Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Clean sheets all round

Blackburn Rovers 0 - 0 Newcastle Utd

An ultimately frustrating afternoon in the North West saw Newcastle return from Ewood Park with one point added to the total, but left with a nagging sense that it could have been more.

Opting to stick with the same starting XI who had in turn capitulated horribly, then come back magnificently, against Arsenal last week, Newcastle looked reasonably well matched against a Blackburn side who haven't plunged down the table, as one might have anticipated, having ditched Fat Sam earlier in the season. Instead it was the home side who perhaps squandered the first decent chance, when Roque Santa Cruz powered an effort against the post.

However, with Jose Enrique enjoying a fine game, Newcastle's left back started to prompt our attacks, and his magnificent long ball fell for Lovenkrands whose first-time lob left Paul Robinson stranded, only to bounce back off the crossbar and away from Leon Best who had followed in the Dane's shot.

Going forward, our most likely source of supply looked to be our left back, who was making significant inroads down our left, often producing a better end product than Spidermag.

Unfortunately, we couldn't quite manage to find that little bit of quality, or the little slice of luck, needed to beat the Blackburn defence, with Sideshow Bob's powerful shot straight at the keeper our best effort of the second half.

Late on, Pardew threw on Nile Ranger and new boy Shefki Kuqi, but neither was really afforded sufficient time, or opportunity, to make an impact and the game ended goalless.

The draw keeps us in the top half, but with only a handful of points separating us from the drop zone, we could do to pick up a win away to Birmingham to start to put significant distance between us and the drop zone.

Other reports: BBC, Observer

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