Newcastle's wait for their first Premier League win of the season continues after being held to a 1-1 draw by Norwich City thanks to a fine late strike from Teemu Pukki.
After Ciaran Clark saw a straight red card in the open stages, Callum Wilson's second-half penalty put the hosts ahead against a Norwich side who put in arguably their most tepid display under Dean Smith so far, but Pukki's fabulous volley in the 79th minute snatched the visitors a valuable point at St James' Park.
The Magpies stay bottom in 20th on seven points and six points off safety. For Norwich, they leapfrog Burnley into 18th on 10 points.
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Newcastle's bright start took a nasty turn as early as the ninth minute. A poor clearance from Clark bounced off Pukki and saw the 31-year-old break into a one-on-one. Norwich's talisman was hastily pulled back by the Irishman and the Newcastle defender was correctly shown a straight red card.
Norwich, who were ponderous in possession, failed to capitalise on their man advantage and it was Newcastle who were creating the better goalscoring opportunities. Joelinton's 20th minute strike from 25-yards out and Wilson's left-footed effort inside the Norwich box in the 36th minute were the best chances in a generally lethargic half.
Smith introduced Pierre Lees Melou after the break to try and add some attacking spark, but it was Newcastle who would take the lead from the penalty spot just past the hour mark.
Billy Gilmour clearly handled a point-blank header from substitute Federico Fernandez at a corner. After a lengthy VAR review the penalty was finally awarded and Wilson, wearing the captain's armband, was relieved to see his penalty sneak past Tim Krul, who got a full hand on it, to grab his 100th career goal.
Understandably with Newcastle legs tiring the hosts were content to try and hold on to their slender lead, but Norwich responded through Pukki with nine minutes left. A cross spilt by Martin Dubravka came out to Dimitris Giannoulis, whose finely-weighted cross was met by the Finland international to emphatically volley in his fifth Premier League goal of the season.
Lees Melou should have won the game for Norwich deep into stoppage time, but his close-range finish was brilliantly saved by the feet of Dubravka.

TALKING POINT - Are Newcastle actually improving?

Newcastle have lots of money but they do not have a lot of time to turn their ailing season around. Six points off safety and without a Premier League win after 14 matches is cause for serious concern. After three Eddie Howe-guided matches there is little evidence yet to suggest life is getting better for Newcastle fans with the former Bournemouth and Burnley manager at the helm.
Newcastle put in a more impressive performance overall than a disappointing Norwich side on the night, especially when factoring in they were down a man for the majority of the match, but one shot on target and 31 per cent possession hardly suggests Howe is masterminding a drastic transformation right now.
It is very early days under Howe, but Newcastle must cut out individual errors and be more dangerous and adventurous in attack if they are to stand a realistic chance of survival. Yes, they went down a man early on, but ultimately this game will be remembered as an opportunity missed for Newcastle.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Teemu Pukki

The Finn's alertness to capitalise on a mistake from Clark provided Norwich a breakthrough early on and his goal was a masterful moment of exquisite technique.
Pukki has scored five of Norwich's eight Premier League goals so far this season and, yet again, he proved just how important he is to Norwich in their fight to avoid the drop.


Newcastle: Dubravka (6), Manquillo (5) Schar (4), Clark (1), Lewis (4), Fraser (4), Shelvey (5), Willock (5), Saint-Maximin (6), Wilson (6), Joelinton (6)
Subs: Fernandez (5), Hayden (5), Almiron (N/A)
Norwich: Krul (6), Aarons (4), Hanley (5), Gibson (5), Williams (5), Tzolis (5), Sargent (3), Gilmour (4), McLean (4), Rupp (5), Pukki (7)
Subs: Lees Melou (6), Idah (6), Giannoulis (7)


56' - HANDBALL!? Very strong appeals for a penalty this time around as Fernandez's header from point-blank range certainly looks to hit Gilmour's left arm which is above his head. ANOTHER VAR CHECK! Lee Mason is on VAR duty this evening.
59' - PENALTY GIVEN! Gilmour guilty. Newcastle have the chance to take the lead and Wilson will take the penalty.
61' - GOAL! NEWCASTLE ARE AHEAD! Wilson fires his penalty into the bottom right corner... Krul gets a full hand on it... but it hits the back of the net! It's relief for captain Wilson who scores his 100th career goal.
79' - GOAL! NORWICH EQUALISE THROUGH PUKKI! What a finish! The cross into the box is spilt by Dubravka out to Giannoulis. He crosses it back into the path of the striker who powerfully volleys into the top corner off his left boot! All of a sudden Norwich are level! It's Pukki's fifth Premier League goal of the season. Norwich only have eight in total so far!
90+3' - A HUGE CHANCE MISSED! Lees Melou snatches the ball off Schar and closes in on goal, but Dubravka makes a brilliant save with his feet to deny Norwich almost certain victory!


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22/06/2022 AT 11:20