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Frustration for Norwich as they are held at home by Millwall

Norwich City v Preston North End – Sky Bet Championship – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Norwich stretched their unbeaten Championship run to six matches but it was a frustrating night at Carrow Road as they were held to a goalless draw by Millwall.

The Canaries, who had taken 13 points from a possible 15 leading into the game, dominated for long periods but found the visitors in a determined frame of mind and could find no way through.

Keeper Bartosz Bialkowski was in fine form, making a number of good stops, while at the other end the Lions rarely troubled Tim Krul, although substitute Shaun Williams nearly won it at the death with a shot which clipped the angle of post and crossbar.

With manager Gary Rowett back in the dug-out after missing three matches following a positive Covid test, it was Millwall who created the first opportunity of a tight opening period.

A cross from the right from Mahlon Romeo was only half cleared and fell nicely for Shaun Hutchinson on the edge of the box but his shot was well off target.

From then on it was largely a case of the Lions sitting back and soaking up the pressure and with Norwich failing to hit the heights of their previous game, when they led Bristol City 3-1 at the break, clear-cut opportunities were at a premium.

The best of the opening quarter fell to Marco Stiepermann after 17 minutes but after being picked out in space by Teemu Pukki, the big German shot weakly at Bialkowski from a good position.

Lukas Rupp saw a couple of low drives drift just wide before coming desperately close to breaking the deadlock three minutes from half-time.

This time his effort clipped the heels of Romeo and was heading for the bottom corner until Millwall’s Polish keeper tipped the ball round the upright.

Norwich went even closer a couple of minutes later when Przemyslaw Placheta fired a fierce drive against the post after more good play by Pukki, with the ball again taking a slight deflection.

The Canaries had another chances to get their noses in front seven minutes after the restart when Rupp was tripped on the edge of the area by Ryan Woods when in full flight but Emi Buendia’s free-kick was straight into the wall.

Pukki then fired a shot on the turn narrowly wide before the visitors had an even closer shave.

This time Buendia had a clear sight of goal after being slid in by Stiepermann and it took an excellent block from the keeper to deny him, with Hutchinson hacking the loose ball off the line.

Norwich were very much in control of what was still a scrappy game and after 77 minutes Bialkowski again had to be alert to palm away a well-struck snap-shot from Pukki.

Grant Hanley headed a deep cross well off target as the game entered five minutes of stoppage time while Ben Gibson popped up at the back post to send an effort just wide.

With virtually the last kick of the game, Williams clipped the top of the bar with a rising drive after being set up by Mason Bennett.

But a win would have flattered Millwall, who certainly deserved no more than a point.