NEWCASTLE, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Teemu Pukki denied 10-man Newcastle a first win all season as Norwich earned a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park on Tuesday (Nov 30), but wasted a huge chance to deepen the Magpies’ relegation fears.
Newcastle were a man short for more than 80 minutes after Ciaran Clark saw red for pulling down Pukki.
However, Norwich were largely wasteful in trying to make that advantage count and fell behind to Callum Wilson’s penalty on the hour mark.
Pukki smashed home on the volley to equalise 11 minutes from time and Norwich should have claimed a massive three points in stoppage time when Martin Dubravka saved from Pierre Lees-Melou.
Eddie Howe’s men edge to within five points of safety in their bid to minimise the damage before they can turn to the Saudi sovereign wealth fund to strengthen in the January transfer window.
Howe was on the sideline as Newcastle boss at St James’ Park for the first time, having missed the 3-3 draw with Brentford 10 days ago after testing positive for coronavirus.
The former Bournemouth boss could not have asked for a worse start to a crucial clash between the bottom two before kick-off when Clark inexplicably hauled down Pukki as he threatened to burst clear on goal.
No side has conceded more goals in the Premier League than Newcastle this season, but Norwich are also the lowest scorers and their lack of quality in the final third was obvious as they laboured to create chances despite dominating possession.
Newcastle looked to have snatched a first win under Saudi ownsership when Billy Gilmour was penalised for handball inside his own box after a VAR review.
Tim Krul nearly denied his former club as he got a hand to Wilson’s spot-kick, but saw the ball rebound in off the underside of the bar.
Allan Saint-Maximin blazed over with a good chance to double Newcastle’s lead on the counter-attack.
And that proved costly as Norwich finally produced a moment of quality.
Dimitris Giannoulis helped the ball back into the box after Dubravka flapped at a cross and Pukki smashed home a volley into the top corner.
Norwich then piled on the pressure in the closing stages, but failed to find the winner as Dubravka made amends for his part in the equaliser with a crucial late save.
The Canaries do at least remain unbeaten in three games under new manager Dean Smith as they moved to within two points of safety.