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Stalemate piles pressure on Hughton


Chris Hughton looks on as his side failed to break Cardiff down

Chris Hughton looks on as his side failed to break Cardiff down

Chris Hughton looks on as his side failed to break Cardiff down

Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall frustrated former club Norwich in a goalless draw at Carrow Road which piled further pressure on Canaries boss Chris Hughton.

Marshall was at the centre of Chelsea's controversial equaliser in the loss at Stamford Bridge last weekend when dispossessed by Samuel Eto'o and he starred in Norfolk.

Norwich were dominant but found Marshall in fine form to leave the Canaries in a precarious position with only Crystal Palace and Sunderland beneath them in the Barclays Premier League table.

Scotland stopper Marshall was not the only goalkeeper on his game as John Ruddy denied Jordon Mutch at point-blank range.

The Canaries might also have had a penalty, but again luck was against them.

A Gary Hooper shot hit Steven Caulker on the arm after bouncing off the Cardiff captain's boot early in the second half, but referee Mike Jones waved appeals away.

Hooper had numerous opportunities to open his Premier League account, but failed to do so and Hughton's decision to substitute the former Celtic striker 18 minutes from time was met with cries of "you don't know what you're doing".

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Norwich did beat Marshall late on, but it sparked a melee as Leroy Fer was expected to return the ball to the goalkeeper. Jones ruled in Cardiff's favour as the match finished in a stalemate.

If Hughton were to depart, Norwich fans would no doubt be in favour of a move for Malky Mackay, who made more than 200 appearances in six years as a Canary and whose status at Cardiff is best described as complicated.

Hughton has been criticised for a conservative approach, but there was an urgency about a Norwich side unchanged following the 4-1 loss at Arsenal.

Martin Olsson shot wide and Hooper twice got beyond the visiting defence to no avail in the early exchanges.

Cardiff had chances as Norwich pressed forward.

Caulker headed wide from a Peter Whittingham corner when unmarked before Peter Odemwingie found Fraizer Campbell and the striker centred to Mutch.

Mutch scored at Fulham and Chelsea but was denied from six yards as Ruddy spread himself and somehow turned the ball over.

There was another deluge of Norwich attacks as Caulker blocked from Hooper following Fer's direct run, Marshall saved well from Jonny Howson and then Whittingham cleared off the line as Fer hooked a Robert Snodgrass corner towards goal.

Marshall then had to be alert to save Hooper's early shot from 25 yards.

Ruddy saved a Kim Bo-kyung effort which deflected off Sebastien Bassong before another flurry from Norwich.

Howson was denied by Marshall, Russell Martin headed over from a Snodgrass cross and then the Cardiff goalkeeper pulled off a remarkable save to keep Cardiff level at the interval.

Snodgrass' cross deflected off Mutch and Marshall instinctively turned it on to the post before saving the rebound from Hooper.

Norwich had scored six Premier League goals entering the contest and there was a familiar unease for the locals at half-time after their team failed to add to the total.

Mackay reacted to his side's lacklustre first-half showing by replacing Kim and Odemwingie with Aron Gunnarsson and Don Cowie.

Referee Jones waved away penalty appeals when Hooper shot on the turn and the ball bounced off Caulker's boot and on to his arm.

Hooper headed a corner over soon after and then attempted to play provider after squirming by Caulker, only for Marshall to turn the striker's cross away from Pilkington.

Much to the frustration of home fans, Hughton replaced Hooper with Johan Elmander in a double change which also saw Nathan Redmond replace Pilkington, while Cardiff brought on Craig Bellamy, another with a Norwich connection.

Redmond had an effort saved, volleyed narrowly wide from the resulting corner and saw an angled drive saved by Marshall.

The Norwich bombardment continued as Ricky van Wolfswinkel was introduced three minutes from time and Bassong joined him up front.

Marshall again saved in stunning fashion from a Fer header and Cardiff scrambled clear.

Fer passed the ball into the Cardiff net after receiving a throw-in from Van Wolfswinkel.

After some shoving, it was confirmed the strike would not count as he was expected to return the ball to Marshall.

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