Newcastle held to goalless draw by Brighton

CC BY SA-2.0 / James Boyes

Karl Darlow and Mat Ryan were barely tested at either end, leaving Newcastle just a point above the drop zone ahead of a potentially pivotal January, which could see transfer strategy battling for attention with a prospective takeover at St James' Park.

The Spaniard was slammed by television pundits for his defensive tactics in Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat by the Premier League leaders, with former Manchester United defender Gary Neville particularly scathing of the ex-Liverpool manager's bus-parking exercise.

"They managed the tempo of the game and controlled what they wanted". Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk were also a threat from corners, but Brighton had only scored once in open play in eight games coming into this one, and they were desperately lacking a spark, too. Those doubts remain but at least they did not lose more ground on one of the teams above than and 19 points at this stage of the season means they are probably halfway towards their safety target.

The plan was to be far more attack-minded than had been the case against City, but while they might have enjoyed much more possession than they had three days earlier, Newcastle found it just as hard to create chances.

It ends goalless at St. James' Park and both sides are forced to settle for a point. "When you don't win a game that everyone is suspecting that you have to win, then they have to be disappointed but at the same time, they know that these players are giving everything". That, rather than Newcastle's very bad home run of five successive defeats, appeared to be on his mind in his approach. Over their last nine games, the Seagulls have only one win and six points. Murray was unable to add to his five goals this season before coming off for Tomar Hemed in the second half, but the man who proved the difference at the Amex Stadium had no impact.

Kenedy, 21, has played just 25 times for Chelsea since a 2015 move from Fluminense in his native Brazil, scoring just three goals as he has struggled to nail down a first-team spot under Antonio Conte.

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