Brighton sealed their Premier League status for another season with a drab 0-0 draw against Newcastle on Monday evening.
Graham Potter's side needed just one point to be safe from relegation going into the fixture but their status was already virtually secure and their contest with their injury-hit visitors lacked rhythm on a warm, sunny evening by the seaside.
- All Sky Sports channels for £18 a month
- Premier League table | Fixtures | Live on Sky
- How Brighton and Newcastle lined up | Match stats
Neal Maupay could have been awarded a first-half penalty when he caught Matt Ritchie in possession and was floored by the Scot but the Brighton striker didn't appeal and defender Adam Webster eventually had the hosts' best effort at goal with a long-range drive 15 minutes from time.
Dwight Gayle's header onto the roof of the net and Miguel Almiron's flick at goal were Newcastle's best moments either side of the break, with the goalless draw keeping them in 13th, while Brighton move up to 15th, seven clear of the drop zone.
Brighton Ryan (7), Lamptey (6), Webster (7), Dunk (7), Burn (6), Bissouma (7), Stephens (6), Gross (6), Trossard (7), Mooy (6), Maupay (7)
Subs: Mac Allister (6), March (6), Murray (6), Propper (6)
Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Manquillo (6), Krafth (6), Fernandez (7), Rose (6), Saint-Maximin (6), Shelvey (6), Bentaleb (6), Ritchie (7), Almiron (7), Gayle (6)
Subs: Carroll (6), Joelinton (5), Lazaro (N/A)
Man of the match: Leandro Trossard
How Newcastle ended a three-game losing streak…
Lewis Dunk's tame header and off target strikes from Leandro Trossard and Pascal Gross were the only efforts of note before the first drinks break.
When play got back underway, Brighton might have had a penalty when Ritchie tumbled Maupay but the Seagulls forward played on for Trossard to draw a smart save from Martin Dubravka.
That was as close as either side came in a forgetful first half, with Gayle's header from a corner just flying over. But Newcastle started the second period with more intent and Almiron forced Mat Ryan to parry away his clever effort.
- Brighton made three changes, with Bissouma, Gross and Mooy in for March, Propper, Murray
- Newcastle make two changes, with Rose and Manquillo in, with Yedlin and injured Schar out
Maupay tried to force the issue and had an effort deflected over just before he was replaced by Glenn Murray on 72 minutes. Defender Adam Webster then showed the forwards how it's done, driving a powerful long-range strike at goal which Dubravka had to tip over.
At the other end, Jonjo Shelvey's shot deflected out for a corner late on after sub Andy Carroll passed up a good opportunity to head home at the back post.
There was to be no breakthrough, as these teams repeated the 0-0 draw they'd shared at St James' Park earlier in the season - a result which fulfils Potter's primary objective of Premier League survival in Brighton's final home game of 2019/20.
What the managers said...
Brighton boss Graham Potter: "The point is the most important thing. At this stage of the season we can talk about performances but at the end of the day it's about getting the points you need and getting over the line. It wasn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination, not a great game. But I'm so proud of how the players have responded to the lockdown period and how we've approached these games in this unique situation. We're very proud to be in the Premier League next year."
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce: "That's our 10th game in 35 days, we've got a lot of tired bodies, we can't rotate like some others can and be as effective. It's been difficult along the way [this season], we've done ok. We must keep moving the club forward and 44 points, I think I'd have taken that. If I'm being honest, I think we were safe when we beat Southampton in March. Let's hope there's a decision [on the takeover] very, very shortly."
- Brighton v Newcastle is the only Premier League fixture to be played 5+ times and see fewer than 1 goal-per-game on average (0.7).
- This was Brighton's 11th goalless draw in the Premier League; no other side has been involved in more since they were promoted to the division in 2017.
- Newcastle kept a clean sheet for the first time since June; they had shipped 10 goals in their previous three Premier League matches before today.
- Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin has completed 121 of his 194 dribbles in the Premier League this season - only Adama Traoré (174) and Wilfred Zaha (161) have completed more.
Brighton travel to Burnley and Newcastle host champions Liverpool on the final day of the Premier League season; both 4pm kick-offs on Sunday.