Norwich manager Daniel Farke described Teemu Pukki’s performance as “one of his best” for the club after he marked his 100th appearance with his 50th goal to secure a 2-1 win at Blackburn.
A pulsating, end-to-end encounter was settled by the pure goalscoring instincts of Pukki.
His clinical turn and shot fired Norwich into a first-half lead and though teenager Harvey Elliott restored parity with a goal of pure genius, the Finn had the last laugh by poking home Emi Buendia’s wayward shot midway through the second half.
It consolidates Norwich’s position at the top, three points clear, after a fourth successive win at Ewood.
Their rich vein of form means they have now tasted victory in six of their last eight outings – no team has amassed more points in that time.
Farke praised his “relentless” forward for his overall work-rate as well as goalscoring ability.
He said: “Teemu is fantastic and we all should value what a player we have. Quality player and also quality personality.
“It was one of his best games in a yellow shirt. Not just because of his two goals but because of his workload. He was relentless in his pressing. He won so many balls.
“When you go back to how we scored the second goal, he was crucial to win the ball with his pressing. He creates so much space for his team-mates with his movement.
“He always provides an offensive threat and he knows at the moment we have to play without some key players.
“Teemu knows how much responsibility is on his shoulders and then to deliver with this class, this performance, this commitment.
“Also for him, there’s unbelievable pressure. He has to deliver all three days and even in Finland when they have national team games, he’s the superstar.
“He enjoys representing the yellow shirt, he enjoys being together with team-mates. It’s a joy to to be allowed to work with this player each and every day.”
For Rovers, it was frustrating after a tour de force start to the second half brought them roaring back into the game before Pukki’s second goal condemned them to a second straight defeat and ended a four-match unbeaten run at home.
Boss Tony Mowbray felt the result was “harsh” on his side.
He said: “I think it was a [winning] goal out of nothing. I think it was a goal in isolation really.
“I think we were the dominant team. I didn’t think after we’d scored we were going to stop doing what we were doing, attacking and creating chances, and would maybe win the game.
“Then out of nothing really, a shot from 20-odd yards that he slashes a little bit, was deflected in.
“We have to accept it. We didn’t get anything from the game. It was a bit harsh on us but there you go, that’s football.
“As a football team, we are on a journey to try and get better. We have an ambition to push on to the top six in this league. We are trying to develop, trying to grow.
“We played against a team that was in the Premier League last year and I’m sure just about all of them played in the Premier League last year for them. I don’t think we’re that far away.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.