Bolton Wanderers 0-4 Norwich City

  • February 16, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton's hopes of survival took another major blow on Saturday, as they were on the receiving end of a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Norwich City.

After picking up three points with victory at Birmingham City on Tuesday, pre-match spirits were raised slightly at the University of Bolton Stadium.

But supporters were soon brought back down to Earth with a bump, as goals from Teemu Pukki, Marco Stiepermann and Emiliano Buendia sent the Canaries in at half-time with a commanding 3-0 lead.

Pukki added his second - Norwich's fourth - 11 minutes after the restart and things would have been much worse for Wanderers, who were spared further embarrassment when former City goalkeeper Remi Matthews saved a penalty from Kenny McLean.

With their midweek win at the St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium fresh in the memory, Trotters boss Phil Parkinson made just two changes for the visit of Norwich as Josh Vela and Luke Murphy came in for the injured duo of Gary O'Neil and Marc Wilson.

The first chance of the afternoon fell the way of the home side, with a cross from Craig Noone being glanced wide by the head of Clayton Donaldson with less than two minutes on the clock.

Norwich responded well, however, and came close to breaking the deadlock with their first attempt. Onel Hernandez broke down the right-hand side before cutting the ball back to Buendia, whose first-time effort was tipped behind by Matthews.

The visitors did have the ball in the net on eight minutes, though, as Pukki latched on to a through ball from Stiepermann before cutting inside a challenge from Noone and finding the bottom corner for 1-0.

The Canaries came close to doubling their advantage just moments later, with Pukki this time turning provider for Buendia, who fired over the top of the bar.

Norwich didn't have to wait too long to make it 2-0, however, and it arrived with 25 minutes played as Pukki cut the ball back to Stiepermann, who kept his composure to slot home with precision from the edge of the box.

Hernandez was denied by an onrushing Matthews as Norwich looked to make it three before the half-hour, moments before Pawel Olkowski's surging run at the other end finished with a drive that was comfortably gathred by Tim Krul in the visiting goal.

Norwich would then add to their lead on 34 minutes, with McLean's dinked ball from the right leaving the Wanderers defenders standing like statues as Buendia ghosted in to volley home from close range.

Stiepermann came close to making it four a few minutes later, with his first-time curling effort being turned behind by a full-stretch Matthews.

Wanderers' woes were summed up with five minutes of the half remaining, as a cross from Noone was knocked on by Josh Magennis. The ball fell kindly at the feet of Clayton Donaldson, whose first-time volley was so far off-target it went out for a Norwich throw-in.

Bolton returned for the second half with two changes, as Sammy Ameobi and Joe Williams came on in place of Donaldson and Vela.

Those changes initially seemed to give the hosts a new lease of life, with Callum Connolly bringing Krul into action with a header inside thw opening two minutes after the restart.

Hernandez could have added a fourth with Norwich's first attack of the half, but his low shot was turned behind by the legs of Matthews, moments before Pukki was also denied as he ran clean through on the Wanderers stopper.

Norwich did finally add to their lead on 56 minutes, though, as a long ball forward from Stipermann picked out the run of Pukki. After seeing off the attention of Mark Beevers, he looped the ball up and over Matthews before seeing it bounce into the corner of the net.

Ameobi drilled wide from distance as Bolton looked to restore some pride on the hour, moments before the Canaries were awarded a penalty as Pukki went to ground under a challenge from Beevers inside the box.

McLean took responsibility for the spot-kick, but Matthews guessed correctly to make the save and ensure the deficit remained at four.

Norwich maintained the pressure and immediately went back on the attack, with Hernandez at the end of a move which saw his shot trickle inches wide of the far post.

Williams, Murphy and David Wheater all registered attempts on goal without really threatening Krul, while late efforts from Jamal Lewis and Pukki for the visitors also failed to add to their tally for the afternoon.

Three minutes of added time passed by without incident, with the precious few remaining in the stands at the full-time whistle greeting it with a chorus of boos.

Bolton, who slumped to a seventh defeat in 10 games since the turn of the year, remain 23rd in the table ahead of next weekend's trip to Leeds United.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Beevers, Wheater, Lowe, Noone (Buckley 88), Connolly, Murphy, Vela (J Williams 45), Olkowski, Magennis, Donaldson (Ameobi 45)
Subs Not Used: B Williams, Little, Pritchard, Hall
Booked: Noone

Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Zimmermann, Godfrey, Lewis (Hanley 89), Trybull, McLean, Buendia, Stiepermann (Leitner 79), Hernandez, Pukki (Srbeny 88)
Subs Not Used: McGovern, Rhodes, Klose, Cantwell
Goals: Pukki 8,56, Stiepermann 25, Buendia 34

Referee: Andy Woolmer
Attendance: 14,006

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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