Matt Ritchie twice went close for Newcastle, firing against the post in the first half before slicing a powerful effort wide in the second
Burnley extended their unbeaten Premier League run to six games as Sean Dyche’s side held Newcastle to a goalless draw at St James’ Park.
The Magpies had their chances but failed to score for a fourth league game in succession.
Matt Ritchie went closest for the hosts in a cagey first half, his goal-bound effort taking a deflection off Jay Rodriguez before grazing the outside of the post.
Rodriguez shot wide from a tight angle at the other end, while Martin Dubravka had to be on his toes to prevent Jeff Hendrick’s cross-shot from going in.
Dwight Gayle sent an acrobatic effort just wide of Nick Pope’s goal after the restart, before Ritchie sliced a powerful shot wide from long range.
The point lifts Burnley up to ninth – three points behind fifth-placed Manchester United having played a game more – while Newcastle are now just five points clear of the relegation zone.
New formation, same result
Following his side’s limp defeat at Crystal Palace last weekend, Steve Bruce said that a change in tactics may be required to prevent the Magpies from being dragged further into a relegation battle.
Bruce’s switch earlier in the season from a 3-5-2 to the 3-4-2-1 system that served Newcastle so well under Rafael Benitez paid off initially, as the team recovered from a poor start to climb into the top half of the table in December.
However, a run of only one win – and a paltry return of just six goals – in nine top-flight games before today had seen Newcastle slip to 14th in the Premier League.
The 59-year-old shifted to a flat back four against Burnley, with club record signing Joelinton operating on the left of an attacking midfield three and Gayle – starting for just the third time in the Premier League this season – leading the line.
Chances were few and far between early on, but the hosts started to grow into the game towards the end of the first half and fashioned several opportunities to break the deadlock.
Gayle had a shot blocked, before the impressive Miguel Almiron fired straight at Pope after collecting Ritchie’s low pass in his stride.
Ritchie was unfortunate not to open the scoring five minutes later when he headed wide from Gayle’s delivery, before striking the foot of the post via Rodriguez’s deflection.
Gayle and Ritchie both went close in the second half but the hosts managed just one effort on target after the restart – a low shot from second-half substitute Allan Saint-Maximin that was easily held by Pope.
The Magpies have now failed to score in the league since their remarkable comeback at Everton on 21 January, when they scored twice in injury time in a 2-2 draw.
Clarets toil in attack
Chris Wood caused the Newcastle defence problems following his second-half introduction but failed to hit the target from two decent opportunities.
Newcastle were two points clear of Burnley as recently as mid-January, but a run of four wins and two draws from their last six games has lifted the Clarets into the top half of the table and into contention for a place in Europe.
Indeed, only runaway leaders Liverpool have registered more points than Burnley since 19 January.
Matej Vydra has excelled in the absence of first-choice strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood, with the latter having to settle for a place on the bench despite recovering from a hamstring problem.
The visitors’ best chance fell in the first half, with Rodriguez shooting wide under pressure, but the second-half introduction of Wood appeared to breathe new life into Burnley’s attack.
However, the New Zealand international failed to hit the target with a long-range drive before heading tamely past the post from a good position.
The result lifts Sean Dyche’s side back above Arsenal in the standings, but the Clarets will need to make more of their goalscoring opportunities to maintain their unlikely push for a European berth.
Man of the match – Miguel Almiron (Newcastle)
The Paraguayan looked the most likely to make something happen for the hosts and had a goal-bound effort saved by Nick Pope in the first half.
Newcastle becoming 0-0 specialists? – the stats
- These two sides played out a goalless draw for the first time in their last 52 meetings in all competitions, since a 0-0 stalemate in January 1953.
- Newcastle are winless in their last five Premier League games (D3 L2), and have failed to score in their last four. The Magpies last went four in a row without a goal in September 2015.
- Burnley are unbeaten in six Premier League games (W4 D2), their longest unbeaten run in the competition since February 2019 (8 games).
- Since the start of last season, Newcastle have played out seven goalless draws in the Premier League, more than any other side.
- Burnley failed to direct a shot on target in the first half of a Premier League game this season for the 10th time, a joint-high along with Crystal Palace.
- Matt Ritchie mustered seven shots in the game, the most by a Newcastle player in a Premier League game since February last year (Salomon Rondon with 7 v Huddersfield).
‘I’m pleased we created more’ – what the managers said
Newcastle United 0-0 Burnley: Magpies’ performance ‘a lot better’ – Steve Bruce
Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce: “It was a better performance. There are positives I can take – a clean sheet and a point which gets us to the target we want to get to.
“When you do create chances in the big league, you need to take them. I’m pleased we created more and were a threat.
“There are still eight or 10 teams in there. When you are in the bottom half of the division you know how hard it is to win a game.”
Newcastle United 0-0 Burnley: Clarets were ‘below par’ says Sean Dyche
Burnley manager Sean Dyche: “I think overall it was a below par performance from us. I’m being critical of our own performance, but 11 clean sheets speaks for itself.
“It wasn’t a great game by any means from any side. Newcastle have only lost here three times this season, so to get a point was a good point.
“The game never got into any rhythm. You have to try and find another way, but I’m pleased we got something from the game.”
Newcastle will look to progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time under Mike Ashley’s ownership when they face West Bromwich Albion in the last 16 on Tuesday 3 March (kick-off 20:00 GMT).
Burnley return to action on Saturday 7 March, when they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Turf Moor in the Premier League (17:30 GMT).
- Match Stats
- Live Text
- 19ManquilloBooked at 88mins
- 28RoseBooked at 34mins
- 8ShelveyBooked at 70mins
- 9JoelintonSubstituted forSaint-Maximinat 78'minutes
- 12GayleBooked at 59mins
- 36S Longstaff
- 26BardsleyBooked at 39mins
- 5TarkowskiBooked at 64mins
- 6MeeBooked at 90mins
- 27VydraSubstituted forWoodat 58'minutes
Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamBurnleyPossessionHome54%Away46%ShotsHome21Away8Shots on TargetHome4Away1CornersHome11Away7FoulsHome11Away9
Match ends, Newcastle United 0, Burnley 0.