Newcastle struggled to break down Bournemouth in a scoreless first half. The Magpies had the bulk of possession but were left frustrated by the Cherries. The performance has been uncharacteristically flat but the lads did surge late.
The Magpies were set up in the customary 4-3-3 with Pope behind a back four Trippier, Schar, Burn, and Targett. Bruno returned to anchor the midfield with Willock and Joelinton pushing forward. Isak led the line with Almiron to his right and Fraser on his left.
Newcastle dominated possession from the onset, often camped out in the Bournemouth end. However, it was the visitors with the first shot. Ryan Christie’s dribbling effort from outside the box was easily collected by Pope.
Bournemouth should have went ahead in the 15th minute. Jordan Zemura’s lofted cross sailed over Burn and met the head of Marcus Tavernier. The former Magpie youth product’s header was tame and drifted wide of the far post.
Newcastle’s first shot came moments later. Isak and Almiron worked well together outside of the area resulting in a shot from the Paraguayan. His low effort wasn’t well-struck and the ball dribbled into Neto’s waiting hands.
A well-worked free-kick in the 20th minute produced Newcastle’s second shot on target. Trippier lofted the ball to the right side of the box and Schar flashed a header towards the far post. Neto was there for a comfortable save.
Newcastle hit the woodwork in the 26th minute. Bruno won a free kick from 25-yards out. Trippier stepped up and curled a beauty that struck the far post and goes beyond for a goal-kick.
Newcastle were unfortunate not to move ahead with a flurry of thwarted shots in the 42nd minute. After a corner, Joelinton was expertly found inside the box. The Brazilian’s quick effort was denied by the far post. Then Neto made superb stops on follow-up blasts from Joelinton and Fraser.
Gary O’Neil will be the happier of the two managers at the break. His side have defended well and frustrated Newcastle, who need to pick up the tempo and find ways to get Isak more involved in the game.