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Newcastle 0-0 Burnley: Defences on top on frustrating afternoon at St James' Park

Report and highlights as the defences come out on top at St James' Park

Saturday 29 February 2020 19:01, UK

Highlights from Newcastle vs Burnley 2:23
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Newcastle's 0-0 draw with Burnley in the Premier League

Burnley extended their unbeaten run in the league to six games after playing out a frustrating goalless draw with Newcastle at St James' Park on Saturday.

In a game low on real excitement, Steve Bruce's side did have the better of the opportunities but they drew a blank for the fourth league game in a row.

Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Miguel Almiron all had shots blocked in the first half, while Burnley forward Jay Rodriguez fired wide in the second half after being played in by Danny Rose's back pass.

Newcastle had one final chance to win the game in stoppage time through Ritchie, but the winger's goal-bound shot was blocked, much to the frustration of the home fans, who greeted the final whistle with boos.

The point sees Burnley move above Arsenal into 9th, while Newcastle stay 14th, seven points above the relegation places with 10 games left to play.

How Burnley frustrated Newcastle...

Newcastle head coach Bruce changed both personnel and formation as he tried to bring more creativity to his side after they failed to find the net against Norwich, Arsenal and Crystal Palace in their three previous league games. However, the introduction of Dwight Gayle as a second striker and a move for Joelinton to the left was not rewarded with goals.

It was a case of defences on top for much of the first half as Newcastle and Burnley, who were both using 4-4-2 formations, cancelled each other out.

More on this story

Team news

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce rang the changes for the clash with Burnley. Bruce replaced Fabian Schar, Valentino Lazaro, Nabil Bentaleb, Sean Longstaff and Allan Saint-Maximin with Javier Manquillo, Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle as he looked to return to winning ways.

Opposite number Sean Dyche kept faith with the XI who started the 3-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend, although striker Chris Wood was named among the substitutes after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Gayle's touch proved too heavy as he looked to control Shelvey's excellent through ball, while Rodriguez's goal-bound shot was smartly blocked by Federico Fernandez, but clear-cut opportunities were few and far between in the opening 20 minutes.

Newcastle eventually grew into the game and they finished the first half much the stronger of the two sides.

James Tarkowski and Dwight Gayle in action at St James' Park
Image: James Tarkowski and Dwight Gayle in action at St James' Park

Shelvey's long-range effort was blocked by James Tarkowski in the 25th minute before Nick Pope comfortably saved Almiron's weak shot three minutes later.

The pressure continued to grow on Burnley as Ritchie planted a free header from 12 yards wide after being picked out by Gayle, while Shelvey, Almiron and Ritchie all had decent efforts blocked as the visitors got to half-time unscathed.

Player ratings

Newcastle: Dubravka (6), Manquillo (6), Fernandez (7), Lascelles (7), Rose (5), Hayden (6), Shelvey (7), Ritchie (6), Almiron (6), Gayle (6), Joelinton (6).

Subs: Saint-Maximin (n/a).

Burnley: Pope (7), Bardsley (6), Tarkowski (7), Mee (7), Taylor (7), Hendrick (5), Cork (6), Westwood (7), McNeil (6), Rodriguez (6), Vydra (5).

Subs: Wood (6).

Man of the match: James Tarkowski.

Shelvey then curled a 51st-minute free-kick high over Pope's crossbar but it was Newcastle who continued to enjoy the better of things at St James' Park.

Meanwhile, substitute Chris Wood could not hit the target after climbing high to connect with Dwight McNeil's inviting 65th-minute cross, but Gayle was similarly inaccurate with an acrobatic volley from Almiron's delivery moments.

Dwight Gayle
Image: Dwight Gayle reacts as another Newcastle chance goes begging

There were roars of anticipation from the home fans when Saint-Maximin was called from the bench to replace Joelinton with 12 minutes remaining, but it was Ritchie who almost broke the deadlock with an 81st-minute piledriver which swerved just wide.

Saint-Maximin then forced Pope into a solid save with a drilled effort before Almiron's bursting run into the penalty area was stopped by a perfectly timed last-ditch tackle from Charlie Taylor.

Ritchie had one final chance to secure all three points for the home side after being played in by Shelvey, but the winger's tame effort was blocked as this fixture ended in a goalless draw for the first time since 1953.

Matt Ritchie
Image: Matt Ritchie shows his frustration during Newcastle's 0-0 draw with Burnley

What the managers said…

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce: "I was pleased with some aspects of the clean sheet. When you change shape, you always worry that the defensive stability we have had remains and we pride ourselves on that, especially at home.

"We've had 20 attempts, I think, which is far more than we've had before and to be fair to Burnley, the number of times they got a block in or a deflection or a challenge, you have to say well done to them for the defensive show they put on. But there was a bit of it with which I was pleased. Room for improvement, of course like always, but I certainly thought that we were more of a threat and looked like scoring more."

1:38
Steve Bruce was disappointed that Newcastle didn't take their chances against Burnley as they were held to a goalless draw at home

Burnley boss Sean Dyche: "I don't think we got to grips with the game offensively today particularly in the first half, when we couldn't find the moments you need to win games. But defensively, on the other hand, we were solid, and you get a clean sheet - I think that's 11 for the season now - and it always gives you something to build on if you are keeping clean sheets.

"There's a bit of frustration in the fact that we felt we could come here and win, but I'm not naive enough to think it's that easy against a side that, although there have been a few question marks, they've only lost three times here this season. But overall, another clean sheet, another point on the table and like I say, 11 clean sheets in that, which is a really strong marker for a side like ourselves."

preview image 1:56
Sean Dyche was pleased with the clean sheet as Burnley held Newcastle to a goalless draw at St James'

Man of the match - James Tarkowski

Tarkowski, who won his last England cap in September 2018, impressed in front of the watching England boss Gareth Southgate.

Alongside Ben Mee, he made a number of few crucial h blocks as the defences came out on top at St James' Park.

Analysis: Newcastle fire another blank

Soccer Saturday pundit Neil Warnock…

"Newcastle just cannot score a goal. They didn't really have many clear opportunities but when they did, they just made the wrong decisions, picked the wrong pass. It was a poor game and after about 50 minutes I think both Steve Bruce and Sean Dyche would have been happy to get away with a point."

Opta stats - A frustrating afternoon for both sides

  • These two sides played out a goalless draw for the first time in their last 52 meetings in all competitions, since a 0-0 game in January 1953.
  • Newcastle are winless in their last five Premier League games (D3 L2), and have failed to score in their last four. The Magpies last went four in a row without a goal in September 2015.
  • Burnley are unbeaten in six Premier League games (W4 D2), their longest unbeaten run in the competition since February 2019 (8 games).
  • Since the start of last season, Newcastle United have played out seven goalless draws in the Premier League, more than any other side.
  • Burnley failed to direct a single shot on target in the first half of a Premier League game this season for the 10th time, a joint-high along with Crystal Palace.
  • Ritchie mustered seven shots in the game, the most by a Newcastle player in a Premier League game since February last year (Salomón Rondón with 7 v Huddersfield

What's next?

Newcastle are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to West Brom in the FA Cup fifth round; Kick-off 8pm. Their next Premier League fixture is a trip to Southampton next Saturday at 3pm.

Live Premier League

Burnley's next assignment is in the premier League ext Saturday when they host Tottenham, live on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 5.30pm.

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