Match ends, Bournemouth 0, Norwich City 0.
Norwich manager Daniel Farke said claiming a first clean sheet and away point of the season in their draw at Bournemouth was "important" for his team's belief.
The Canaries were thumped 5-1 by Aston Villa before the international break and soundly beaten by Burnley and Crystal Palace prior to that.
And such was the quality of the performance against Villa, former Norwich striker Chris Sutton was prompted to say: "Norwich are not going to survive in the Premier League unless they improve significantly at the back."
Against Bournemouth they did just that - they put in an organised defensive display to keep the Cherries at bay while maintaining an attacking threat at the other end.
And their away clean sheet is an even more impressive feat considering the fact they played nearly half the game with two central midfielders at centre-back - in Alexander Tettey and Ibrahim Amadou - following Ben Godfrey's early exit due to injury.
"We changed our approach slightly to play with three central midfielders; in order to be solid it was important to control the centre and have a bit more control and a bit more steel in there," Farke said.
"It's our first clean sheet at this level, after a difficult game for us against Aston Villa - I've worked pretty long in this business but I've never had to play without four centre-backs, without three holding midfielders and without two goalkeepers. It's a strange situation.
"[The result is] good for the mood, good for the self-confidence. Bournemouth is a tough place to come, their speed and mobility and physicality is often difficult to handle but we controlled the game in their half."
Teemu Pukki had the Canaries' best chance, when he was denied by a fine Aaron Ramsdale save in the second half.
Bournemouth's best chance fell to Dominic Solanke, but Tim Krul was equal to his first-half effort.
Norwich remain 19th following this result, however, the improved defensive display will give Farke cautious cause for optimism for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, the point means Bournemouth climb to ninth - going above West Ham on goal difference.
Canaries earn well-deserved point
Daniel Farke and the Canaries gave their fans a night to remember when they memorably beat champions Manchester City in mid-September but since then there has been little to celebrate for the Carrow Road faithful.
They were beaten by Burnley and Crystal Palace and they suffered a chastening home defeat by fellow Premier League newcomers Aston Villa in the final game before October's international break.
However, there was something to celebrate for the travelling fans at Vitality Stadium: a hard-earned away point and a first shutout of the campaign.
While the Canaries' defensive rigidity will have pleased Farke, their forward play will have not.
Despite showing glimpses of quality, Pukki was largely shackled by the Cherries' centre-halves, meaning he was unable to replicate the form he showed to score twice for Finland on Tuesday night.
Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell also looked dangerous at times but neither player was able to create any real chances.
And Norwich's injury woes continued as Godfrey was forced off shortly after the break.
There were positives on the injury front for Farke, however, as Krul and captain Tettey, who filled in at centre-back for most of the second half after Godfrey went off, both played the full match and Tom Trybull and Onel Hernandez both made their comebacks off the bench.
"We have to wait and see what the outcome is [with Ben Godfrey]," Farke said. "He had hernia surgery 10 days ago and he only had one [training] session with the team.
"He was top class in the first 50 minutes and it was important to have him on the pitch - he was a great leader. After 50 minutes he felt pain, I think his body was getting tired after only one session, I hope it's not a big setback, but I hope to have him available for Man United but we have to wait."
Cherries fail to fire
The Cherries will see this as an opportunity missed.
They did manage to take 11 shots but only two of them were on target and just one of them seriously tested Krul in the Norwich goal.
Solanke should have done better in the first half when he was thwarted by Krul after latching on to Callum Wilson's flick while Arnaut Danjuma's effort in the second half was nothing more than speculative.
Harry Wilson also arguably should have done better when his free-kick found the Norwich wall where in the past the Liverpool loanee has found the top corner.
They struggled to break down the Canaries defence, which conceded five goals to Aston Villa last time out, despite the efforts of Ryan Fraser, who was lively throughout on his 100th Premier League outing for the club.
But despite their lacklustre performance, the Cherries did rise to ninth with this point.
Man of the match - Adam Smith (Bournemouth)
'A tough nut to crack' - what they said
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: "The positives are it's a clean sheet and another point in the right direction, but not the three we wanted. We'll have to look at the performance and try to learn from it.
"But at the same time, it's not a defeat. People see the fact we're playing Norwich at home and the expectation is for it to be a home win, and that's our expectation as well, but these games are never that easy.
"I fully respect Norwich, their manager and players and the way that they play - they're a tough nut to crack and the showed that today."
Norwich boss Daniel Farke: "As a newly promoted side who wasn't able to spend lots of money, sometimes the outcome is not what you wish for. Today was difficult as we had several players coming back after long-term injury, so it was a great performance and a great team effort. Three points would have meant a big step, but without a doubt it's a great point.
"All my centre-backs are injured, with all respect I would love to see Man City play without all their centre-backs, even they might struggle to be solid in defending. So it's a great point."
Canaries end losing run - the stats
- Both Bournemouth and Norwich kept their first league clean sheets of the season, becoming the last two sides in the Premier League to do so.
- Norwich's tally of seven points is their lowest after nine league games of a season since 2012-13.
- This stalemate ended a seven-game losing run away from home in the Premier League for Norwich, and was their first draw on the road in the competition in 20 such games since a 2-2 draw at West Ham in September 2015.
- This was Bournemouth's first goalless draw in the Premier League in almost exactly a year - since the game against Southampton on 20 October 2018.
- Both Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson made their 100th Premier League appearances for Bournemouth in this game, making the Cherries the first side to have two players reach the milestone in the same game since Manchester City in August 2016 against Sunderland (Jesus Navas and Fernandinho).
- Fraser and Wilson became the eighth and ninth players to reach 100 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth. Since the Cherries debuted in the competition in 2015-16, they have had more players make 100 or more Premier League appearances for them (nine) than any other side.
Bournemouth travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford next Saturday (15:00 BST), and the following day the Canaries play host to Manchester United (16:30 GMT).
- 15A SmithBooked at 70mins
- 3S Cook
- 22WilsonSubstituted forDanjuma Groeneveldat 69'minutes
- 16L Cook
- 9SolankeSubstituted forKingat 62'minutes
- 14Danjuma Groeneveld
- 4GodfreySubstituted forTrybullat 50'minutes
- 12LewisBooked at 29mins
- 10LeitnerSubstituted forSrbenyat 90'minutes
- 23McLeanBooked at 68mins
- 14CantwellSubstituted forHernándezat 81'minutes
- 22PukkiBooked at 86mins
- Lee Mason
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Bournemouth 0, Norwich City 0.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Nathan Aké.
Substitution, Norwich City. Dennis Srbeny replaces Moritz Leitner.
Attempt missed. Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Diego Rico with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Tom Trybull.
Attempt blocked. Philip Billing (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Teemu Pukki (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Teemu Pukki (Norwich City).
Adam Smith (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld (Bournemouth) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Bournemouth. Conceded by Ibrahim Amadou.
Foul by Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City).
Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City).
Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Tom Trybull (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Emiliano Buendía.
Substitution, Norwich City. Onel Hernández replaces Todd Cantwell.
Todd Cantwell (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Adam Smith (Bournemouth).