- Norwich City 0, Albion 0
Albion had to settle for a point against Norwich on a frustrating afternoon at Carrow Road.
It’s now one defeat in eight Premier League games but Albion had the chances to win a fiercely competitive game, especially in the first half.
Tim Krul denied his old club with a terrific fingertip save to turn Leo Trossard’s shot onto the bar and Albion were convinced they should have had a penalty when Neal Maupay went down after rounding the Norwich keeper.
Norwich had their moments too with Shane Duffy clearing in front of his own goal to deny Josh Sargent but Albion finished strongly with Maupay side-footing over from close range late on.
Graham Potter had named an unchanged side but Yves Bissouma and Enock Mwepu returned after injury on the bench.
The big turning point of a lively first half came on 22 minutes when Maupay went round Krul and went to ground. Replays suggested Krul had tapped Maupay’s ankle but after a VAR check referee Peter Bankes decided it wasn’t a penalty.
Albion dominated for long spells. Before the penalty incident, Ben Gibson blocked the influential Adam Lallana’s volley from the edge of the box, Jakub Moder’s goalbound effort on the turn was blocked and in the 35th minute Leo Trossard went even closer. Good link-up play by Maupay found the Belgian in space 15 yards out and Krul had to stretch to turn his volley onto the bar.
The visitors deserved to be in front at the break but the best chance fell to Norwich moments before half-time. Rob Sanchez came out of his box to clear but sliced the ball straight to Josh Sargent, Norwich’s lively frontman. He only needed to guide it into an empty goal but although his effort was on target it lacked oomph and Shane Duffy got back to clear it away.
Even after that let-off Albion had another opportunity after attacking again down the right when Trossard’s pull-back was deflected into the side netting with Maupay waiting for a tap-in.
It needed Dan Burn to make an well-timed interception on Sargent to prevent the Norwich striker from testing Sanchez after Lewis Dunk’s clearance inadvertently cannoned off Lallana early in the second half but Albion were soon bossing possession again and Trossard embarked on a terrific run to the edge of the D but his shot drifted disappointingly wide.
Tariq Lamptey replaced Joel Veltman on the hour for his first Premier League appearance for ten months, but Albion had a scare when Pukki won the ball back and advanced on goal but as Sanchez narrowed the angle he lifted the ball over the keeper and wide of the near post.
Solly March came on for Marc Cucurella but Albion had lacked a creative spark in the final third in the second half and Norwich scented an opportunity. Dan Burn got across to make a terrific block after Milot Rashica sent Pukki in on goal and Sanchez had to get behind a decent hit by Gibson.
At the other end Albion put together a great move in the 81st minute. The ball was worked to Pascal Gross in space 15 yards out and his low drive was heading for the bottom corner until Gibson stuck out a boot to deflect it away.
Maupay had a great chance with three minutes to go when he side-footed over from close range after great work by March. It was that sort of afternoon for Albion but an away point in the Premier League is still worth celebrating.
Albion: Sanchez, Duffy, Dunk, Burn, Veltman (Lamptey 58), Cucurella (March 66), Gross, Moder (Mac Allister 84), Lallana, Trossard. Maupay.
Subs not used: Steele, Connolly, Bissouma, Mwepu, Locadia, Roberts.
Booked: Veltman (foul), Lallana (foul), Cucurella (foul), Duffy (foul), Burn (foul).
Referee: Peter Bankes