Teemu Pukki misses penalty but then redeems himself to strike winner at the death in Carrow Road thriller.
Last Updated: 10/11/18 5:57pm
Jordan Rhodes and Teemu Pukki struck in stoppage time as Norwich recorded an incredible 4-3 victory over Millwall at Carrow Road in the Championship.
Having thrown away a 2-1 lead in the closing stages to go fall 3-2 behind, Rhodes and Pukki helped the Canaries to a fifth successive league win in dramatic circumstances.
Pukki had cancelled out Tom Elliott’s first-half opener and then saw his penalty saved by Millwall goalkeeper Ben Amos before Moritz Leitner edged the Canaries in front.
But in an astonishing final 11 minutes, Ryan Leonard and Murray Wallace thought they had pinched the points for the Lions only for Rhodes to level and Pukki to pounce in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Millwall were the better side in the opening stages and fully deserved to go ahead from the game’s first clear-cut opportunity in the 24th minute.
A deep free-kick found the head of towering defender Jack Cooper who had all the time in the world to steer the ball into the danger area where Elliott was waiting to nod the ball comfortably past keeper Tim Krul.
For a side on such an impressive run, Norwich were poor in the opening quarter but they improved as the game wore on and nearly equalised five minutes later but Alex Tettey dragged a shot from a Pukki cutback just wide.
Amos then produced a smart reaction stop when Timm Klose met Leitner’s corner with a firm header before the Canaries had the ball in the net in the 39th minute.
Defender Christoph Zimmermann turned away in triumph after thumping the ball home after Klose’s header from a Leitner free-kick had come back off the woodwork but the assistant’s flag was raised for an offside as the ball came into the box.
The momentum was now with Daniel Farke’s side, however, and they deservedly got back on level terms three minutes after the restart.
A swift attack down the left ended with Marco Stiepermann putting in a low cross that was converted first time by Pukki at the near post. It was the Finland international’s ninth goal of an impressive first season at Carrow Road.
The Canaries continued to pile on the pressure and should have made it 2-1 in the 58th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Onel Hernandez’s goal-bound shot was handled at point-blank range by Wallace.
Despite Millwall protests, referee Jeremy Simpson pointed to the spot but the Lions needn’t have worried as Pukki’s poor penalty was comfortably saved by Amos and then hacked to safety.
It was a third spot-kick miss in successive games by Norwich, with Rhodes and Mario Vrancic also having fluffed their lines in recent games.
Millwall regrouped, with the impressive Wallace sending a snap-shot just over after 75 minutes before a poor final ball by Hernandez saw Norwich waste a good chance at the other end.
But Norwich finally got the second goal they deserved 11 minutes from time – and what a cracker it was.
A half-clearance fell nicely for Leitner a couple of yards outside the box and he drilled the ball back with interest, with a venomous low drive nestling in the bottom corner.
The hosts were ahead for less than a minute, however. From the kick-off, the Lions worked the ball forward and when Jamal Lewis fluffed his attempted clearance, it fell kindly for Leonard who coolly steered the ball home from close range.
Three minutes later it was 3-2 to Millwall following a dreadful from Krul, whose weak throw out was intercepted by Wallace. The diminutive midfielder promptly moved forward and played a swift one-two with Leonard before finding the back of the net.
But Norwich weren’t finished and substitute Rhodes struck in the second minute of stoppage time to restore parity. Poor marking allowed Emi Buendia to pick up out the striker unmarked in the area and he coolly beat Amos to send the home crowd wild.
Even better was to follow as the Canaries clinched the three points as Pukki had the final say, with the Finn claiming his second goal when an attempted last-ditch tackle from Shane Williams took a kind deflection off his shins to find the back of the net.