Championship leaders Norwich City moved to within five points of securing an immediate return to the Premier League as they demolished Huddersfield Town in a brilliant display.
Teemu Pukki netted a hat-trick while Emi Buendia, Todd Cantwell, Kieran Dowell and Jordan Hugill also scored as five of the Canaries’ seven goals came before half-time.
Huddersfield were blown away as their five-match unbeaten run came to a spectacular end.
Demeaco Duhaney went closest to claiming a consolation with a header against the post while Danny Ward was denied on the rebound by Tim Krul.
Having been frustrated in back-to-back draws against Blackburn and Preston, Norwich returned to winning ways in emphatic style to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games and move 17 points clear of third-placed Brentford.
After finishing bottom of the Premier League last season, the Canaries could seal promotion back to the top flight as early as Saturday should results elsewhere go their way.
Pukki produces another party piece
Despite recording their biggest win in almost four years, Norwich could have won by an even bigger scoreline such was the nature of their dominance.
Finland striker Pukki took his season tally to 25 league goals as he first tucked in from close range after Cantwell had weaved his way into the Huddersfield box from the left to square to him unmarked.
His second was a great piece of understanding with Buendia, who played a measured ball from inside his own half behind the Huddersfield defence for Pukki to run on to and smash in off the inside of the post.
The hat-trick was completed just past the hour as he converted a penalty after Oliver Skipp’s solo run into the area was ended by Isaac Mbenza’s trip.
Canaries class shines through
Pukki also showed he could be a provider as well as scorer as his nearest challenger for the club’s golden boot this season, Buendia benefited from his vision to net Norwich’s third and his 12th of the campaign with an unstoppable drive into the bottom left corner.
Buendia then provided the final balls for Cantwell to make it 4-0 inside the opening half an hour with another powerful shot from the edge of the area before a brilliant one-two with Dowell set up their fifth just before the break.
Not to be outdone, full-back Max Aarons also produced one of the assists of the night as his pinpoint low cross laid on the seventh and final goal for substitute Hugill to fire into the roof of the net with his very first touch.
For Huddersfield, this defeat was a stark reminder that they remain in a scrap for survival.
The margin of defeat saw them drop a place to 19th as their goal difference took a severe dent and moved them below Derby County, eight points above the drop zone.
They face fellow strugglers Rotherham United next on Saturday, who are third from bottom and have three games in hand on Huddersfield.
- 23McLeanSubstituted forSørensenat 70′minutes
- 17BuendíaSubstituted forPlachetaat 77′minutes
- 10DowellSubstituted forStiepermannat 70′minutes
- 14CantwellSubstituted forHernándezat 86′minutes
- 22PukkiSubstituted forHugillat 77′minutes
- 44Castro Pereira
- 12StearmanSubstituted forHighat 45′minutes
- 23SarrSubstituted forEdmonds-Greenat 66′minutes
- 6HoggSubstituted forThomasat 54′minutes
- 9HolmesSubstituted forRoweat 54′minutes
- 8O’BrienSubstituted forBrownat 66′minutes
- 18MbenzaBooked at 60mins
Match ends, Norwich City 7, Huddersfield Town 0.
Second Half ends, Norwich City 7, Huddersfield Town 0.
Attempt missed. Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Przemyslaw Placheta with a cross.
Attempt missed. Przemyslaw Placheta (Norwich City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Jacob Sørensen.
Attempt missed. Onel Hernández (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Max Aarons.
Attempt saved. Przemyslaw Placheta (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dimitris Giannoulis.
Substitution, Norwich City. Onel Hernández replaces Todd Cantwell.
Foul by Dimitris Giannoulis (Norwich City).
Isaac Mbenza (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Przemyslaw Placheta (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jaden Brown (Huddersfield Town).
Goal! Norwich City 7, Huddersfield Town 0. Jordan Hugill (Norwich City) right footed shot from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Max Aarons.
Substitution, Norwich City. Jordan Hugill replaces Teemu Pukki.
Substitution, Norwich City. Przemyslaw Placheta replaces Emiliano Buendía.
Attempt saved. Todd Cantwell (Norwich City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Max Aarons.
Attempt blocked. Sorba Thomas (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Teemu Pukki.
Attempt saved. Danny Ward (Huddersfield Town) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Demeaco Duhaney (Huddersfield Town) hits the right post with a header from very close range. Assisted by Isaac Mbenza with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Huddersfield Town. Conceded by Andrew Omobamidele.