IT IS not often Cherries fire back-to-back blanks in the Premier League.

Only twice last season did Cherries fail to find the net twice in a row, most recently during goalless showings at Cardiff and Liverpool in February.

But following the 1-0 loss at Arsenal, Eddie Howe’s men again could not make a breakthrough during Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate with Norwich City.

While there is no need for panic with Cherries remaining in the top half of the Premier League table, registering just four shots on target across 180 minutes will provide some concern.

The Canaries arrived at Vitality Stadium in the top-flight’s relegation zone on a run of three straight defeats, but matched the hosts throughout the even contest.

Dominic Solanke came closest to netting for Cherries, denied by goalkeeper Tim Krul, while Aaron Ramsdale did well to thwart Teemu Pukki midway through the second half.

Cherries pushed for a late winner through lively substitute Arnaut Danjuma, but were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Howe made three changes from the side which lost at Arsenal prior to the international break. Adam Smith returned from a hamstring problem for the first time since August while Lewis Cook and Ryan Fraser also earned recalls. Jack Stacey and the injured Jefferson Lerma dropped out of the squad, while Joshua King was named among the substitutes in a Premier League game for the first time since Boxing Day.

Cherries started brightly, carving out openings from two Fraser corner kicks, but Diego Rico and Philip Billing both blazed wildly off target.

But Norwich grew into the contest with Pukki looking lively up front. The Finn wriggled his way into the box on 16 minutes, only to be denied by a challenge from the impressive Nathan Ake.

The clearest chance by far for either side during an even and drab first half fell the way of Cherries. Callum Wilson slipped a ball through for strike partner Solanke, but his hopes of a first goal for the club were thwarted as Krul got down well to tip away his left-footed effort.

Cherries were soon back on the front foot after the restart with Fraser’s low cross held by Krul.

Pukki then caused problems again at the other end, forcing Steve Cook to turn just over his own crossbar before at the other end Rico’s cross was volleyed just wide by Callum Wilson.

Howe turned to his bench to introduce King in place of Solanke, but it was Norwich who next threatened with Ramsdale superbly tipping Pukki’s 20-yard effort behind for a corner.

Howe quickly made a second switch with Danjuma taking Harry Wilson’s spot, yet again the visitors threatened through Todd Cantwell, who teed up Kenny McLean to curl over the bar on the stretch.

But Danjuma did soon begin to have an impact, cutting in from the left and aiming low, with Krul called in action to make the stop.

And the Dutchman lined up an effort again five minutes from time, arrowing over the crossbar.

Norwich carved out one final opportunity themselves as Pukki looked to latch onto a low cross, but Ake was on hand to make the block to earn Cherries their first Premier League clean sheet of the campaign.

Cherries: Ramsdale; Smith, S Cook, Ake, Rico; H Wilson (Danjuma, 69), L Cook, Billing, Fraser; Solanke (King, 62); C Wilson.

Unused subs: Francis, Mepham, Kelly, Surman, Boruc (g/k).

Booked: Smith.

Norwich: Krul; Aarons, Amadou, Godfrey (Trybull, 50), Lewis; Tettey, McLean, Leitner (Srbeny, 90); Buendia, Cantwell (Hernandez, 81), Pukki.

Unused subs: Byram, Stiepermann, Drmic, McGovern (g/k).

Booked: Lewis, McLean, Pukki.

Referee: Lee Mason.

Attendance: 10,669