Norwich 2-0 Preston: Canaries earn first Sky Bet Championship win of the season
Teemu Pukki and Alex Tettey on target as Norwich see off Preston
Last Updated: 22/08/18 10:56pm
Norwich finally got their Sky Bet Championship season up and running as two late goals earned them a flattering 2-0 victory over Preston at Carrow Road.
Finnish striker Teemu Pukki fired home his third goal for his new club to break the deadlock with just 10 minutes remaining - and the points were quickly wrapped up with a 25-yard stunner from Alex Tettey seven minutes later.
The result was tough on the visitors, who had more than their fair share of the play, but it was the Canaries who came out on top to secure their first league win after taking just one point from their opening three fixtures.
Neither side managed an effort on or off target in a cagey opening quarter, but the game gradually livened up and Preston wasted a glorious chance to get their noses in front in the 26th minute.
Tim Krul could only parry Lukas Nmecha's angled drive into the path of Darnell Fisher some 10 yards out, but the defender lacked the composure to convert, with his first-time effort sailing way over the bar.
Lewis Moult then tried his luck with a spectacular overhead kick which went straight at the Norwich keeper before the home fans finally had something to get excited about when Ben Marshall curled a free-kick just over after he had been fouled on the edge of the box by Ben Pearson.
The Canaries' best opportunity of the first half arrived just before half-time with the lively Onel Hernandez cutting the ball back to Moritz Leitner who was unable to keep his shot down from a promising position.
Krul was called into action early in the second period to block a back-post header from Moult following a deep cross from Callum Robinson before Nmecha sent a long-range snap well wide for the visitors, who were looking the better side.
But with the home fans becoming increasing restless it was the visitors who came within inches of breaking the deadlock when Tettey gave away possession and Robinson burst into the box before firing in a fierce rising drive that smashed against the underside of the bar and bounced away to safety.
Emiliano Buendia had a goal-bound effort blocked at the other end before Norwich finally broke the deadlock with a goal they scarcely deserved on 80 minutes.
Left-back Jamal Lewis did well to hold the ball up just outside the box before slipping the ball through to Pukki whose low drive found the back of the net via the far post.
Norwich doubled their advantage in spectacular fashion on 87 minutes when a half clearance fell nicely for Tettey, who hammered the ball back with interest to leave former Norwich keeper Declan Rudd with no chance.
Daniel Farke: "We had only taken one point in our opening three games and conceded eight goals, so it was important that we kept a clean sheet tonight. That probably accounted for the fact that we were not at our best in the first half. We didn't create much against a side who don't give you many chances but we defended well, stuck together and then we were able to push on at the end.
"We played better at Birmingham and drew, and we played better against West Brom and lost. But in football it's about getting results and we were able to force a result tonight, which I am very pleased about. We had a bit of luck at times but I think we earned that in the first three games."
Alex Neil: "We had three or four really good chances before they scored their first goal, You will generally get punished in this game if you don't put your chances away. Norwich took theirs, we didn't and we have lost the game.
"We couldn't do much about the second goal but I was really disappointed with the first one. We switched off at a throw and allowed them to get a ball behind us - we should have been alert to it and they have gone and punished us."