There was plenty for Norwich City fans to be satisfied with following Saturday's 0-0 draw with AFC Bournemouth. Here are the three key talking points...
Players returning from injury
The medical team at Lotus Training Centre have been busier than expected in recent weeks, with Head Coach Daniel Farke delivering more bad news on the injury front with each press conference, so it was refreshing to see four Norwich City players back on the team sheet for Saturday’s game.
Tim Krul returned between the sticks to replace Michael McGovern, while Alex Tettey came back from injury at the expense of Marco Stiepermann. There were also minutes to be played for Tom Trybull and Onel Hernandez, who had both been through spells on the sidelines.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all plain-sailing, as an injury to Ben Godfrey early in the second half saw him hobble off the pitch, leaving City with no out-and-out centre halves. Tettey and Ibrahim Amadou, both defensive midfielders by trade, slotted in admirably. Thankfully, it looks as though Ben’s injury isn’t too serious, according to his post-match tweet!
Will be sound, cheers Jarvo 👊🏽 https://t.co/nPTXCdkPyt— Ben Godfrey (@BenG0dfrey) October 19, 2019
First clean sheet of the season
Part of Premier League survival is built on defensive solidity – something City had been sorely lacking in recent weeks. Given that Bournemouth remain the third highest scoring side outside of the top six and Norwich have the joint-leakiest defence with Watford, few would have predicted a 0-0 draw.
But City showed heart and desire to keep the ball out of their own net. Tim Krul was called into action to make a couple of key saves, denying Dominic Solanke in the first half and Arnaut Danjuma in the second, while Tettey and Amadou headed clear everything that came their way. In fact, Amadou made more interceptions and clearances than any other Norwich player.
Bournemouth had 11 shots and put in a plethora of crosses, but a resolute City back-line held firm. Trybull took a piledriver to the face in the name of keeping a clean sheet, and was rewarded with just that.
First away point of the season
It’s been a difficult few weeks on the road for City fans, who have seen the Canaries lose at Liverpool, West Ham United, Burnley and Crystal Palace since the start of the Premier League season in August. At Vitality Stadium, a first away point of the season certainly gave them something to cheer about at full-time.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe described Norwich as ‘a tough nut to crack’ in his post-match interviews, and by proving so difficult to breakthrough City stay within touching distance of the five teams above them.
The point doesn’t move them out of the relegation zone, but it does mean that, should City beat Manchester United this Sunday, they will go level on points with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.