Norwich and Newcastle lacked the inspiration to conjure up a match-winner as they played out a goalless affair at Carrow Road.
The two teams came into the match desperate for maximum points, with Norwich having lost four league games on the bounce, while Newcastle had racked up nine defeats in their last 11.
Gabriel Obertan had the only real opportunity of a disjointed, bringing out a top save from Mark Bunn.
Norwich upped their display after the break and had the best chances of the game with Russell Martin hitting the post and Anthony Pilkington going close, however, the passing from both sides once again left a lot to be desired.
While Magpies boss Alan Pardew will be pleased to have avoided defeat, his side still sit just two points above the relegation zone.
Newcastle nearly had a goal from kick-off as Obertan found some space down the right, getting on the end of a long ball over the top. However, Bunn did well to smother his pass across the face of goal, with Papiss Cisse waiting to pounce.
Obertan then brought a good stop out of Bunn after some nice play from debutant Mathieu Debuchy down the right.
After a poor start Norwich soon started to get going. Pilkington and Robert Snodgrass were both real threats down their respective wings, yet constantly failed to pick out their own men with balls into the Newcastle box.
Despite few chances, both sides played some nice football at times only for their final ball to bring an end to a number of promising moves.
Cisse managed to beat the offside trap for Newcastle and send a stabbed effort from the edge of the box at Bunn but otherwise both teams could only muster up poor efforts from distance.
Norwich at least came out after the restart with a bit more about them going forward, with Bradley Johnson volleying over the bar after Wes Hoolahan had played a dangerous ball across the face of goal.
However, it was not long until some woeful passing from both sides soon kicked in. The Canaries looked like creating a number of chances only for their final ball to keep letting them down.
Pilkington and Sylvain Marveaux both sent shots well over the bar from the edge of the box before Martin had the chance of the game. Snodgrass saw his cross from the right cleared only as far as the Norwich captain but the defender could only direct his long-range effort onto the post.
By this time both clubs had welcomed back substitutes Grant Holt and Yohan Cabaye from injury but neither had the desired effect as the poor passing and woeful set-pieces continued as the theme of the match.
Norwich came close again as Snodgrass picked out Pilkington in the box but the midfielder was denied by a top save from Tim Krul, while Johnson could only send the rebound over.
The home side had a final chance to grab the winner in stoppage time but Pilkington could only send his header, following Holt’s cut-back, wide of the post - meaning Canaries boss Chris Hughton failed to get one over his old team.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Tim Krul – In a match that lacked any real quality the Newcastle goalkeeper easily stood out thanks to a top save from Anthony Pilkington and his ability to deal with Norwich’s crosses time and time again.
NORWICH: Bunn 7, R. Martin 6, Bassong 6, Turner 6, Garrido 6, Pilkington 7, Johnson 6, Tettey 5, Snodgrass 6, Hoolahan 6, Jackson 5. SUBS: Holt 5, E. Bennett 6.
NEWCASTLE: Krul 8, Debuchy 7, Williamson 7, Coloccini 6, Santon 6, Perch 5, Anita 5, Obertan 6, Marveaux 6, Gutierrez 5, Cisse 6. SUBS: Bigirimana 5, Cabaye 6.
- Sports & Recreation
- Anthony Pilkington
- Gabriel Obertan