Manchester City 0 Newcastle United 0

Last updated : 11 November 2006 By Footymad Previewer
A point was of little benefit to either side as Manchester City and Newcastle United remain in the lower reaches of the Premiership.

City must still be wondering how they failed to win after dominating the game but they again lacked a cutting edge.

They were unable to find a route to goal with Newcastle keeper Steve Harper making a couple of superb saves while substitute Georgios Samaras had a goal controversially ruled out.

And while City have yet to concede a goal at home in six Premiership matches spanning nine hours, they continue to be found wanting at the opposite end of the pitch.

They have scored only seven goals in 12 Premiership matches and failed to find the net in four of their last five games, and that is why they are not far away from the relegation places.

Newcastle remain in the bottom three despite picking up a valuable point on their travels.

And, in a remarkable turnabout, Glenn Roeder's side almost snatched victory at the death when they had two clear-cut chances.

City manager Stuart Pearce went for pace as opposed to power up front with a strike pairing of Darius Vassell and Paul Dickov. That left the £8million pairing of Samaras and Bernardo Corradi on the bench.

Newcastle's shortage of strikers saw Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins and Albert Luque all ruled out through injury, while Giuseppe Rossi was rested, although Shola Ameobi returned as he awaits an operation on his hip that will keep him out for the season.

City made a lively start and had three clear-cut chances to take the lead in the opening quarter of the game.

Joey Barton ought to have put City ahead in the sixth minute when he breezed past Craig Moore but pulled his shot narrowly wide when he should have hit the target.

The City midfielder then forced the first save of the match after 15 minutes when Harper acrobatically turned over his 25-yard shot.

City then had an appeal for a penalty midway through the half when Claudio Reyna's close-range shot struck the arm of Peter Ramage. Referee Graham Poll, who controversially sent off Everton's James McFadden in midweek, ruled it was accidental to the fury of the City fans.

Newcastle were indebted to Harper early in the second half as he made a superb save low to his left to turn away Dickov's goalbound shot.

City remained the better of two poor teams and, only 10 minutes after the restart, Newcastle made a double substitution taking off the ineffective Damien Duff and Ameobi replacing them with Kieron Dyer and Charles N'Zogbia.

That was quickly followed by a double switch from City as Pearce took off Dickov and Reyna replacing them with Samaras and Corradi.

Corradi came close to scoring with his first touch, a diving header from Barton's free-kick, but could only direct it straight at Harper.

The lively Corradi provided the spark City had lacked in the final third of the pitch also heading narrowly wide and then stabbing another effort towards goal which Harper managed to save.

Samaras so nearly became City's match-winner with a close-range header in the 69th minute which was ruled out when Poll spotted a foul in the build-up by Corradi.

Samaras then went close again, glancing a near-post header wide when he ought to have hit the target as City were once again frustrated in front of goal.

Yet it was Newcastle that almost snatched an unlikely victory when Dyer's goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked by Micah Richards.

And then, deep into stoppage time, City keeper Nick Weaver flung himself low to his right to turn away a 25-yard drive from James Milner as Pearce's side were forced to hang on for a point.