Saturday, 12 February 2011

Blackburn 0 - 0 Newcastle

Newcastle and Blackburn played out a goalless draw in a game that the Magpies dominated at Ewood Park.
Rovers forward Roque Santa Cruz headed against the post after a flick-on by towering defender Chris Samba.
Peter Lovenkrands went close for the Magpies, hitting the bar with a fine lob after he had been played in by the excellent Jose Enrique on the left.
Rovers keeper Paul Robinson was busy throughout, saving Leon Best's header and Fabricio Coloccini's volley.
Newcastle kept faith with the same side that produced an amazing comeback against Arsenal last weekend and they started with plenty of endeavour at Ewood Park.Their first attack saw Kevin Nolan just fail to connect with Joey Barton's cut back but it was Blackburn who came closest to breaking the deadlock.
Keeper Robinson's hopeful long punt was flicked on by Samba and Santa Cruz crashed a header against the post from six yards out.
It was Blackburn's last real chance of the half which Newcastle went on to dominate.
Lovenkrands had their best effort of the opening 45 minutes, hitting the bar with a delightful lob following a fine pass from the dangerous Enrique on the left.
Soon after, Martin Olsson was lucky to stay on the pitch after he elbowed Barton - an incident that was missed by referee Stuart Attwell.
Rovers had a decent chance but David Dunn blazed over the bar after good work from Junior Hoilett down the Rovers left.
Newcastle and in particular Enrique continued to trouble Blackburn with Nolan, Barton and Cheik Ismael Tiote also impressive in midfield.
Best went close from a Newcastle corner - one of six they were awarded in the first half - with the Magpies forward volleying wide from eight yards.
Lovenkrands only just failed to connect with another Enrique cross in what was becoming a one-sided affair at Ewood Park but despite Newcastle dominating, Blackburn held out with the half ending goalless.
Blackburn's reaction to Newcastle's dominance was to send on Morten Gamst Pedersen and Jason Roberts at the break but Newcastle started the half as they ended it - in the ascendancy.
Danny Simpson sent over a cross which Lovenkrands failed to connect with and Best headed straight at Robinson soon after.
Robinson was again called into action with Coloccini volleying straight at the Rovers keeper from close range after Barton had initially found him on the edge of the box with an out-swinging corner.
Newcastle increased the pressure as the half wore on but despite their endeavour they could not break down a resilient Blackburn defence.
At the other end, Jonas Gutierrez dominated at the back for Newcastle with Blackburn's forwards struggling to make any impression on the game.
Blackburn made their third and final substitution with 25 minutes remaining, with Brett Emerton coming on for Dunn as they looked for ways to stem the Newcastle tide.
Best came close to getting on the end of Barton's cross but he was inches away from connecting. It was an incident that summed up Newcastle's afternoon.
Samba proved an effective target for Rovers at set pieces and the defender headed straight at Steve Harper from Robinson's free kick.
Newcastle brought on Shefki Kuqi for his debut in injury time as they looked for an unlikely winner, but the game ended goalless.

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