Newcastle United 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 0
Newcastle United FC
- Anthony Taylor
Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion played out a forgettable stalemate at St. James’ Park, the Magpies’ first goalless draw of the campaign.
Despite a hatful of changes being made to the side who lost 1-0 to Manchester City on Wednesday, United struggled for momentum throughout, though they did have arguably the best chance of the game through Dwight Gayle.
The Seagulls looked at their most threatening from set-pieces, particularly corners, but offered little in open play as last season’s top two in the Championship were forced to settle for a point apiece.
There was little for either goalkeeper to worry about early on. More than a quarter of an hour passed before the first meaningful effort on goal, the Seagulls’ Shane Duffy rising high to nod Pascal Gross’ corner over the crossbar.
A superb Mikel Merino pass nearly set Gayle in on goal midway through the half. However, by the time the frontman gathered the ball, the angle to shoot was acute, and his low-struck effort did not seriously trouble the visitors’ Mat Ryan.
Brighton then enjoyed a more encouraging spell. Anthony Knockaert swivelled on the edge of the penalty area before firing straight at Karl Darlow, and Duffy lifted the ball high of the target with the Magpies struggling to clear their lines.
Both Merino and Joselu took aim for Newcastle before the break, while Duffy got his head to another Gross corner from the right. All three attempts dropped wide of the intended target, though.
United made a far more purposeful start to the second half. After Brighton only half-cleared a Matt Ritchie corner, Ryan had to produce a smart stop to parry Isaac Hayden’s 20-yard strike. The Scot then delivered again, but Jamaal Lascelles headed off-target.
Ryan was called into action again just before the hour mark, diving low to his left to keep out a header from Gayle, who got across his man to meet Christian Atsu’s in-swinging cross. At the other end, another Gross corner caused a moment of panic in the United area. Duffy met it, and fellow centre half Lewis Dunk forced Darlow into a decent parry.
In truth, 0-0 looked the most likely outcome for most of the second half, and that was precisely how it finished, the Magpies remaining winless on home soil since October.