Preston North End 3-1 Norwich City: Canaries slip to second after Deepdale loss

Preston North End 3-1 Norwich City: Canaries slip to second after Deepdale loss

Paul Gallagher’s first-half penalty was his fifth league goal this season

Goalkeeper Declan Rudd inspired Preston to a third victory in four matches to knock Norwich City off the top of the Championship table.

The Canaries had not lost away from home since August, with just two defeats in their previous 26 league fixtures.

But they were second best as they trailed 2-0 at the break and despite a vastly improved start to the second half, a Preston side managed by former Norwich boss Alex Neil stood firm before clinching a memorable win.

Ben Davies put the hosts ahead inside two minutes and an energetic, expansive first-half display was rewarded when Gallagher added the second from the penalty spot.

The visitors wasted a glorious chance to pull a goal back when Marco Stiepermann’s spot-kick was brilliantly saved by former Norwich keeper Rudd, but they recovered to seize control after the interval.

Relentless away pressure failed to produce a goal and Sean Maguire’s classy finish made it 3-0 to as good as seal victory.

Teemu Pukki’s 21st league goal of the season brought some cheer for the away fans, but could not stop Leeds replacing Norwich as the second-tier leaders thanks to their 2-1 win over Swansea.

Gallagher’s sweet delivery from the right flank left Davies with a simple task of heading home the opener from close range and that set the tone for a bustling home display.

Rudd then made the first of a number of fine saves, making a superb stop at the feet of Pukki as the Finn raced through one-on-one.

Rudd came through the youth ranks at Norwich but only made 34 appearances during nine years as a professional at Carrow Road

But soon after a fabulous first-time strike by Brad Potts from the edge of box smashed against the bar, Preston doubled their lead when Gallagher’s spot-kick just about beat Tim Krul after Darnell Fisher was fouled.

Ben Pearson looked to have given City a way back into the match with a full-blooded lunging challenge on Onel Hernandez, but Rudd dived to his right to keep out Stiepermann’s spot-kick.

Rudd also made excellent saves to twice thwart Pukki and also kept out Hernandez before Maguire reacted quickest to fire in a third Preston goal after Alan Browne’s long-range shot had crashed against the bar.

Pukki’s fine finish across goal came deep into stoppage time and posed no threat to stopping Preston extending their unbeaten run to six matches.

Norwich drop to second, but are now just two points ahead of Sheffield United in third, following their 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football

February 13, 2019 at 02:15PM


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