Toon 1 Rovers 1

Last updated : 07 January 2019 By Footy Mad - Editor

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Woodman, Sterry, Schär, Lejeune, Manquillo, Murphy (Atsu 75), Hayden (Shelvey 57), Longstaff (Pérez 80), Ritchie, Kenedy, Joselu
Subs: Clark, Rondón, Yedlin, Harker

Matt Ritchie's late penalty salvaged a replay for Newcastle United as they drew at home to Blackburn Rovers.

Ritchie sent the impressive David Raya the wrong way to find the bottom corner in the 84th minute at St James' Park.

Bradley Dack's powerful header had given the Championship side the lead.

Newcastle - who made eight changes to the side that lost to Manchester United on Wednesday - produced 19 shots without causing the opposition too much concern.

They had their chances but they lacked a clinical edge in front of goal in what appears to be a recurring theme, as only Huddersfield (13) have scored fewer goals than Rafa Benitez's men - who have 15 - in the Premier League so far this season.

Raya produced a brilliant double save in the first half to deny Ritchie from close range before Joselu's low effort was also diverted away from danger by the Spaniard's outstretched right foot.

Dack handed Blackburn the lead in the second period, and the 25-year-old could have scored the opener moments before had the ball not eluded him inside the Magpies' box after a poor first touch.

But in response to going behind, Newcastle playmaker Jonjo Shelvey was introduced off the bench and the hosts attacked with more intent.

Shelvey's header was cleared off the line before Rovers striker Danny Graham pulled off two spectacular blocks deep inside his own box to keep the visitors narrowly in front.

Eventually the equaliser came from a set-piece but the fact his side could not break down second-tier opposition from open play will be a concern for Benitez.

Ewood Park is a difficult venue to visit, and Newcastle now have another fixture to add to their calendar, in what looks increasingly likely to be an intense relegation battle over the coming weeks.

Lewis Travis, 21, was brilliant in Blackburn's midfield as he won possession nine times against the Premier League side - more than any other Blackburn player