West Brom ended Norwich’s six-match winning run as they took a well-deserved point at Carrow Road.
Dara O’Shea was left unmarked six yards out at the back post to head in John Swift’s inswinging free-kick and give the Baggies an early lead.
Gabriel Sara almost levelled on his first league start of the season when his angled shot hit the bar.
West Brom looked comfortable, but were held to their seventh draw of the season when Teemu Pukki’s goalbound shot struck team-mate Sam Byram and wrong-footed goalkeeper David Button.
Conor Townsend made a goal-saving challenge to deny Byram, and Button saved from Kieran Dowell, but a late Norwich winner would have been harsh on Steve Bruce’s side.
The Baggies boss reacted to their miserable derby defeat by Birmingham with four changes, and their gameplan worked – ceding possession to Norwich in harmless areas while looking to break.
Yet they remain just a place above the bottom three with one win from their opening 10 matches as Byram’s inadvertent finish made it seven matches unbeaten for the below-par Canaries. They stay second, three points behind leaders Sheffield United.
Norwich went into the game with eight goals in their previous three matches with Josh Sargent scoring six in his last six matches, but neither he, nor Pukki, had a sniff for much of the game as Albion kept the hosts at arm’s length.
Following O’Shea’s first-half opener, Jayson Molumby almost doubled the lead on the hour when he placed a side-footed effort just past the post, before Brandon Thomas-Asante smashed an effort just wide.
But the Baggies have scored more than once only twice this season and moments later they were made to pay when the hosts’ equaliser was allowed to stand despite strong protests that Byram had handled the ball.
West Brom boss Steve Bruce told BBC WM 95.6:
“It’s tough at the minute because again we’ve come here and played very, very well and I’ve been saying that for a lot of the games.
“We just have to keep believing it will turn. I still think we’re close, but I’m aware that we have to put a couple of wins together.
“But keep playing like that and we’ll be fine. Eventually it will turn for us.”
[On the Norwich equaliser]: “When you see eight or nine appealing for it [handball], all around the ball, then you understand that it is. I have to say the three officials didn’t do their job well enough, for me, all day long.”
- 2AaronsBooked at 58mins
- 26NúñezSubstituted forDowellat 78′minutes
- 17Gomes SaraSubstituted forHernándezat 60′minutes
- 20A RamseySubstituted forCantwellat 88′minutes
- 2FurlongBooked at 85mins
- 14MolumbySubstituted forPhillipsat 90+2′minutes
- 17J Wallace
- 11DianganaSubstituted forReachat 87′minutes
- 21Thomas-AsanteSubstituted forGrantat 78′minutes
- Thomas Bramall
Match ends, Norwich City 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Second Half ends, Norwich City 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Tim Krul.
Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Max Aarons.
Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Erik Pieters tries a through ball, but Adam Reach is caught offside.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Matt Phillips replaces Jayson Molumby.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Conor Townsend.
Attempt blocked. Sam Byram (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kieran Dowell with a through ball.
Todd Cantwell (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jed Wallace (West Bromwich Albion).
Substitution, Norwich City. Todd Cantwell replaces Aaron Ramsey.
Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Adam Reach replaces Grady Diangana.
Foul by Kieran Dowell (Norwich City).
Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Teemu Pukki (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion).
Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Aaron Ramsey (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion).
Offside, Norwich City. Grant Hanley tries a through ball, but Onel Hernández is caught offside.