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First clean sheet of season for Cherries

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Lee Mason

AFC Bournemouth had to settle for keeping a first clean sheet of the season after being held to a 0-0 draw by Premier League strugglers Norwich today.

A cagey contest of few clear-cut goalscoring chances ended with the points being shared at Vitality Stadium.

Adam Smith, Lewis Cook and Ryan Fraser were drafted into the Cherries starting line-up as boss Eddie Howe made three changes.

Smith made a welcome return following a seven-week injury absence, the versatile 28-year-old having hurt his hamstring at Leicester in August.

Cook replaced Jefferson Lerma in central midfield, the Colombian having taken a knock on international duty, while Fraser came in for Joshua King.

King, who played twice during the international break for Norway and reported back slightly fatigued, was named among the Cherries substitutes.

Both Fraser and Callum Wilson made their 100th appearance in the Premier League.

Norwich made two changes following their 5-1 defeat by Aston Villa a fortnight ago with Tim Krul and Alex Tettey replacing Michael McGovern and Marco Stiepermann.

The Cherries enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges with Diego Rico firing high over the crossbar following a promising move.

Rico’s free-kick also failed to trouble Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul before Philip Billing miscued after Fraser’s 11th-minute corner had fallen to him just inside the 18-yard box.

Lewis Cook’s timely intervention prevented Teemu Pukki having a sight of goal after the Canaries had mounted their first serious attack in the 16th minute.

Dominic Solanke was denied by a fine save from Krul after Callum Wilson’s neat flick had put him through, the Dutchman spreading himself to keep out the striker’s left-foot shot as the hosts created the first noteworthy chance in the 21st minute.

Jamal Lewis received the game’s first booking for clattering Harry Wilson, with chances few and far between during a cagey first 45 minutes.

The hosts were quickly on the attack at the start of the season half with Callum Wilson just unable to make contact with Harry Wilson’s delicate cross at the far post.

Norwich were forced into an early substitution when Ben Godfrey limped off with an injury five minutes after the restart with Tom Trybull coming off the bench.

As the visitors fashioned two chances in quick succession, Kenny McLean’s shot was charged down by Billing before Steve Cook diverted Pukki’s low drive over his own crossbar.

Callum Wilson went close to drawing first blood in the 56th minute when he got on the end of Rico’s cross, the striker’s deft effort beating Krul but flashing past the upright.

Solanke made way for King after 62 minutes before Aaron Ramsdale was called upon to make an important save just four minutes later.

The Cherries goalkeeper dived full length to his right to push Pukki venomous low drive around the post after the Finland international had taken aim from 20 yards.

Either side of Arnaut Danjuma coming on to replace Harry Wilson in the 69th minute, McLean and Smith both picked up bookings for late tackles.

Danjuma forced Krul to smother his well-struck effort after 77 minutes before Trybull’s piledriver flew past Ramsdale’s left-hand post seven minutes from time.

In the closing stages, Danjuma lifted his shot over the crossbar after Fraser’s corner had only been half cleared.


Manchester City Etihad Stadium

Premier League

15th July 2020 6:00 PM

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