Teemu Pukki

Dele drives Spurs past Norwich City

Leave a comment

A win is a win, even if Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 home defeat of Norwich City was anything but convincing in London.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son scored as Spurs climbed sixth in the table with 34 points.

Teemu Pukki scored for the spot for the Canaries, who remain dead last and six points off the safe spaces.


Three things we learned

1. Spurs can score in 2020: The Premier League had not been kind to Jose Mourinho’s men since a they twice came back in a 2-2 draw with these same Canaries at Carrow Road. In fact, Spurs went 315 Premier League minutes without a goal before Dele got his first half marker on Wednesday. Losses to Saints and Liverpool were joined by a weekend draw at Watford, so this win was vital (Spurs thrice scored over two FA Cup matches versus Middlesbrough).

2. Bounces go the way of Spurs: Norwich can forgive itself for feeling a bit snakebit considering how poor Spurs looked for most of the day. Dele’s shot or cross was deflected high toward the back post, where Heung-min Son was able to nod it over the line from extreme close-up range.

3. Serge Aurier shines: Bad Serge Aurier shows up quite a bit, but the full back had a great day on Wednesday. Aurier had an assist to go with two interceptions and three tackles. He was a menace and stuck into 50-50 battles, earning plaudits on the day.


Erik Lamela was lively early for Spurs, seeing a free kick deflected out for a corner and another chance saved by Tim Krul.

Dele put Spurs ahead when he lunged past Christoph Zimmermann to poke a Serge Aurier cross past Krul. Heung-min Son set up the play with a lay-off to the Ivorian.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

VAR was kind to Todd Cantwell early in the second half, as the sliding midfielder put his studs into Lamela and it was worth only a yellow card.

Spurs youngster Ryan Sessegnon fouled Max Aarons in the 68th to give Norwich a chance from the spot, and a long review did not lead to a reprieve. Pukki beat Lloris low and to the right for 1-1.

But Dele’s cross floated to Son for a back post winner and blushes were spared for Mourinho.

PL AT HALF: VAR saves Spurs two-goal deficit; West Ham equalizes v. Leicester

Leave a comment

We’ve had four goals through two halves of 12:30 p.m. ET kickoffs in the Premier League, but only three have stayed on the scoreboard.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Teemu Pukki saw a goal controversially taken off the board, but Norwich City still leads Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road.

West Ham United 1-1 Leicester City [ STREAM ]

Brendan Rodgers made nine changes to his Starting XI, but still took the lead through Kelechi Iheanacho‘s header.

The lead didn’t last long, as Felipe Anderson cut a pass back through the 18 to a late arriving Pablo Fornals for a 45th minute equalizer.

Leicester has also seen a Demarai Gray penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Norwich City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur [STREAM ]

Jose Mourinho can thank VAR that his visiting North Londoners aren’t behind two to 20th place Norwich City.

Josip Vrancic had the Canaries ahead when Teemu Pukki burst through the Spurs back line to make it 2-0, but the thinnest of lines pulled the goal off the board.

Norwich City holds sloppy Arsenal

1 Comment

Arsenal needed two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to take a point from Norwich City at Carrow Road, a 2-2 draw which doomed the Gunners to their worst season start since 1975.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The draw comes in the first match after Arsenal fired Unai Emery, as interim boss Freddie Ljungberg oversaw another defensively-challenged performance.

Arsenal needed a number of sensational saves from Bernd Leno to get their point, which leaves them 8th with 19 points.

[ MORE: Ljungberg reacts ]

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell scored for Norwich City, who sits 19th with their 11th point.


Three things we learned

1. Gunners defense invites Pukki and friends to party: Emery may be gone, but it didn’t instantly fix the Gunners’ defensive woes. Norwich City went ahead when Pukki used a clever change of direction to open up for a perfect Kenny McLean through ball, then watched as the Arsenal backs allowed him to turn and dribble to space for a shot that turned off Chambers and past Leno. The Cantwell goal wasn’t too different, and Bernd Leno was outstanding in denying what could’ve easily been a number of additional goals.

