The last time City and Norwich met, the Blues obliterated the Canaries, winning their November contest 7-0. Saturday’s match featured a very different story.
City dominated possession during the first third of the game, controlling the ball for 20 of 30 minutes, though Norwich was the aggressor, taking three shots to City’s none.
Norwich were the first to strike in the match. Gary Hooper scored a goal in the 18th minute off a rebound from City goalkeeper Joe Hart that was later disallowed due to an offside ruling. But the Canaries’ effort sent a message early.
The latter part of the first half saw an increasingly aggressive attack from City, who fired four shots and continued to maintain possession 66 percent of the time, but the Blues still could not find the back of the goal.
City came close to taking the lead twice in the first half after Alvaro Negredo headed a ball directly into the Norwich crossbar in the 36th minute.
Again in the 43rd minute, the Blues tried to make something happen, with Stevan Jovetic firing from outside the box squarely into the hands of Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Neither team made it much of a match during the first half—a frustrating performance in particular for City, who were in need of a boost after Monday’s loss.
The second half saw City continuing to create chances and crowding the Norwich box, but the Canaries held on to keep the score locked at zero.
Saturday’s draw was not due to a lack of chances created by City, who took 15 shots on the Norwich goal and 14 corners, but impressive goaltending by Ruddy and a lack of coordination in front of the goal were the Blues’ undoing.
The Canaries came tantalizingly close to taking a lead in the final minute of regulation when Nathan Redmond twice found himself in scoring position in front of the goal but could not convert.
Aggressive offensive play from both teams made the last 10 minutes of the match the most entertaining, but the scoreless contest was ultimately a hugely missed opportunity for City.
For a team that has scored 68 goals this season, City looked out of sorts in Carrow Road today, and Norwich came away from the draw as the unofficial victors.
If anyone benefited from the City-Norwich draw, it’s Chelsea, who now move to the top of the Premier League after Arsenal’s 5-1 loss to Liverpool. Because of Arsenal’s loss, City could have moved to the top of the League with a win over Norwich. Now, the Blues desperately need to regroup after two disappointing results.