No Pukki, no problem.
Adam Idah has scored a hat-trick for Norwich in the Canaries 4-2 win over Preston in the FA Cup.
The 18-year-old Republic of Ireland underage international found the net three times at Deepdale on just his third appearance – and second start – for the Premier League club.
Idah, who made his Premier League debut as a substitute in Norwich’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace earlier this week, was handed a start in the absence of the injured striker Teemu Pukki.
Norwich boss Daniel Farke made eight changes in total, but got an excellent performance from his team nonetheless.
Teenage striker Idah, who is a key player for Stephen Kenny’s U21 Ireland team, opened the scoring in just the second minute against the hosts.
After just 84 seconds, Marco Stiepermann’s beautifully threaded through ball sent Idah through on goal, and the young striker kept his cool to slot the ball past the onrushing Connor Ripley into the bottom corner to give Daniel Farke’s visitors the dream start.
— Kevin Higgins (@Kevinhiggins94) January 4, 2020
The lively forward then had a shot parried by Ripley in the 28th minute, before Onel Hernandez swept home to make it 2-0.
Idah doubled his tally 10 minutes later with a superb finish.
Ripley came off his line to clear a long ball over the top, but his clearance went horribly wrong, landing at Idah’s feet.
The Irish striker still had a lot to do, but he made it look effortless.
After controlling the ball with one touch, Idah lofted a delightful finish into the net from 35 yards on his left foot.
Adam Idah is arguably the most exciting of all out young strikers coming through. Serious talent.
Here’s his second today for Norwich. pic.twitter.com/OFlIHRYr3c
— YBIG (@YouBoysInGreen) January 4, 2020
Preston’s Billy Bodin headed home a corner early in the second half to give the Championship side a lifeline.
However, Idah ended any hopes of a Preston fightback when he completed his hat-trick just after the hour mark.
Idah was taken down by Ripley in the box while chasing down another Stiepermann pass, with the referee barely hesitating before pointing to the spot.
Idah assumed penalty duties himself, and calmly slotted past Ripley into the bottom corner to complete a memorable hat-trick, the first of his senior career.
— Paul (@Paulthehammer79) January 4, 2020
Josh Harrop netted a consolation goal for Preston, but Farke’s visitors held on to seal their first FA Cup win since 2013.
“It’s a great start to the year for me, I’m over the moon to get a hat-trick,” Idah said. “Even to start the game was unbelievable.”
Luckily for Idah, senior Ireland manager Mick McCarthy was in attendance as a pundit for BT Sport.
“He might have just got himself one (a chance to earn a first cap), never mind you getting him one,” McCarthy told BT’s Jake Humphrey
“He’s scored a hat-trick today, and he’s playing in a real competitive game. Not a [under] 21s, not a 23s, it’s an FA Cup tie against a good Preston team.” .
Idah will now be hoping to feature in Norwich’s trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United next week.
“Adam was great,” Farke said after the teen’s hat-trick.
“Of course he delivered with three goals but his workload was good and his ability to link the play. We play many young lads but there are no gifts and they are on the pitch because they deserve it.