Dean Smith: Pukki caused them problems all game
(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Dean Smith was delighted with Teemu Pukki's performance in Norwich City's narrow 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday. 

The Canaries clawed the scoreline to 2-2 after being two goals behind early in the first half. Pukki teed up Kieran Dowell at the back post who headed past David De Gea minutes before the interval. 

And within 10 minutes of the second half, Norwich had equalised through Pukki's neat finish. 

But it was not enough for Smith's side as they were eventually undone by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick that was sealed with a fantastic free-kick. 

Smith: He gave United's defence problems

The Norwich boss on Pukki's performance: “I thought he was excellent today." 

“He gave a problem to both (Victor) Lindelof and (Harry) Maguire with his running down the sides, clever running as well. He made good movements and caused them problems all game and got an assist and a goal as well."

But overall, Smith was frustrated with the result after his side found themselves in a superb position to take all three points: "Extremely disappointed with the result but pleased with the performance.

"You can’t give the goals away that we give. I felt in both boxes we could have been better because we had some good opportunities on the counter as well. De Gea has pulled off a really good save at 2-2 as well which could have changed the game.

"Tim will be disappointed" 

There are not many times where a goalkeeper can say they should have done better against Ronaldo but Tim Krul will certainly feel that way after the United forward's third goal.

Smith agrees and understands that Krul will be annoyed with himself: "He gets a touch to it. Tim will be disappointed, I think he could save it. It’s always a harsh one from me when it's the goalkeeper's side.

"He was probably mis-sighted by the wall and saw it late, but when it goes the goalkeeper side I feel that you could do better and I’m sure with his high standards he will feel the same.

After their win against Burnley last weekend, there will have been some hopes of staying up for Norwich but that task seems impossible as they sit seven points off safety having played two more games than Everton. 

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