Norwich deny Magpies as two sent off
Newcastle United began what looks like life without star Frenchman Yohan Cabaye with a disappointing 0-0 draw away at relegation-threatened Norwich City in their Premier League clash on Tuesday.
The Magpies, who have not beaten Norwich at Carrow Road since January 1994, will wonder how they came away with just a point as they peppered the hosts' goal only for either the woodwork or goalkeeper John Ruddy to deny them.
Both sides also ended the game with 10 men as Newcastle striker Loic Remy and Norwich defender Bradley Johnson were sent off following an ugly confrontation eight minutes from time.
Newcastle, who were without Cabaye as he finalises a transfer to French champions Paris Saint-Germain, were magnificent in the first half and should have had all three points wrapped up by the interval.
Norwich had Ruddy to thank for keeping them in the game, though, as the visitors had 14 shots on target to the hosts' two in the first 45 minutes.
Ruddy, who is on the fringes of the England squad, did brilliantly on two occasions, first to deny Remy and then to beat away a stinging drive from Hatem Ben Arfa.
The Magpies also hit the bar twice, first from a superb long-range effort by Remy and then when the same player's shot was saved by Ruddy and hit Johnson on the back before striking the frame of the goal.
Ben Arfa then missed a relatively easy opportunity before Norwich nearly went ahead against the run of play when former Celtic star Gary Hooper saw his shot from outside the box saved well by Dutchman Tim Krul.
Newcastle started the second half in the same lively fashion and thought they had a good shout for a penalty when Ben Arfa went down heavily under a challenge by Ryan Bennett -- referee Chris Foy gave it some thought before ruling in the hosts' favour.
Newcastle were all over Norwich but once again found the most resilient defender against them was the woodwork as Remy's excellent free-kick in the 63rd minute came back off the bar.
The pace slowed markedly after that and it was Hooper who went closest to breaking the deadlock as his shot hit the crossbar, but an exciting game turned ugly with eight minutes remaining.
Remy and Johnson had an alercation which resulted in the latter collapsing theatrically to the gound after the Frenchman stupidly led with his head -- Foy though did not spare the Norwich defender and sent him for an early shower as well.