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Norwich Rue Missed Chances As They Double Points Tally

It was scrappy, but it was beguiling in parts too and while neither Norwich City nor Brighton & Hove Albion managed a goal between them, there were chances aplenty and comfort for both teams. Norwich have neither lost nor conceded in two games and their second performance carried the suggestion they may not necessarily be doomed after all. Brighton, meanwhile are six unbeaten and those relegation struggles of recent years already seem sepia-tinted.        

Norwich head coach Daniel Farke retained the same starting XI and substitutes who brought a point back from Burnley. Brighton manager Graham Potter also made no changes to his starters, which meant Yves Bissouma, on bail after being arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, was unused on the bench following his recovery from a knee injury.

With Brighton fielding five across the middle and both Norwich full-backs keen to overlap, midfield was always going to be congested. So it proved and with only Mathais Normann interested in slowing things down, the early stages were frenetic and stacatto.

Slowly, though, Brighton began to assert themselves and soon, Tim Krul was saving smartly from Adam Lallana following Pascal Gross’s corner and Krul was alert again, touching Leandro Trossard’s dipper onto his bar after a beautifully cushioned Neal Maupay lay-off. Norwich meanwhile showed intermittent traces of the team who passed themselves out of last year’s Championship. Twice, though Teemu Pukki bore down on Robert Sanchez on his own but such is the Finn’s dearth of confidence, twice he squared for impossible to reach team-mates.

They should have gone ahead in the last minute of the first half, when Normann played a ball towards Josh Sargent. Robert Sanchez hurtled out of goal and completely miskicked before colliding with Lewis Dunk, allowing Sargent to face an empty goal on the edge of the penalty area. The American rolled the ball forwards, but so slowly that Shane Duffy had time to run back and clear. Aghast at his own sloppiness, Sargent held his head in his hands, as did most of the home support.

Three minutes into the second period, Sargent once again seemed set to score when Pukki set him free after Dunk’s clearance hit Lallana on the back. This time Sargent miscontrolled, allowing Dunk the opportunity to mop up the loose ball. Before the hour was up, Potter made a change, giving Tariq Lamptey his first Premier League action since tearing his hamstring at Fulham in December.

For the first time this season, Norwich found themselves on top and soon afterwards, Pukki missed again after being put through by a cute Max Aarons ball. Still, though, a third league goal of the season would not come, but when Pukki stormed through a back-pedalling rearguard yet again, Dan Burn save the day and the point with a perfectly judged tackle. Indeed, they almost snatched all three late on when Maupay somehow poked Solly March’s cross over the bar from almost under it.

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