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Match Reports

League leaders win at The Den

Spirited Lions are beaten...

2 March 2019

Millwall were defeated 3-1 by Sky Bet Championship leaders Norwich City at The Den on Saturday afternoon.

Macro Stiepermann gave the visitors a first-half lead, but Shaun Williams' header on the stroke of the half-time deservedly restored parity at the break.

However, two goals in 10 second-half minutes - firstly from Christoph Zimmermann and then from Teemu Pukki - gave Norwich all three points.

Millwall boss Neil Harris made four changes for the visit of The Canaries, as Murray Wallace - through injury - Ryan Leonard, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ben Marshall made way for Mahlon Romeo, James Meredith, Shaun Williams and Steve Morison.

In front of a noisy Den, The Lions had the upper hand in the opening stages and forced a succession of corner-kicks, with the final one leading to Jake Cooper heading towards goal - that was cleared off the line, before Lee Gregory curled an effort into the grasp of Tim Krul.

Onel Hernandez then tried to dance his way through the Millwall defence at the other end, but the ball was cleared out for a corner, and eventually to safety. It was then Norwich's turn to have their own set of corners, though, with the ball ending up in the arms of Jordan Archer.

The goalmouth action was to settle down until the 16th minute, when the visitors took the lead against the run of play. A through-ball wasn't judged by the Millwall defence, with Hernandez allowed to waltz through and shoot - that was well-saved by Archer, but the ball fell into the path of Stiepermann, who had the easiest of tasks in slotting into an empty net.

Jed Wallace's turn allowed Mahlon Romeo a chance to shoot just after the half-hour mark, but he was crowded out by the Norwich defence and his attempt was blocked. With 38 minutes on the clock Morison was caught in possession and Teemu Pukki broke away, but the combination of Cooper and Archer ensured the lead was not doubled.

A Millwall corner then caused a momentary bout of chaos inside the area, but Shaun Hutchinson was unable to get a shot away and the ball was cleared. Jed Wallace was then also unable to strike two minutes before the break, with a short Hutchinson backpass nearly letting Pukki in - Archer was to the rescue, however, clipping the ball away from danger.

On the stroke of half-time, The Lions were level. A seemingly fluffed corner from Ferguson was flicked on by Morison into the path of Williams, who headed home off the woodwork from close range. Morison then sliced over as the half came to an end with Millwall's tails up.

Millwall began the second half like they started the first, attacking the Norwich goal, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to take the lead. At the other end, Max Aarons' deflected effort troubled Archer, but fortunately rolled wide.

With the second period more of an attritional affair, chances in front of goal were few and far between. That was until the 69th minute, when Zimmermann rose highest, unmarked, to head past Archer.

The Lions went straight down the other end and earned a duo of corners - with driving force Thompson behind the attacks - but it was The Canaries who had the next chance, with Emiliano Buendia heading Pukki's shot over the crossbar.

With 11 minutes remaining, Norwich further extended their lead as Pukki broke away from the defence to slot past Archer.

Incredibly, the deficit wasn't reduced with five minutes remaining as Romeo, substitute Aiden O'Brien and Morison all had close range attempts, but The Canaries' goal lived a charmed life, with the ball eventually going wide.

Millwall came forward in search of more goals in stoppage-time, but Norwich were more than happy to sit back and claim all three points.

Millwall: Archer, Meredith (O'Brien 74'), Hutchinson, Cooper, Williams (Elliott 84'), J. Wallace, Thompson, Gregory, Ferguson, Romeo, Morison. Subs not used: Martin, Onyedinma, Pearce, Tunnicliffe, Leonard.

Scorer: Williams 45'

Booking: Meredith, Thompson

Norwich City: Krul, Godfrey, Zimmermann, Lewis (Klose 88'), Buendia (Leitner 84'), Stiepermann, Trybull, Pukki, McLean, Hernandez (Vrancic 87'), Aarons. Subs not used: Oxborough, Rhodes, Tettey, Hanley.

Scorer: Stiepermann 16', Zimmermann 69', Pukki 79'

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 16,478 (3,240)

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