Toon 0 Brighton 0

Last updated : 01 January 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor


Newcastle remain without a win at home since October after they were held to a goalless draw by Brighton at St James' Park.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan kept his side in the match with excellent saves to deny Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle in the second half.

Image result for Newcastle United 0 Brighton 0Brighton, who have now failed to score in five away games, had their best chance when Anthony Knockaert shot straight at Karl Darlow before the break.

The draw ends a run of five straight home defeats at home for Newcastle, but means they slip to 16th in the table while Brighton stay in 12th.

Rafael Benitez's side at least avoided equalling a club record of six straight top-flight losses at St James' Park - set in 1953 - but they lacked the firepower to stall their slide down the table.

The Magpies were sixth when they last won at home, with victory over Crystal Palace on 21 October.

Brighton, despite having won just once in 10 games, looked content having frustrated their hosts despite Knockaert's shot and a Lewis Dunk header in the second half being their only efforts on target.

Newcastle had shut up shop almost from the outset when facing a rampant Manchester City three days earlier, but taking on a side only just ahead of them in the table, Benitez knew he had to change tack completely.

The Spaniard made six changes to his outfield line-up - goalkeeper Rob Elliot was ruled out with a thigh injury - and his revamped selection did not lack for effort, with the recalled Gayle and Christian Atsu both testing Brighton's defensive resilience.

Gayle could have done little more when the striker was denied by Ryan's brilliance, but overall Newcastle lacked a touch of quality and know-how when the crucial moments came.

They now face two crucial fixtures against fellow strugglers Stoke and Swansea early in the new year, either side of an FA Cup tie at home to Luton.

But still looming large is the possible takeover of the club by PCP Capital Partners, and with their side in need of a lift, Newcastle supporters must be hoping that the rumoured £300m deal is completed soon.

While Knockaert and Dunks's attempts on target may appear to tell the story of a side with the third-lowest goal tally (15) in the Premier League, Brighton looked comfortable for large portions of this match.

Chris Hughton made five changes from the side that had lost at Chelsea, with his team selection clearly frustrating his former employers at St James'.

Gaetan Bong and Bruno helped shore up the back four after the 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, and Brighton's goals against column of 25 reflects well on Hughton.

Stoke are two places below, but by contrast have conceded 46 goals. However, Brighton struggled to threaten going forward, and their fans may also be hoping for new faces to give them an edge in the second half of the season.