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Rayan Ait-Nouri earns Wolves a point at home to Norwich

Wolves’ Rayan Ait-Nouri scored the hosts’ leveller against Norwich (Nick Potts/PA)
Wolves’ Rayan Ait-Nouri scored the hosts’ leveller against Norwich (Nick Potts/PA)

Rayan Ait-Nouri’s first goal in 19 months salvaged a point for Wolves against relegated Norwich.

The defender – who had not scored since his 2020 debut – struck to rescue a 1-1 draw at Molineux.

Yet eighth-placed Wolves extended their winless run to six – a streak which officially ended their hopes of a return to the Europa League.

They were forced to come from behind after Teemu Pukki’s 11th goal of the season gave the Canaries a first-half lead.

Relegated Norwich did at least end a run of five straight defeats but they remain bottom of the Premier League.

If the Canaries were going to salvage any late pride from another awful season they needed a dramatic improvement at Molineux.

Indeed the visitors wasted two glorious chances to open the scoring inside the first 15 minutes through Pukki.

They twice found a way through Wolves too easily, first when Kieran Dowell slipped in Pukki and the striker skewed a poor effort wide of the far post with just John Ruddy to beat.

Soon after, Mathias Normann clipped a fine pass behind the home defence only for Ruddy to deny Pukki, with Toti Gomes mopping up as Dowell tried to pounce.

Wolves were yet to find second gear, a few nice touches from Joao Moutinho aside, and failed to seriously trouble a defence which had already conceded a league-high 78 goals.

The majority of the first half was played at pre-season pace with the home fans imploring their club not to sell Ruben Neves – linked with a summer move – as the on-pitch action failed to catch their attention.

Raul Jimenez’s ambitious volley dropped over but the hosts were too pedestrian and paid the price eight minutes before the break.

Max Aarons seized on a loose ball and fed Pukki on the right, with the striker cutting inside faced by Conor Coady and Toti.

Both defenders encouraged the Finland international by giving him too much space and the striker’s effort took a slight deflection off Coady to wrongfoot Ruddy and roll in.

Wretched Wolves could only improve and Pedro Neto drilled wide after the break before they levelled 10 minutes into the half.

Chiquinho’s half-time introduction had lifted Wolves from their slumber and he was tripped by Dimitris Giannoulis on the right.

Norwich failed to clear Moutinho’s fine free-kick and the ball bounced kindly for Ait-Nouri – who still had plenty to do – to loop a header into the bottom corner.

Wolves sensed an instant second and Chiquinho’s delicious cross was met by a diving Neto, only for Angus Gunn to turn his header over.

But they lost momentum quickly and could not find another way through as the game meandered to an inevitable draw.