific form amid a routine win.

Norwich City's Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring.
Norwich City's Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

TEEMU PUKKI TOOK his tally to 26 for the season as his double eased Norwich to their eighth successive victory in a 4-0 thrashing of QPR in The Championship on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Finnish international’s brace plus goals by Emiliano Buendia and Marco Stiepermann sent them eight points clear at the top — though second-placed Leeds can reduce it to five points if they beat Birmingham away later on Saturday.

Third-placed Sheffield United — who are 10 points adrift — are away at play-off chasing Preston North End.

Buendia — who has hit form too scoring five goals in his last eight matches — blotted his copybook in the second-half earning a straight red card for a two-footed lunge.

However, a hapless QPR — who showed little improvement despite sacking Steve McClaren earlier in the week — found no answer and with just one win in their last 16 league games hover eight points above the bottom three.

“We were the better team today. I’m really proud (to have 26 league goals),” Pukki told Sky Sports.

“It’s been an unbelievable season for me.

We still need to do our best in the final six games and we can’t start celebrating anything yet. We need to be consistent every day.”

Buendia stroked the ball home in the sixth minute after a lovely flowing move and the Canaries doubled their lead in the 12th minute.

Marco Stiepermann shot from outside the box and although Joe Lumley got a hand to it it was hit with enough force to end up in the net.

Pukki, who is up for player of The Championship on Sunday, wrapped up the points in the 38th minute rifling home the ball.

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Nonetheless, it turned a bit sour for Norwich with 19 minutes remaining when Buendia was sent off for his two-footed lunge on Josh Scowen.

However, QPR could do little with their one man advantage and Pukki added his second six minutes from time with a fierce effort from inside the box.

- © AFP, 2019

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