Norwich City boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League after a spirited performance saw them hold high-flying Leicester City to a pulsating 1-1 draw on Saturday.
The result snapped Leicester’s club-record eight-match winning streak, leaving them second in the table on 39 points from 17 games, 10 behind runaway leaders Liverpool who marched on with a 2-0 home win over Watford in the lunchtime kick-off.
Teemu Pukki gave Norwich a 25th minute lead with a clinical finish before visiting keeper Tim Krul scored an own goal in the 37th, failing to clear a Jamie Vardy header as the league’s top scorer got on the end of a James Maddison corner.
Pukki was partially happy with the outcome, acknowledging that promoted Norwich, who stayed second-bottom on 12 points, still faced a mountain to climb if they are to avoid the axe.
“I am happy. Leicester is a hard place to come to and they have been on an amazing run,” the Finland striker told the BBC.
“I am happy to be back scoring again. We have been getting points lately but now we need to start winning games.”
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers praised his players despite the setback.
“I think the players showed a great mentality,” he said. “When you are on that winning run, you believe you are going to win every game but of course it does not work like that.”
Both sides came close in the opening exchanges as Krul tipped a Youri Tielemans shot on to the woodwork before Pukki fired wide from a good position barely a minute later.
Vardy missed a pair of gilt-edged chances to complete Leicester’s comeback before the home side were twice let off the hook in the closing stages.
Livewire Pukki saw a shot blocked by Ricardo Pereira and the home team’s centre back Caglar Soyuncu cleared a Christoph Zimmermann effort off the line from the resulting corner.
Norwich manager Daniel Farke revealed Pukki had played despite a painful injury.
“It looks like he has fractured his toe which is a worry but if he had been fully fit he might have got those goals,” said the 43-year old German.
“He is in brilliant shape at the minute but he is in a lot of pain. The fact he wanted to play on shows his character.”