Norwich 4-0 QPR: Teemu Pukki scores twice for leaders
Pukki takes tally for the season to 26 goals in Championship
Last Updated: 06/04/19 5:15pm
Teemu Pukki scored twice as Norwich moved a step closer to promotion from the Sky Bet Championship with a comfortable 4-0 victory over managerless QPR on Saturday.
QPR, who sacked manager Steve McClaren earlier in the week, were blown away in the first half at Carrow Road.
Emiliano Buendia scored after six minutes before Marco Stiepermann fired in a second and then Pukki added a third after a defensive mix-up in the 38th minute.
Norwich: Krul (6), Aarons (7), Zimmerman (7), Godfrey (7), Lewis (7), Trybull (7), McLean (7), Buendia (5), Stiepermann (7), Hernandez (7), Pukki (8)
Subs: Cantwell (5), Leitner (5), Rhodes (5)
QPR: Lumley (4), Rangel (4), Furlong (4), Lynch (4), Bidwell (4), Wszolek (4), Cousins (4), Cameron (5), Freeman (4), Eze (5), Wells (5)
Subs: Leistner (5), Scowen (5), Osayi-Samuel (5)
Man of the match: Teemu Pukki
Buendia was shown a straight red in the 71st minute for a reckless tackle on Josh Scowen but Norwich remained in control and added a fourth through Pukki to move eight points clear of Leeds at the top of the table.
Both Leeds and third-placed Sheffield United, who are 10 points off top spot, can close the gap later on Saturday, but Norwich now look almost certain to earn promotion to the Premier League after three seasons in the Championship.
Certainly it would be difficult to see any team stopping Norwich if play as they did in the first half against Rangers, who were managed by John Eustace following McClaren's dismissal.
Max Aarons teed up Buendia to sweep home in the sixth minute before Joe Lumley failed to keep out a 20-yard shot from Stiepermann that was down the middle of the goal.
QPR couldn't get a foothold in the game and were fortunate not to fall further behind as Lumley saved from Onel Hernandez, who then shot wide when he should have squared for Pukki to tap in.
Hernandez also dragged a shot wide before Buendia was denied by Lumley at the near post.
Tim Krul was called into action for the first time in the 37th minute to keep out a volley from Angel Rangel, but QPR then gifted Norwich a third as Luke Freeman gave the ball away outside his own box and Pukki slotted past Lumley.
Norwich were unchanged for the eighth match in a row while QPR made five changes. Furlong, Cousins, Cameron, Eze and Wells came into the team while Luongo missed out with illness.
Norwich appeared to ease off a little in the second half and Krul even had to make a sharp low save to keep out a header from Darnell Furlong.
Buendia was then sent off as he dived in on Scowen in the QPR left-back position.
But it didn't impact the game as Pukki scored again in the 85th minute to take his tally to 26 for the season in the Championship.
Man of the match - Teemu Pukki
Pukki ended a four-game goal drought with another impressive display for Norwich. His movement around the pitch was excellent and he coolly finished both clear chances that fell his way.
⭐️Man of the Match, Teemu Pukki— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 6, 2019
3️⃣ attempts, all on target 🎯
2️⃣ goals ⚽️⚽️
Top scorer in the @SkyBetChamp this season with 2️⃣6️⃣ goals
Most league goals in a single season for @NorwichCityFC since Ron Davies in 1️⃣9️⃣6️⃣3️⃣-6️⃣4️⃣ pic.twitter.com/DOsnfvifwq
Daniel Farke: "We controlled the game, we were brilliant in the first half and created so many chances. I am even more happy with the clean sheet. It's always a sign of quality when you are able to control the game and it was important to finish today with a clean sheet."
John Eustace: "It was a tough afternoon. I was really disappointed with the way we started the game. We changed the shape at half-time and were more competitive but we are a bit low on confidence at the moment and you could probably see that."
Norwich host Reading on Wednesday and then travel to Wigan next Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
QPR travel to Millwall on Wednesday before hosting Swansea on Saturday.