BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall suffered another away defeat as they lost a thriller to high-flying Norwich City.
The match had seven goals and a missed penalty. Teemu Pukki, who failed to score from the spot, scored the winner deep into the six minutes of stoppage time.
The Lions led at half-time through Tom Elliott’s goal before Pukki levelled matters early in the second half.
The Finland international then failed to convert from the spot before Moritz Leitner made it 2-1 with 11 minutes to go.
After that, things got a little crazy. The Lions found an instant response as Ryan Leonard raced into the box to make it 2-2 and moments later Jed Wallace had the South Londoners back in front.
It looked as if Millwall were finally going to get that elusive three-point haul on the road. But then came a truly dramatic and sickening turnaround.
Substitute Jordan Rhodes finished from close range in the second minute of time added on before Pukki got lucky in the box to seal a dramatic victory for the hosts. It did not seem like he knew much about the touch which carried the ball into the net, Shaun Hutchinson’s attempts to make a last-ditch tackle diverting off of him.
Millwall started well – passing the ball far more fluently and with a purpose which was lacking at Brentford last weekend – and deserved their lead midway through the first half.
Once again it came from a set-piece as the Lions won a free-kick which Shaun Williams flighted perfectly for an unmarked Jake Cooper – his header across finished at close range by Elliott for his third goal of the campaign.
The big striker celebrated in style – sliding across the Carrow Road turf in front of the 1,400 travelling away fans.
It was Cooper’s sixth assist of the campaign as the centre-back continues to be a force at both ends of the pitch.
Norwich began to take more of a hold on proceedings after that as they chased an equaliser. Ben Amos tipped over Timm Klose’s header from a City corner on 34 minutes.
City saw a goal struck off on 39 minutes. Moritz Leitner’s free-kick was flicked on by Klose and came back off the Lions crossbar with Christoph Zimmermann emphatically driving the ball home. But referee Jeremy Simpson ruled it out – with no clear reason why it should not have stood.
Emi Buendia curled narrowly wide after taking a couple of touches on the edge of the box in what proved to be the last notable action of the half.
Norwich won their first corner after just 43 seconds of the restart. And their push for an equaliser quickly bore fruit. Marco Stiepermann outpaced Shaun Williams down the left and his cross was met first time by Pukki at the near post with a side-footed finish.
But City’s top scorer squandered the chance to make it 2-1 from the penalty spot. Murray Wallace was penalised for a handball. But the City number 22 produced a slow run up and Amos managed to parry his effort before the danger was cleared.
City had struggled to gain momentum before they made it 2-1 on 79 minutes. Leitner drove home excellently from the edge of the box.
But the Millwall response was instant as Leonard showed more desire than anyone else to latch onto a loose ball in the box – Lee Gregory and Jamal Lewis initially contesting it – to poke home.
With six minutes to go, it got even better for the Lions. Wallace played a one-two with substitute Steve Morison and his shot was only partially stopped by Krul before it nestled in the bottom of the net.
There was time for another twist. Buendia threaded a pass for Rhodes and the master poacher drew the hosts level in the second minute of stoppage time.
And then came another twist past the allotted six minutes of stoppage time as Mario Vrancic put a testing ball into the box and Pukki got the final touch to take the ball past Amos.