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Norwich remain bottom of the Premier League after goalless draw with Brighton amid VAR controversy

Norwich 0-0 Brighton: Daniel Farke’s struggling Canaries stay winless as Josh Sargent and Teemu Pukki misfire in goalless draw as VAR controversy denies Neal Maupay a penalty

  • Josh Sargent missed a glorious chance to give Norwich a first win of the season
  • Norwich remain bottom of the Premier League, sitting four points from safety
  • Canaries have kept consecutive top flight clean sheets for first time in five years 
  • Brighton move up to fourth with draw but feel they should have had a penalty


Come the end of the season, this point could prove to be a vital for Norwich. But the opportunity was there for them to take all three against Brighton.

Back-to-back 0-0 draws on the trot after six defeats on the bounce shows progress, but ahead of a tricky trip to Chelsea next week, a victory at Carrow Road would have given the Canaries a timely boost.

Teemu Pukki and Josh Sargent were both guilty of wasting chances and look like strikers who are lacking in confidence. Heavy touches, poor final passes and casual finishes are costing Daniel Farke’s team, though the manager will be happy his side have kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since March 2016. 

Josh Sargent missed a glorious chance in front of an empty net to give Norwich a vital win

The Canaries striker had the goal at his mercy but his tame shot was cleared by Shane Duffy

The Canaries striker had the goal at his mercy but his tame shot was cleared by Shane Duffy

It is no surprise Norwich have the lowest shot conversion rate and the fewest shots on target in the Premier League this season. 

They’ve scored twice in eight games and of their 15 efforts on goal on Saturday, only three tested Robert Sanchez.

‘I’m not concerned [by the lack of goals],’ said Farke. 

‘You have to build step by step, make sure you are rock solid at the back. When you find it difficult to score you have to work hard.

‘We ticked many boxes. We created so many good situations. Josh (Sargent) is the most disappointed guy in the dressing room because he knows he should have scored.’ 

Neal Maupay was brought down by Tim Krul in the box in the first half but didn't get a penalty

Neal Maupay was brought down by Tim Krul in the box in the first half but didn’t get a penalty

The Brighton forward felt the contact with Krul's leg had warranted a penalty for the visitors

The Brighton forward felt the contact with Krul’s leg had warranted a penalty for the visitors

MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS

Norwich City (3-5-2): Krul 7, Aarons 6.5, Gibson 6.5, Hanley 6, Kabak 6, Giannoulis 6, Normann 6.5 (Rupp 81), Lees-Melou 6, McLean 6, Sargent 6 (Rashica 75, 6), Pukki 6.5 (Idah 89)

Subs not used: Gunn, Gilmour, Dowell, Tzolis, Williams, Omobamidele

Booked: Kabak, Giannoulis, Pukki

Manager: Daniel Farke 6

Brighton (3-5-2): Sanchez 6, Duffy 6.5, Dunk 6.5, Burn 7, Veltman 6.5 (Lamptey 58), Cucurella 6 (March 65, 6.5), Moder 6 (Macallister 83), Lallana 6, Gross 6, Trossard 7, Maupay 6

Subs not used: Steele, Lamptey, Connolly, Bissouma, Mwepu, Locadia, Roberts

Booked: Veltman, Lallana, Cucurella, Burn

Manager: Graham Potter 6

Referee: Peter Bankes 5

Brighton were no better when it came to finishing. 

The Seagulls have only been beaten once this season but have managed just eight goals – the fewest of any side in the top eight. 

They should perhaps have had the opportunity to make that nine, however, when Neal Maupay was brought down by Tim Krul in the box mid-way through the first half.

The goalkeeper’s outstretched leg made contact with the striker’s ankle but Peter Bankes opted not to point to the penalty spot. 

Maupay was incredulous. Norwich claimed he dived. Nothing was given and VAR did not advise the official to review the incident on the pitch-side monitor.

‘If the referee on the pitch doesn’t give a penalty it’s a tough one for VAR to overrule,’ said Potter. 

‘I don’t think it was clear and obvious enough to be overruled but I haven’t seen it back.’

Krul could easily have been the villain had that decision gone against Norwich but he was instead the man responsible for keeping his team in the game in the first half. 

The Dutchman made a fantastic save to touch Leandro Trossard’s fierce volley on to the bar in the 34th minute.

If anything summed up Norwich’s start to the season, it was Sargent missing an open goal just before half-time. 

Sanchez came rushing out to clear Mathias Normann’s ball over the top but completely missed it, leaving Sargent with an empty net at his mercy but the striker’s shot was weak and Duffy was able to get back to clear. 

Referee Peter Bankes didn't give a penalty and was not advised by VAR to look at a replay

Referee Peter Bankes didn’t give a penalty and was not advised by VAR to look at a replay

Sargent was presented with another great chance at the start of the second half when Sanchez’s wayward clearance was intercepted by Pukki, who played in his team-mate. 

But a heavy touch from the £8million summer signing allowed Dan Burn to get back and make a superb last-ditch tackle.

It was then Pukki’s turn to waste an opportunity. Max Aarons found the Finland international with a defence-splitting pass but his attempt at a chipped finish could only brush the side netting.

Another chance for Pukki went begging shortly after when he was played in by Milot Rashica, but the striker’s touch took him wide and Burn was able to get back and make his second vital tackle of the afternoon.

Maupay could have won it in the 86th minute but he could only touch Solly March’s cross over the bar. 

Daniel Farke saw his side keep a second straight clean sheet but Norwich remain winless

Daniel Farke saw his side keep a second straight clean sheet but Norwich remain winless

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