Teemu Pukki charged down Adam Davies’ attempted clearance for Norwich’s opening goal
Teemu Pukki scored twice but saw a late penalty saved as Norwich and Sheffield United had to settle for a point each at Bramall Lane.
The Canaries, beaten in their previous three matches, went in front when goalkeeper Adam Davies was slow to clear a backpass, allowing Pukki to close down the space – and the ball rebounded off him into the net.
Pukki added his second – and his seventh of the season – as a kind deflection off defender John Egan gave him enough space to angle a shot across Davies and into the far corner.
United raised their game after the break and Ben Osborn and Oli McBurnie pulled them level, before Davies atoned for his earlier error by saving Pukki’s penalty after he had been fouled in the box by Egan.
The Blades remain fourth in the Championship, four points behind the top two, QPR and Blackburn, with Norwich sixth, a point further back.
Both teams went into the game with poor recent form behind them, Paul Heckingbottom’s United having lost three of the previous four matches.
The Canaries had not beaten their hosts in their last five meetings, four of them ending in defeat, but Davies’ sluggish reaction to imminent danger gave them the perfect start, and home fans were still digesting that when the Finn scored his second following Max Aarons’ long ball.
It took the Blades 40 minutes to muster their first meaningful shot on target as Ollie Norwood’s effort from a Billy Sharp pass forced Angus Gunn to go down low to push it round the post, and the Norwich keeper was called into action again moments before the break to deny Osborn.
But Osborn cut the deficit from close range with his first goal for just two days short of a year and, only seven minutes after being introduced as a substitute, McBurnie slid in at the far post to convert Egan’s header down from a Norwood cross.
Reda Khadra’s right-foot shot and McBurnie’s header brought saves from Gunn as United pressed for a winner, but it was Norwich who had the best chance of all when Egan was penalised, only for Davies to make an excellent low save to his left from Pukki’s spot-kick.
Oli McBurnie scored his sixth goal in his last 10 games for Sheffield United
United are away to West Brom next Saturday, while Norwich have a home fixture against Stoke.
Norwich head coach Dean Smith told BBC Radio Norfolk:
“The last 20 minutes, we allowed the crowd to get involved in the game by giving some silly fouls away and getting involved with their players, when we didn’t need to.
“For 65 minutes, I was really happy with how we played, our gameplan was to draw them on to us and use the spaces – and I thought Sarg [Josh Sargent] and Teemu did that excellently.
“We tired, which was expected, but their two goals were a little bit soft. We missed an opportunity at 2-2 but penalties can be missed.
“I’d like to be at the top of the league, but we’re 16 games in and there’s a long way to go. I firmly believe we’ll be there.”
Referee:Josh SmithAttendance:30,035Match StatsHome TeamSheff UtdAway TeamNorwichPossessionHome54%Away46%ShotsHome22Away10Shots on TargetHome8Away6CornersHome4Away9FoulsHome16Away12Live Text Post update
Match ends, Sheffield United 2, Norwich City 2.
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 2, Norwich City 2.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Chris Basham.
Attempt missed. Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Ben Osborn (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by George Baldock.
Attempt saved. Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross.
Foul by Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United).
Angus Gunn (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Norwich City. Danel Sinani replaces Marcelino Núñez.
Penalty saved! Teemu Pukki (Norwich City) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.
Penalty conceded by John Egan (Sheffield United) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Norwich City. Teemu Pukki draws a foul in the penalty area.
Attempt saved. Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ben Osborn with a cross.
Foul by Reda Khadra (Sheffield United).
Grant Hanley (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Reda Khadra (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by George Baldock.
Offside, Sheffield United. Anel Ahmedhodzic tries a through ball, but Oliver McBurnie is caught offside.
Substitution, Sheffield United. Reda Khadra replaces Billy Sharp.
Liam Gibbs (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt missed. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by George Baldock with a cross.
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