Newcastle slump continues
Newcastle - Newcastle's mini-slump continued at St James Park on Saturday as promoted Swansea held out for a 0-0 draw which saw the Magpies' winless streak extend to five games.
After a superb start to the season which saw them placed in the top four over the opening months of the campaign, Newcastle's progress has stalled in recent weeks with their last win coming on November 5.
Since then the Magpies have taken just two points out of possible 15, a run which includes Saturday's frustrating stalemate.
Newcastle dominated throughout the first half, with skipper Fabricio Coloccini and Demba Ba both hitting the woodwork as the Swans mounted a furious rearguard action.
Argentinian international Coloccini was thwarted by a post after launching himself into a diving header on 19 minutes, while Senegalese striker Ba rattled the woodwork with a 23rd-minute strike.
In-form Swansea keeper Michel Vorm also thwarted the Magpies on 42 minutes, parrying away Ba's sweetly struck volley.
Newcastle also went close just before half-time as Jonas Gutierrez unleashed a curling 44th-minute shot that flew just inches wide.
Newcastle were back on the prowl just after half-time, with full-back Danny Simpson crossing for Ba who volleyed over.
Coloccini then saw a 54th minute header cleared away after some desperate defending from Kemy Agustien.
Swansea offered little or no threat in attack, although former Magpies wide man Wayne Routledge enjoyed the occasional foray.
Swansea's best chance came on 74 minutes, when Scott Sinclair shot just wide after Newcastle defender Danny Simpson found himself isolated.
Newcastle launched a late onslaught as they sought to avoid dropping points to a promoted team for a second consecutive game but they were unable to find the touch of class needed to break down the Welshmen.