2. VAR denies Krul penalty save: Norwich City goalkeeper Tim Krul has been a penalty-stopping marvel for years, but he was denied his fourth season stop from the spot when VAR spotted his plant leg off the line before he saved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s effort. Don’t get us wrong: He left his line and this isn’t VAR’s fault as much as it’s the law. In some cases like this, it’s illogical to expect a keeper to hit the line every time unless you make him start inside the goal. Perhaps the idea is to make penalties more automatic, but it’s a tough but correct application from VAR that allowed Arsenal a brief respite.

EDIT: The call was apparently against Max Aarons, who entered the box before Aubameyang’s effort and was the first to touch the rebound. As you were.

3. Cantwell continues to raise profile: Norwich City’s 21-year-old midfielder collected his fourth goal of the season to go with two assists. Born 25 miles from Carrow Road, he’s averaging 1.3 key passes and 1.3 successful dribbles per game in helping the Canaries find, perhaps, their next James Maddison.

Man of the Match: Aubameyang — Saved penalty aside, the Gabonese goal collector gave the Gunners plenty to like (again) in scoring his 52nd and 53rd Arsenal goals (in 82 appearances).


It was mostly Arsenal early, though Onel Hernandez led a 17th minute charge that led to a hard shot directly to Bernd Leno.

Tim Krul produced more brilliance typical of his season with a flying slap of Calum Chambers‘ header.

That’s when Pukki finished Norwich’s lightning counter, calmly turning the ball onto his right foot for a shot that deflected past Leno.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The score line looked set to change within moments, as Mesut Ozil‘s spun free kick was slapped out of the air by Zimmermann.

Krul came off his line to best Aubameyang’s spot kick, and VAR didn’t let the nominal distance sway it: Aubameyang bagged the re-kick despite Krul’s obnoxious hypeman antics on the touch line.

Norwich retook the lead in the second minute of stoppage time, Cantwell scoring for the second-straight match.

Leno continues to perform well for Arsenal under siege, splaying to make a world-class save on McLean at the hour mark.

AT HALF: Arsenal defense non-existent in first post-Emery match

Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Unai Emery is gone, but the defensive woes remain at Arsenal.

The North Londoners trail Norwich City 2-1 at halftime of Sunday’s match at Carrow Road, one of two 9 a.m. ET kickoffs in England.

[ STREAM LIVE: Norwich-Arsenal | Wolves-Blades ]

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell have scored for the Canaries, though Arsenal backstop Bernd Leno wasn’t given any help from his porous back line.

The first goal, from Pukki, came via the counter attack. The Gunners defenders invited the Finnish star to shoot after a through ball from Kenny McLean. So poor.

The Gunners would level after VAR allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a second chance to beat Tim Krul from the spot after the goalkeeper left his line oh-so-early in saving the first, but Cantwell made it 2-1 before half.

Over to Wolves, where Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men are in danger of seeing a long unbeaten league run end via a second minute goal.

The marker came from red-hot Lys Mousset.

Going to EURO: Finland qualifies for first major tournament

Photo by MARKKU ULANDER/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki scored two goals to help Finland clinch its first major tournament berth on Friday, earning a place in EURO 2020.

The Sonera Stadium crowd saw the Huuhkajat beat Liechtenstein 3-0 on Pukki’s brace after Jasse Tuomoinen set the table with a 21st minute opener.

[ MORE: Xhaka to Newcastle? ]

Finland dominated the proceedings, as expected, out-attempting the visitos 21-2 and holding 73 percent possession.

Italy has already won Group J with 24 points entering Friday’s action, while Finland’s win eliminates Greece. Bosnia and Herzegovina can now only qualify by winning the league.

Finland had qualified thrice for the Olympics (1936, 1952, 1980).

Elsewhere

Norway 4-0 Faroe Islands
Armenia 0-1 Greece