Written by Carlo Simone (@CSimonejourno) from Vitality Stadium
AFC Bournemouth and Norwich City played out an entertaining 0-0 draw at the Vitality Stadium, as both teams kept their first clean sheets of the 2019/20 Premier League season.
Eddie Howe made three changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Arsenal two weeks ago, as Jack Stacey, Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King were replaced by Adam Smith, Lewis Cook and Ryan Fraser.
Daniel Farke only made one change to the side that was thumped 5-1 at home by Aston Villa last time out, as Kenny McLean came in for Marco Stiepermann.
It was the Cherries who found themselves in control in the opening ten minutes. A cross from Ryan Fraser was the first example of this attacking intent, but it floated over the heads of Bournemouth and Norwich players alike.
A corner two minutes later yielded Bournemouth’s first significant sight on goal, as it was headed away to Diego Rico on the outskirts of the penalty area. His half-volley went well over the crossbar.
Harry Wilson whipped in a free-kick after he was fouled by McLean, but again no one was on the end of it.
The Canaries then began to grow into the game, as McLean, Emiliano Buendia and Teemu Pukki combined their passing efforts to set up a crossing opportunity. Like most balls into the penalty area that afternoon, it was deflected away.
Philip Billing then sent an effort over after her was first to receive the ball after it was headed away from a corner.
Pukki’s influence in the Norwich attack was then strongly felt as he drove into the Cherries penalty area and tried to cut past a defender. However, he had the ball knocked off his boot, and Bournemouth could scramble clear.
The Finland striker then thought he was through on goal after a pass found him, but the flag was raised for offside as he attempted to round Aaron Ramsdale in the Bournemouth goal.
Dominic Solanke then should have scored on 22 minutes as Diego Rico’s pass found Callum Wilson who offloaded the ball onto the onrushing Solanke. As he drove into the box Tim Krul narrowed the angle and made a huge save.
The game then became quite turgid as the defences came out on top and dealt with many crosses and attempted pieces of attacking play which came to nothing.
Callum Wilson tried to spark the game to life by winning possession just inside the Norwich half and running down the right-hand side, but his eventual pass was intercepted.
He then made a superb dummy to allow a pass to reach Fraser, but his cross was cleared by the impressive Ibrahim Amadou.
Just before the first half ended Max Aarons did well to control a long ball forward to then send Cantwell on his way into the box, but his pass was poor and failed to reach Pukki.
The second half started with excitement as Harry Wilson sent a delightful inswinging ball into the Norwich box, but it agonisingly eluded everyone and went just past the post.
Fraser sent a tempting cross into the area soon after which Krul got down to claim, whilst Steve Cook had to deflect a Pukki cross out for a corner down the other end.
The following set piece was sent straight back to Buendia, whose following cross found the head of Amadou. Unfortunately for Norwich, it was off-target.
Bournemouth then went so close to opening the scoring as a cross from Rico seemed to get a flick from Callum Wilson which beat Krul but also beat the post.
Norwich took control as effective passing play from Bunedia and Jamal Lewis carved out crossing and shooting opportunities which Bournemouth were able to deal with.
Pukki was determined to make an impact, and it required Ramsdale to make a big save to keep Bournemouth on level terms. He got down low to save an effort from ten yards after the striker had time to pick his spot.
Pukki almost got another opportunity to get on the scoresheet, as McLean’s effort from range was blocked into his path. However, Steve Cook was quick to block him out.
Arnaut Danjuma then replaced Harry Wilson, and almost made an immediate impact as he darted into the box past Aarons and Krul was required to save.
Buendia was involved in the action once again, as he teed up Tom Trybull who shot narrowly wide from range.
Both sides went on a search to find a winning goal in the last ten minutes, encouraged by the roars of the fans. Both Danjuma and Billing had strikes go wide from range.
However, after four additional minutes were played the referee blew the full-time whistle. It was by all accounts an entertaining match, just without the flourish of a goal to excite the fans. Norwich could be pleased with a point after their poor recent form, whilst Bournemouth would have been frustrated after not making the most of their attacking play.
AFC Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Rico, S.Cook, Ake, Smith, L.Cook, Fraser, H.Wilson (Danjuma), Billing, Solanke (King), C.Wilson
Subs: Boruc, Francis, Surman, King, Danjuma, Kelly, Mepham
Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Godfrey (Trybull), Lewis, Amadou, Leitner (Srbeny), Cantwell (Hernandez), Buendia, McLean, Tettey, Pukki
Subs: McGovern, Byram, Hernandez, Stiepermann, Trybull, Drmic, Srbeny