Barclays Premier League
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At Carrow Road
Norwich City 0
Newcastle United 0
Ten man Newcastle United were left to rue a host of missed chances as they recorded a goalless draw away at Norwich City on Tuesday night in the Barclays Premier League.
The Magpies dominated throughout at Carrow Road, hitting both posts and the crossbar as well as creating numerous other good openings, but were unable to pick up the maximum points their impressive performance deserved.
And, to rub salt into the wounds, leading goalscorer Loic Remy was sent off late on, and will now miss United's next three games - the Tyne-Wear derby, a trip to Chelsea and a home game against Tottenham.
Remy had been at the heart of everything good about Newcastle's display, as he terrorised the Canaries' rearguard. The French international put efforts against the woodwork either side of half-time, also forcing home keeper John Ruddy into a couple of good stops.
Hatem Ben Arfa, Moussa Sissoko and Sammy Ameobi also threatened, while at the other end Norwich offered precious little until the closing stages when Tim Krul was forced to make an outstanding point-blank stop to keep out Robert Snodgrass' header.
Both sides ended the game a man down following a double dismissal. With nine minutes remaining, Remy and Bradley Johnson got involved in a spat on the touchline and referee Chris Foy showed the duo straight red cards.
Despite the disappointment, Newcastle can take heart from another excellent away-day showing and a clean sheet - their seventh in the league this term.
The visitors flew out of the traps and Remy fired two early warning shots, first curling narrowly wide from the edge of the area before seeing Ruddy equal to a well-struck shot.
Norwich were struggling to cope with the Magpies' pace and strength down the flanks and Sebastien Bassong almost shanked Sammy Ameobi's cross into his own net.
Johnson then went one step closer, diverting another fine delivery against his own post, shortly before Remy ran at the home defence and beat Ruddy, only to see his effort rebound away off the upright.
This was all with less than half-an-hour on the clock and United continued to apply heavy pressure. Full-back Mathieu Debuchy drove over from distance, while Ben Arfa should have at least hit the target when he was picked out unmarked by Remy.
It took the home side 44 minutes to create anything of note - their solitary chance of the first period coming from a low Gary Hooper shot which Krul got down to his right to turn away.
The second half was a similar story and when Ben Arfa was bundled over on the edge of the area in the 59th minute, Remy stepped up to curl the resulting free-kick past the wall and goalkeeper but not the crossbar.
Remy then headed tamely at Ruddy before the evening's main talking point, involving the front man and Johnson.
Having won a free-kick for a foul by Johnson, Remy engaged in a spot of pushing and shoving with the Norwich midfielder before the pair went head to head. Players from both sides got involved as the situation escalated and referee Mr Foy deemed that the pair should both be dismissed for their actions.
Despite being down to ten men, both sides created a great chance with time running out.
The Canaries' came first, Martin Olsson's cross to the far post finding Snodgrass a couple of yards out. All he had to do was connect and the hosts had snatched an unlikely win.
But Krul had other ideas, flying to his left to somehow block the Scottish winger's header when the odds looked stacked against him,
Then, deep into stoppage time, substitute Shola Ameobi put a superb delivery right through the heart of the six-yard box that was crying out for a touch but failed to receive one.
United travelled back to Tyneside with a point under their belts and will be looking to build on that when local rivals Sunderland come to St. James' Park on Saturday.
Norwich City (4-4-2): John Ruddy; Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Sebastien Bassong (c), Martin Olsson; Robert Snodgrass, Leory Fer, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington (Nathan Redmond 71); Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (Johan Elmander 71), Gary Hooper (Alexander Tettey 84)
Subs not used: Mark Bunn, Steven Whittaker, Javier Garrido, Luciano Becchio
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote (c), Moussa Sissoko; Hatem Ben Arfa (Shola Ameobi 75), Loic Remy, Sammy Ameobi (Massadio Haidara 87)
Referee: Chris Foy (Lancashire)
Bookings: Norwich - Fer (65); Newcastle - Sissoko (58)
Sendings off: Norwich - Johnson (81); Newcastle - Remy (81)