Newcastle and Brighton play out goalless bore-draw at the AMEX
Brighton 0-0 Newcastle United
It was never likely to be a stunner of a game at the AMEX…
The penultimate game of the season offered up something of a dead rubber with Brighton, 6 points below Newcastle United, safe and with neither club with anything close to European aspirations.
Sporting their Orange away kit for the last time, the Magpies had a real issue at centre half with only one player recognised as playing that position. Fernandez, therefore, was joined by Krafth and Rose either side of a central three with Manquillo and Ritchie playing as wing backs.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Manquillo, Krafth, Fernandez, Rose, Ritchie, Shelvey, Bentaleb, Almiron (Lazaro, 86), Saint-Maximin (Joelinton, 74), Gayle (Carroll, 74)
And the game did feel like something of a dead rubber too. Although there was some intensity and actually a decent spoon full of
The first real chance fell to Brighton on 27 minutes. Ritchie getting his feet in a real tangle allowing Maupay, now free in the 18 yard box to get a cross in before the resultant Tossard shot was pushed wide by Dubravka.
After posing something of a threat for the first 30 minutes in a pretty even opening spell, the home side started to gain a firm grip of the game. Shelvey, surprisingly, being chief culprit with some slack passing that in adding pressure to his sides rearguard action.
Newcastle now offering so little in terms of numbers up front that every forward ball was a lost cause for Gayle, or occasionally ASM in trying to chase it down.
Only the odd set piece would seem to cause Brighton anything like a worry, with Gayle getting a tiny bit too much on a flick from a corner in first half injury time in what would be United’s best chance.
Nothing to separate the two sides then at half time. About right with Bruce’s makeshift backline holding firm.
Newcastle started a little brighter in the first half. First Saint-Maximin taking the wrong option in crossing when faced with the last man on the edge of the 18 yards box, then an Almiron shot well saved from a Ritchie cross.
A shot from distance with 15 minutes left was all either side had to show for 30 minutes of second half football however. That attempt well saved by Dubravka in the Newcastle goal.
On 87 minutes the chance big Andy Carroll would have been dreaming about last night. A deep corner, a leap above everyone 6 yards out on the back stick, keeping in no-mans land, header just the wrong side of the post. Gutter!
And that was that.