The good news is that Newcastle kept only their fourth clean sheet of the season this afternoon at Carrow Road in the 0-0 draw with Norwich, but still lost points on second bottom Reading, who scored three goals in the last eight minutes to beat West Brom at home 3-2, and Southampton, who beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Villa Park, and Newcastle remain just 2 points above the relegation zone and drop one place to 16th place in the league – 5th bottom.
And Newcastle are now 4 points behind Sunderland, who beat West Ham 3-0 at the Stadium of Light this afternoon, so while this draw is good to get – it’s better than another defeat – we really need wins to take us away from the bottom end of the table.
Newcastle and Reading are the only two sides not to have won away from home in the league this season, and our 21 points is the worst points total of any season by a Newcastle side in the Premier League – after 22 games played.
And for the second game in a row we have failed to score since Demba Ba left Newcastle for Chelsea, although Ba failed to score in Chelsea’s 4-0 win at Stoke City today.
And this was the very first clean sheet in an away game this season, and coincided with the debut of Mathieu Debuchy at right back, and the Frenchman had a decent enough game, so we have to try to take the positives out of the game – at least it wasn’t another defeat.
Newcastle started like a steam train and they were first to the ball as Norwich made a struggling start to the game, and Norwich had lost all of their previous four league games.
One chance for Newcastle after 13 minutes was when Jonas, back from injury, made a good run down the left, and his cross into the box was hit a little too hard for Papiss Cisse to get to.
But Norwich seemed as off-form as Newcastle, and although their approach work was often good, they lacked bite in the penalty area, and it was hardly an inspiring display from the two sides today.
After a decent start to the game Newcastle were hanging on a bit as half time approached, but it was still 0-0 at the break.
After 53 minutes Yohan Cabaye was finally introduced into the game, and this game will give the top French International much needed match practice.
And Sylvain Marveaux then went on one of those mazy runs of his, but hit the ball way over the cross-bar.
And while Newcastle were looking for the winner as full time approached, they were also happy to get a point on the road, and stop a run of four successive defeats, but in injury time disaster almost struck, as Norwich could well have snatched the winner.
But it was a terrible miss from Pilkington that saved the Magpies, as he missed a chance from six yards out, after good work from Grant Holt.
This was not a great performance, but at least we kept a clean sheet and picked up a point away from home, and now the game next Saturday against Reading at St. James’ Park, becomes a huge game for Newcastle, and we need to win that game – but who will score the goals?
Norwich City (4-5-1): Mark Bunn; Russell Martin (c), Sebastien Bassong, Michael Turner, Javier Garrido; Anthony Pilkington, Bradley Johnson, Alexander Tettey, Robert Snodgrass (Elliott Bennett 77), Wes Hoolahan; Simeon Jackson (Grant Holt 68)
Subs not used: Declan Rudd, Leon Barnett, Ryan Bennett, David Fox, Harry Kane
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; James Perch, Vurnon Anita (Gael Bigirimana 84); Gabriel Obertan (Yohan Cabaye 57), Sylvain Marveaux, Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse
Subs not used: Steve Harper, James Tavernier, Romain Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi, Nile Ranger
Referee: Anthony Taylor
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