Burnley 0-0 Norwich: Both sides winless after Turf Moor stalemate
Burnley 0-0 Norwich: Premier League strugglers still winless after Turf Moor stalemate with Mathias Normann grazing the crossbar for visitors and winger Dwight McNeil firing over from close range for the Clarets
- Norwich off the mark at last after losing all six of their previous league games
- Winless Burnley remain in the drop zone after third draw from seven matches
- Norwich’s Normann clipped the bar, while McNeil fired over from close range
Norwich finally got a point on the board as they scrapped their hearts out in this drab goalless draw against Burnley.
These clubs are where they are in the Premier League for a reason and they could not be separated on an afternoon where graft rather than craft won the day.
And neither side could complain that they only walked away with a point as the quality needed to grab all three was sorely lacking at a wintry Turf Moor.
Burnley’s Matej Vydra was forced off after failing to recover from collision with Tim Krul
Burnley (4-4-2): Pope 6; Lowton 7, Tarkowski 6, Collins 7, Taylor 6; Lennon 6 (Gudmundsson 60, 6), Westwood 6, Brownhill 6, McNeil 6; Wood 6 (Barnes 80,6), Vydra 7 (Rodriguez 35,7)
Subs not used: Hennessey, Norris, Cork, Pieters, Bardsley, Long
Manager: Sean Dyche 6
Norwich (5-3-2): Krul 6; Aarons 7, Kabak 6, Hanley 6, Gibson 6, Giannoulis 6; Lees-Melou 6 (Rupp 79,6), Normann 7, McLean 6, Sargent 6 (Idah 87, 5), Pukki 6 (Rashica 79, 6)
Subs not used: Gunn, Gilmour, Dowell, Tzolis, Williams, Omobamidele
Manager: Daniel Farke 6
Referee: Kevin Friend 6
The business end of the season may still be many months away but there was no denying the importance of this contest to both clubs.
Indeed, if you can label a match a ‘relegation decider’ as early as October 2 then this was the game to do it, given the form both teams were in ahead of the match.
Norwich’s pre-season optimism, following their commanding Championship promotion last term, has well and truly evaporated.
The Canaries wings have been clipped this season and they arrived in the north-west with a chastening league record of played six, lost six.
Burnley felt they should have been awarded a penalty after Krul wiped out Vydra in first half
With just two goals to their name and 16 against, the problems for Daniel Farke’s men were there for all to see but if there was to be one crumb of comfort, it was the fact they were playing a side in equally dire straits.
Burnley were also winless in the Premier League meaning that when Kevin Friend blew the whistle on a freezing autumn afternoon, this contest was 19th versus 20th.
Hopes that this match would exude quality were not exactly sky-high then as a result of how these sides have operated in the opening weeks of the season.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche speaks to referee Kevin Friend at half time on Saturday
And to nobody’s great surprise, real moments of class were a collector’s item.
Max Aarons pushed his early shot for Norwich wide of Nick Pope’s far post but apart from the home fans howling for a penalty when Tim Krul smashed into Matej Vydra as he came for a cross, little else occurred in the opening stages.
That was not for a lack of trying though. Both teams chased and pressed hard and while Burnley had the lion’s share of the ball, Norwich closed them down with vigour, as both teams cancelled the other out.
As the game opened out, a further Burnley penalty claim – following Grant Hanley’s clumsy challenge on Vydra – was also waved away by referee Friend and the niggle on the terraces started to get played out on the pitch.
Norwich City goalkeeper Tim Krul makes a save in the first-half on Saturday
Chris Wood, Mathias Normann, Matthew Lowton and Josh Brownhill all went into the book, making that five yellow cards in the opening 33 minutes, following an early entry for James Tarkowski but the boisterous nature of the contest did not lead to an upsurge in its class.
The break arrived with Burnley on top but with only three shots on goal in the first half, rocket science degrees were not required to work out how this clash was still goalless.
The second half began with Dwight McNeil testing Tim Krul from 20 yards out as Dyche’s side looked to stay on the front foot although Norwich then underlined that they were not quite out for the count yet.
Norwich City’s Ozan Kabak goes down in the box but the referee did not award a penalty
They needed a spark and Ozan Kabak provided it after 50 minutes as he very languidly ran through Burnley’s side and was eventually up-ended by Jay Rodriguez right on the edge of the box. Normann’s free-kick was a tester for Nick Pope but he clawed it away with aplomb.
The match then opened up nicely as Normann jinxed behind the home defence and saw his effort clip the top of the crossbar while McNeill should have scored at the back post for Burnley but squandered a glorious chance a yard out.
The match was there for the taking by either side as they both enjoyed a huge second wind towards the end but, in a theme long since set, the nous, poise and quality to win the match was sorely lacking.
Effort, however, was in abundance. And at the moment, both these clubs have to take what they can.
Mathias Normann’s free kick from just outside the box was pushed away by a diving Nick Pope
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