Norwich demolish Huddersfield in rout

Emi Buendia scored one and provided assists for three more of Norwich’s seven goals

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.

Terriers terrorised

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.

Line-ups

Norwich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 2Aarons
  • 44Omobamidele
  • 5Hanley
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 20Skipp
  • 23McLeanSubstituted forSørensenat 70′minutes
  • 17BuendíaSubstituted forPlachetaat 77′minutes
  • 10DowellSubstituted forStiepermannat 70′minutes
  • 14CantwellSubstituted forHernándezat 86′minutes
  • 22PukkiSubstituted forHugillat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Vrancic
  • 9Hugill
  • 11Placheta
  • 12Nyland
  • 18Stiepermann
  • 19Sørensen
  • 25Hernández
  • 26Mumba
  • 27Tettey

Huddersfield

Formation 3-1-4-2

  • 44Castro Pereira
  • 12StearmanSubstituted forHighat 45′minutes
  • 15Keogh
  • 23SarrSubstituted forEdmonds-Greenat 66′minutes
  • 6HoggSubstituted forThomasat 54′minutes
  • 17Duhaney
  • 7Bacuna
  • 9HolmesSubstituted forRoweat 54′minutes
  • 8O’BrienSubstituted forBrownat 66′minutes
  • 18MbenzaBooked at 60mins
  • 25Ward

Substitutes

  • 4Elphick
  • 13Leutwiler
  • 20Thomas
  • 22Campbell
  • 28Brown
  • 29Rowe
  • 35Edmonds-Green
  • 49High
  • 55Sanogo

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