Premier League strugglers Newcastle and Brighton played out a largely forgettable draw which does neither side many favours.
The Seagulls dominated and went closest through substitute Aaron Connolly’s chip which was cleared off the line by a Fabian Schar overhead kick.
It was another disappointing day for Newcastle, who were poor in front of a far-from-full St James’ Park.
Andy Carroll came on for his first Magpies game since December 2010.
The injury-plagued number seven, who has played for Liverpool and West Ham since then, failed to have any chances in his 10 minutes on the pitch.
Newcastle’s struggles continue
Newcastle are yet to win at home since the appointment of Steve Bruce in the summer and the fans’ mood is not good. Empty seats could be seen all round St James’ Park, a mix of protests against Mike Ashley’s ownership and apathy at how the club are playing.
They had four efforts on target, all routine saves for Mat Ryan. The two loudest roars before the 80th minute were for two Miguel Almiron shots, which Brighton’s keeper dealt with easily. Their former record signing at £20m has yet to score since his January arrival from Atlanta United.
But the roof came off when Carroll came on for his first appearance for his hometown club since a £35m move to Liverpool almost nine years ago.
Bruce’s side had the more attacking intent in the closing stages, Brighton were hanging on at the end, but at the same time the Magpies never really looked like adding to their four Premier League goals this season.
They continue their record of having the least amount of possession among all Premier League clubs. Their 29.3% of time on the ball took their average down from 33%.
Brighton toothless once again
Same old story for Brighton this season. They are a completely different side under Graham Potter than they were under Chris Hughton despite having most of the same players – demonstrated by Hughton’s old favourite Shane Duffy being left on the bench.
But they struggle in front of goal. They had so much of the ball but Neal Maupay’s ninth-minute effort, where he tried to beat Martin Dubravka at his near post, and Yves Bissouma’s low drive in the 86th minute were the only saves the Newcastle keeper had to make.
Premier League debutant Steven Alzate was bright up front and Irish youngster Connolly was lively when he came on. The substitute was so unlucky to see his shot acrobatically cleared away by Schar millimetres away from crossing the line.
But it was all style and little substance and they were hanging on at the end. A better team than Newcastle would have put them away.
The football was attractive – all three centre-backs were involved in moves all over the pitch – but the fact remains that they have won once in the league, the same as Newcastle.
Man of the match – Lewis Dunk (Brighton)
‘We got away with one’ – manager quotes
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce: “We found it very difficult. We knew Brighton would come and want to take the football and basically we couldn’t get after it well enough. In the second half we changed a few things and if anyone was going to win the game I thought it would be us.
“The Achilles heel is that we have to take big chances when we get them.
“We couldn’t wait to get them in at half-time. We didn’t deal with Brighton who kept the ball very well and they made it a difficult evening for us. We got away with one.”
Brighton manager Graham Potter: “I’m a bit frustrated. I thought our performance was really good. We had one cleared off the line and got into their box often.
“Andy Carroll came on and made things frantic at the end, but I’m delighted with the performance and felt we deserved three points.
“We need to maintain that and try and improve. We’ve been playing quite well. We’re disappointed with the points tally and disappointed with the result today.
“The players have got a resilience, character and organisation to defend the box when they need to. We’re lucky that we’ve got that foundation. They try their best every day, which away in the Premier League is not so easy to do.”
Match stats – Brighton’s struggle for goals
- After winning five consecutive home Premier League games between January and March, Newcastle have enjoyed only one win in their last six at St James’ Park (W1 D2 L3).
- Brighton are unbeaten in all five of their Premier League meetings with Newcastle (W2 D3), their joint-best record without defeat against an opponent in the competition (also five v West Ham).
- Brighton have won just one of their last 15 Premier League matches (W1 D6 L8), scoring eight goals and drawing a blank on nine occasions.
- Brighton have failed to find the back of the net in 33 Premier League games since the start of the 2017-18 season, the most of any ever-present side in that time.
- Four of Brighton’s six Premier League games this season have been goalless at half-time, the most of any side in the division.
- Since their promotion to the Premier League for the 2017-18 season, Brighton have seen eight of their games finish goalless, with only Crystal Palace and Southampton involved in more 0-0 fixtures.
Newcastle go to in-form Leicester in the Premier League next Sunday (16:30 BST). Brighton face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday (19:45 BST), before visiting Chelsea in the league on Saturday (15:00 BST).