Fine margins in this sport, y’know? Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet missed a sitter and Norwich City’s Pierre Lees Melou snuck a shot through a sea of bodies for an early goal that would stand up in the Canaries’ much-needed 2-0 win over the Clarets on Sunday at Carrow Road.
Man of the Match winner Teemu Pukki got a deserved goal in the 86th minute to put the match to bed.
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Norwich remains bottom of the Premier League table with seven matches remaining on its docket. The Canaries do climb to within three points of 18th-place Burnley, which has a match-in-hand, and seven back of Everton.
Burnley’s 24 points are now four points back of Everton, again. The Clarets enlivened the relegation fight by beating the Toffees 3-2 at midweek but Everton beat Man United on Saturday.
WATCH NORWICH vs BURNLEY FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM
Norwich vs Burnley final score, stats
Norwich 2, Burnley 0
Goals scored: Lees Melou (9′), Pukki (86′)
Shots: Norwich 16, Burnley 16
Shots on target: Norwich 6, Burnley 3
Possession: Norwich 44, Burnley 55
Three things we learned from Norwich vs Burnley
1. Norwich never says die: For a perceived yo-yo club that has been absolutely battered around the pitches of the Premier League this season, Dean Smith’s Norwich City is not dead yet. It’s a very difficult run-in for the Canaries, but could they catch Man United sleeping — a lot of others have — next week to set up a grandstand finish? Not sure we’d bet against it, even at Old Trafford. Newcastle at home, Villa away, and West Ham at home follow that one.
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2. Cornet misses sitter: When Burnley looks back on its season, it will wonder if it might’ve been relegated by Christmas were it not for Maxwel Cornet’s surprising decision to sign at Turf Moor despite relative status at Lyon. But the Ivorian’s big miss of a back post sitter in the second half is a glaring one, and Burnley should’ve had a solid 25 minutes to find a winner instead of continuing its search for an equalizer. What a miss, one that looks even worse with every viewing.
3. Burnley still can see safety: The Clarets will next face a West Ham side who will be a few days removed from a massive Europa League second leg with Lyon, one that could net them a meeting with Barcelona, and then it’s Saints, Wolves, and Watford. This is far from over for Burnley, but we might be counting them as favorites to survive if they just handled their darn business against a Norwich City side that’s lost 15 matches by two-plus goals this season.
Man of the Match: Teemu Pukki — He didn’t score, but the Finnish forward was otherwise at his rambunctious best and might’ve had a goal and an assist on another day. Pukki took seven shots, completed all four of his dribbles, had two key passes, and won five-of-seven duels. Big-time player has a big-time day. High-five to Matthias Normann for the assist on Pukki’s goal to cap a busy day in the center of a feisty park.
Lees Melou breaks his duck (in yellow nonetheless)
We can’t say Pierre Lees Melou’s first Norwich City goal couldn’t have come at a better time, because the Canaries have drawn six times and played in five one-goal losses.
But this certainly isn’t a bad time for it, is it?Follow @NicholasMendola