Canaries hold marauding Magpies

Norwich 0 Newcastle 0

Canaries hold marauding Magpies

Who probably thinks Luuk de Jong is a relative of North Korea’s president...

Not that Newcastle seemed to miss Paris Saint-Germain’s latest recruit as fellow Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa — Ben Afro in Kinnear-speak — replaced Cabaye in the playmaker role and Mathieu Debuchy returned at the back. They created chance after chance in the first 45 minutes and it was astonishing that they were not ahead. Loic Remy was a constant menace until sent off 10 minutes from time for fighting with Bradley Johnson, and was denied early on by a good save from Canaries keeper John Ruddy. Ruddy was lucky when he spilled a routine cross on to the shins of team-mate Johnson, and saw it bounce off a post.

Remy then hit the other upright with a curler and there were other close shaves for the home side, not least when Ben Arfa spooned over with the goal at his mercy.

Norwich, with wantaway Wes Hoolahan not even on the bench, almost snatched an undeserved lead seconds before the break but Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul kept out Gary Hooper’s low drive.

The home fans voiced their disapproval at the interval, with Norwich’s performance summed up by rusty returnee Anthony Pilkington, the Irishman letting a routine pass slip away from him and leave the pitch.

Or was it Robert Snodgrass’s spat with supporters bemoaning his corners? The Scot shanked the first shot of the second half wide but was afforded ironic applause when a subsequent corner did clear the first defender.

Norwich survived a penalty scare when Ben Arfa went down under Ryan Bennett’s challenge, before Remy hit the woodwork again, this time the crossbar from a free-kick.

Hooper had a chance to steal it for Norwich but hit the bar.

Then came the double dismissal as Remy and Johnson shoved each other before going brow to brow — and Snodgrass almost won it for Norwich with a diving header that Krul saved.

NORWICH: Ruddy, Martin, R Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson, Pilkington (Redmond 71); van Wolfswinkel (Elmander 71), Hooper.

NEWCASTLE: Krul; Debuchy, S Taylor, Williamson, Santon; Tiote, Anita; Sissoko, Ben Arfa (Shola Ameobi 75), Sammy Amoebi (Haidara 87); Remy.

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