The Southampton goalkeeper, Artur Boruc, pulled off a remarkable save from Grant Holt's last-minute penalty to secure a share of the points.
Norwich might have considered themselves lucky not to be trailing such was Southampton's forward thrust in treacherous conditions that veered between rain, sleet and snow, but then Holt was felled near the edge of the area, and the referee, Mark Clattenburg, demurred on awarding a free-kick before pointing to the spot. Holt's penalty was firmly hit but Boruc guessed correctly.
"Boruc made a massive save for us and saved us a point," said Mauricio Pochettino, the Southampton manager, who ran on to the pitch to confront Clattenburg after the penalty was awarded. "Before the penalty was given we deserved to be leading, so my anger was double-fold."
It ensured that Norwich's overriding emotion was one of frustration, even if this was a game that Southampton could have won by a comfortable margin. "Overall it was between two teams who are fighting hard for their lives and so in the end a draw was probably a fair result," said Chris Hughton.
Eyeing the possibility of his side ending the day in the top half of the table, but concerned that they had failed to score in five of their previous seven games, the Norwich manager's decision to start Kei Kamara alongside Grant Holt was bold.
Southampton were hardly shrinking violets either and Adam Lallana conjured the game's first chance, thumping a dipping shot that was well saved by Mark Bunn. The Norwich goalkeeper was then tested to his limit when the excellent Gastón Ramírez sprung Norwich's offside trap. The Uruguayan attempted a chip but Bunn tipped the ball to safety. Wes Hoolahan's introduction gave Norwich a greater inclination to attack, however, and Kamara and Holt both went close to scoring from fizzing crosses.
Saints continued to press on after the break, with Jay Rodriguez wriggling into the box, and when his shot was blocked, Ramírez's footing faltered and he fired over. Then, with 15 minutes remaining, Robert Snodgrass fluffed a simple chance; he dashed past Boruc, but delayed his shot and José Fonte managed to deny him with a fine covering tackle.