English Premiership

Newcastle, Blackburn draw

2011-02-12 20:24

Blackburn - Newcastle United were unable to repeat the heroics of their stunning comeback against Arsenal as they were held to a dreary 0-0 draw at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

The Magpies fought back from a 4-0 half-time deficit to draw 4-4 with Arsenal last weekend in one of the great Premier League comebacks, but the fare at Ewood Park was decidedly less captivating.

The stalemate kept the sides level on points, with Newcastle holding onto 10th place, above Blackburn on goal difference.

Newcastle were the first side to threaten, a sliding Kevin Nolan narrowly failing to connect with Jose Enrique's teasing low cross, before both teams struck the woodwork in quick succession.

Roque Santa Cruz was Blackburn's nearly man, flicking a header against the post from close range in the ninth minute after Paul Robinson's long ball had been helped on by Christopher Samba.

Five minutes later it was Peter Lovenkrands cursing his luck, after his delightful lob from Enrique's fine pass landed on the top of the crossbar.

Nikola Kalinic fired over after a neat piece of control but the hosts were struggling to unlock the Newcastle defence and Blackburn coach Steve Kean introduced Jason Roberts and Morten Gamst Pedersen at half-time.

Newcastle again made a more purposeful start after the interval and Robinson had to produce a stunning reflex stop to prevent centre-back Fabio Coloccini giving the visitors the lead from a Joey Barton corner.

The visitors began to turn the screw as the game ticked into the final 15 minutes and Enrique saw a goal-bound effort brilliantly blocked by Michel Salgado after the Spaniard had weaved his way between defenders.

The Magpies gave a debut to new signing Shefki Kuqi as a late substitute, but the 34-year-old Finnish striker was unable to procure any opportunities to break the deadlock.

Newcastle are in league action again on Tuesday when they travel to Birmingham City, while Blackburn's next assignment is not until February 26, when they visit Aston Villa.

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