Premier League
NewcastleNewcastle United0BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion0

Newcastle United 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

By Tim OscroftBBC Sport
Mat Ryan
Australia international keeper Mat Ryan joined Brighton from Valencia last summer, and has been an ever-present in the Premier League

Newcastle remain without a win at home since October after they were held to a goalless draw by Brighton at St James' Park.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan kept his side in the match with excellent saves to deny Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle in the second half.

Brighton, who have now failed to score in five away games, had their best chance when Anthony Knockaert shot straight at Karl Darlow before the break.

The draw ends a run of five straight home defeats at home for Newcastle, but means they slip to 16th in the table while Brighton stay in 12th.

Rafael Benitez's side at least avoided equalling a club record of six straight top-flight losses at St James' Park - set in 1953 - but they lacked the firepower to stall their slide down the table.

The Magpies were sixth when they last won at home, with victory over Crystal Palace on 21 October.

Brighton, despite having won just once in 10 games, looked content having frustrated their hosts despite Knockaert's shot and a Lewis Dunk header in the second half being their only efforts on target.

Newcastle change tack

Newcastle had shut up shop almost from the outset when facing a rampant Manchester City three days earlier, but taking on a side only just ahead of them in the table, Benitez knew he had to change tack completely.

The Spaniard made six changes to his outfield line-up - goalkeeper Rob Elliot was ruled out with a thigh injury - and his revamped selection did not lack for effort, with the recalled Gayle and Christian Atsu both testing Brighton's defensive resilience.

Gayle could have done little more when the striker was denied by Ryan's brilliance, but overall Newcastle lacked a touch of quality and know-how when the crucial moments came.

They now face two crucial fixtures against fellow strugglers Stoke and Swansea early in the new year, either side of an FA Cup tie at home to Luton.

Glenn Murray
Brighton striker Glenn Murray touched the ball 30 times, but just once in the opposition area

But still looming large is the possible takeover of the club by PCP Capital Partners, and with their side in need of a lift, Newcastle supporters must be hoping that the rumoured £300m deal is completed soon.

Job well done for Hughton

While Knockaert and Dunks's attempts on target may appear to tell the story of a side with the third-lowest goal tally (15) in the Premier League, Brighton looked comfortable for large portions of this match.

Chris Hughton made five changes from the side that had lost at Chelsea, with his team selection clearly frustrating his former employers at St James'.

Gaetan Bong and Bruno helped shore up the back four after the 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, and Brighton's goals against column of 25 reflects well on Hughton.

Stoke are two places below, but by contrast have conceded 46 goals. However, Brighton struggled to threaten going forward, and their fans may also be hoping for new faces to give them an edge in the second half of the season.

Man of the match - Mathew Ryan (Brighton)

Mathew Ryan
Brighton 'keeper Mathew Ryan had little to worry about until the second half, when he reacted brilliantly to thwart Hayden's deflected shot and Gayle's glancing header

'We're working hard' - What the managers said

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez: "The team is working hard, that is what you expect from these players.

Benitez targets January signings

"We did not play at the level we maybe can play but credit to Brighton because they were well organised and managed the tempo of the game quite well.

"Their keeper was busy but we could not score and could not get the three points, that was the main thing for us."

Brighton boss Chris Hughton: "I thought over the 90 minutes we were the better side, we were very worthy of the point and probably deserved a bit more.

"We had really good periods of possession in both halves and those are the moments you have to get your goal. I'm reasonably satisfied with the point.

"We deserve to be in the Premier League but we are finding the qualities in this division. It is harder to score. All you want is to be at least in the game and we have done that, apart from against Liverpool."

Newcastle 0-0 Brighton: We were the better side - Hughton

Newcastle's home goal drought continues - the stats

  • The Magpies have scored just two goals from 71 shots in their six league games at St James' Park since the start of November (2.8%).
  • This was the fourth time that Brighton have drawn 0-0 in the Premier League this season, a joint-league-high alongside West Bromwich Albion.
  • In fact, this was the 11th time that Brighton have failed to score in 21 Premier League games this season; the most in the competition level with Crystal Palace and Swansea City.
  • Newcastle made seven changes to their starting XI in this match (from their last game vs Man City) - this is the most that a side has made in a Premier League game this season.
  • This is the fourth successive Premier League game that Newcastle have made at least five changes to their starting line-up from the previous game.

What's next?

It's a quick turnaround for Brighton, who host Bournemouth on New Year's Day at 12:30 GMT. Newcastle are also in action on 1 January, travelling to Stoke for a 15:00 kick-off.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 26Darlow
  • 22YedlinBooked at 61mins
  • 6Lascelles
  • 2Clark
  • 3Dummett
  • 11RitchieSubstituted forPérezat 72'minutes
  • 14Hayden
  • 23MerinoBooked at 74minsSubstituted forShelveyat 76'minutes
  • 30Atsu
  • 21JoseluSubstituted forMurphyat 84'minutes
  • 9Gayle


  • 7Murphy
  • 8Shelvey
  • 10Diamé
  • 17Pérez
  • 18Mbemba
  • 19Manquillo
  • 41Woodman


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Ryan
  • 2Bruno
  • 22Duffy
  • 5DunkBooked at 90mins
  • 3Bong
  • 11KnockaertBooked at 73mins
  • 6Stephens
  • 24Pröpper
  • 20March
  • 13Groß
  • 17MurraySubstituted forHemedat 62'minutes


  • 7Kayal
  • 9Baldock
  • 10Hemed
  • 18Goldson
  • 19Izquierdo
  • 21Schelotto
  • 26Krul
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamBrighton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  4. Booking

    Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  6. Post update

    Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey with a headed pass.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Jacob Murphy replaces Joselu.

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Jonjo Shelvey replaces Mikel Merino.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  14. Booking

    Mikel Merino (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Pascal Groß (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Mikel Merino (Newcastle United).

  17. Booking

    Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Anthony Knockaert (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  19. Post update

    Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Ayoze Pérez replaces Matt Ritchie.


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