Blackburn 0-1 Norwich: Teemu Pukki puts Canaries back on top
Teemu Pukki strikes late to send Norwich back top in Championship table.
Last Updated: 22/12/18 7:13pm
Norwich moved top of the Sky Bet Championship after Teemu Pukki's late winner gave them a 1-0 win at Blackburn.
Daniel Farke's side looked set to be frustrated in their pursuit of three points by a spirited Rovers side who restricted the promotion chasers to very few clear-cut chances, despite their dominance in possession.
A draw would not have been an unfair result, but, as the game got stretched late on, Norwich's endeavour and bravery were rewarded four minutes from time when top scorer Pukki put the finishing touches to an incisive move.
The Canaries have now gone 11 games unbeaten in the league, winning four of the last six on their travels.
Rovers remain in mid-table after only their second league defeat at Ewood Park in 2018.
Both sides made one change apiece from last week, Blackburn's Adam Armstrong rewarded for his goal in the draw against Birmingham, replacing the injured Craig Conway.
Moritz Leitner was preferred to Mario Vrancic for the Canaries.
Although Norwich monopolised the early possession, Armstrong had the first chance when he weaved in from the left before curling a shot that flashed past the far post.
Rovers got their first glimpse of Pukki in the 13th minute when Todd Cantwell's inch-perfect pass set him clear, but he found the side netting from a narrow angle.
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After weathering the early storm, the hosts grew into the game and Ryan Nyambe's marauding run and cross led to a chance for Danny Graham, who saw his goalbound effort deflected behind.
Marco Stiepermann's powerful long-range effort had to be tipped over by David Raya, and he watched a Pukki shot trickle wide as Norwich attempted to force an opening before the break.
The hosts started the second half the brightest, though, and their top scorer Bradley Dack ought to have done better when slipped in 12 yards out, but he shot straight at Tim Krul.
Graham then planted a free header over on the hour mark, the type of chance he would expect to dispatch.
At the other end, Pukki saw a left-footed effort sail wide before Raya pulled off an outstanding save to tip over Ben Godfrey's bullet header from point-blank range.
Both sides sought a winner, but Norwich's extra quality ended Blackburn's resistance in the 86th minute when a slide-rule pass found Onel Hernandez on the left.
His cross put a chance on a plate for Pukki, who buried his 14th goal of the season from close range to send Norwich top.
Tony Mowbray: "I thought we played pretty well, competed against a team who are top of the table. I thought we probably had the best chances to win the game, we knew they would have a lot of possession, it's the way they play.
"But I think on the back of that, we had the best opportunities. It was a fine, tight game, with fine margins and we came out of the wrong end of it really."
Daniel Farke: "It a massive win. We have had several outstanding performances and brilliant wins, played some nice pieces of football, and had away wins with four goals, but my feeling is this is the biggest win during the whole season and really a massive win for us.
"Especially because of the situation we had to handle during the game. Yes, big compliments to the lads and we are all pleased."