Norwich claim first away point after draw at Bournemouth
Struggling Norwich picked up their first away point since returning to the Premier League by grinding out a goalless draw at Bournemouth.
Daniel Farke’s Canaries have endured a difficult transition period following promotion but showed resilience and fight at the Vitality Stadium to end a three-game losing streak.
The even contest featured just three shots on target, with City goalkeeper Tim Krul keeping out Dominic Solanke and Arnaut Danjuma, while Teemu Pukki was superbly denied by Aaron Ramsdale.
Norwich’s early-season chances have been severely hampered by a string of injuries to key players.
However, keeper Krul and captain Alex Tettey were each back after two games out and added defensive steel to help Farke’s men collect a first point since memorably shocking champions Manchester City last month.
Goals had appeared guaranteed on the south coast as the two clubs were the only ones in the top-flight yet to record clean sheets.
Yet an open, attacking affair failed to materialise and there was little to get excited about in tight first half with limited action at either end.
Striker Solanke, still waiting to break his Bournemouth duck since costing a reported £19million from Liverpool, had the only attempt on target in the opening 45 minutes, forcing a fine stop from the fit-again Krul after being played in by strike partner Callum Wilson.
Cherries midfielder Philip Billing had earlier fired over the stand and into the car park behind the Canaries goal when well placed.
Norwich’s creaky backline – the worst in the division ahead of kick-off – has leaked goals on a consistent basis this term but was showing some much-needed solidity and organisation.
That threatened to be disrupted just five minutes after the restart due to another injury problem as centre-back Ben Godfrey limped off to be replaced by Tom Trybull.
Experienced midfielder Tettey dropped back to fill in and Bournemouth almost capitalised on the reshuffle when England striker Wilson, making his 100th Premier League appearance, volleyed narrowly off target.
Norwich grew into the contest and enjoyed a prolonged period of possession.
That spell brought their maiden effort on target in the 65th minute as top scorer Pukki tested Ramsdale with a powerful drive from the edge of the D which was tipped wide.
With both sides growing frustrated and keen not to lose, the contest developed into a tetchy affair containing some questionable challenges.
Norwich midfielder Kenny McLean was shown a yellow card for scything down Ryan Fraser and was then on the receiving end of a studs-up tackle from Cherries right-back Adam Smith which also yielded a booking from referee Lee Mason.
Pukki later had his name taken by Mason for a cynical hack at Nathan Ake.
Bournemouth’s previous 0-0 league draw came almost a year ago to the day.
Substitute Danjuma attempted to prolong that statistic but his stinging drive was comfortable for Krul, while German midfielder Trybull was narrowly off target at the other end as an uneventful clash petered out to end in a surprise stalemate.