Date: 19 October 2019
In a pretty dire game, that – to put it mildly – didn’t exactly show off the Premier League at its best, the Cherries failed to score for the second match in a row.
It was unseasonably hot and sunny as we sat awaiting the kick-off. This was all to change: shortly after 3 o’clock it began to rain very heavily. Thankfully, not for long.
We lined up with Lewis Cook in for Lerma – who was evidently injured. Smith was back in place of Stacey, and Fraser for King. These two both put in a huge amount of effort (Smith all over the pitch, Fraser teaming up particularly well with Rico) but to be honest neither looked totally match fit. In fact, in general the team looked the way they so often do in the first match after an international break: somewhat lethargic. Harry Wilson and Solanke were particularly poor, and most of Callum’s passes went awry too.
The Cherries had the best of the first half, with the best scoring chance probably going to Solanke (his shot was saved by the goalie), but Norwich had their chances too and won several corners. There was relief when the announcer said that only one minute would be added to the half – and then the referee immediately blew his whistle. The shortest minute ever! Half-time: 0-0.
The second half started along much the same lines as the first, and Norwich were awarded several more corner kicks. Callum Wilson had the best scoring opportunity during this period. But Eddie brought King on for Solanke (left of Callum up front) on 62 minutes and in no time there was a Bournemouth break that saw King charging down the middle of the park and unselfishly attempting a pass to Harry Wilson in a scoring position. It didn’t quite come off, but this was looking better.
We only made one more substitution – Danjuma for Harry Wilson on 69 minutes – and the best two chances in the remainder of the match fell to him. (He was playing wide left; Fraser had now switched to the right.) First he had a low shot that was unfortunately saved; later he attempted a volley that went wide. On the 85th and 88th minutes it was actually Bournemouth’s turn (at last!) to be awarded a couple of corners, but nothing came of them. Four minutes’ time was added on but the score line stubbornly remained 0-0. Clearly this was a better result for Norwich than it was for Bournemouth, because the away fans all stayed in their places and sang their hearts out (as indeed they’d done throughout the match) while Cherries’ fans made for the nearest exit.
The team lined up as follows at the start of the game (I've given the players marks out of ten):
Smith (7), S Cook (6), Aké (6), Rico (7);
H Wilson (5), L Cook (6), Billing (6), Fraser (6);
C Wilson (4), Solanke (5)