Bruno Guimaraes clashes with Leeds United players as Newcastle United's winning run ends
The club’s run of six successive victories was brought to an end on New Year’s Eve. Eddie Howe’s side were held to a goalless draw by Leeds United in a niggly fixture at a sodden St James’s Park this afternoon.
Newcastle had the better of the game, and they dominated the second half, but they were frustrated by their visitors, who hassled and harried them all over the pitch. Bruno Guimaraes, fouled repeatedly, clashed with goalkeeper Illan Meslier late in the game.
"The desire was there, the quality was there, but the finishing wasn't there,” said head coach Howe. “We had a number of opportunities that normally we take. We paid the price for that in terms of the results. We had the chances, and on another day, we score at least a couple of those. Then we became more desperate – and it just didn't happen.
"We knew Leeds were going to come here and make it very difficult by stopping our flow. I thought we were really good today. It was a good battle, and we defended really well, which was important.”
A win would have taken the club level on points in the Premier League with second-placed Manchester City, who were held to a draw a home by Everton.
And the club, which started 2022 in 19th place, ended the year third in the division following a remarkable few months on the pitch.
Howe added: "2022 has been a great year, a year of real progress. The team’s developed really well.”
Howe had opted to name Callum Wilson, available after recovering from the bout of illness which had kept him out on Boxing Day, on the bench – and field an unchanged starting XI for the third successive Premier League game.
Newcastle made a positive start, but they didn’t test Meslier until midway through the half.
They started to up the pressure, and created two chances from corners, as the half wore on. Fabian Schar headed wide from a Kieran Trippier corner, and Dan Burn almost connected with another flag kick. Miguel Almiron shot wide with a follow-up effort.
Sven Botman forced a save from a Trippier free-kick in the 27th minute, and Schar had a penalty appeal waved away before the break.
The half ended goalless, and Leeds continued to frustrate Newcastle after the break. Nick Pope kept out a curling shot from Rodrigo, and Sean Longstaff shot over at the other end of the pitch.
Guimaraes was on the receiving end of a series of crude challenges which angered the home support.
Howe sent on Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin in the 64th minute, and the final minutes were punctuated by a series of stoppages, and Guimaraes booked in added time after two late clashes.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Longstaff, Bruno, Willock (Saint-Maximin, 64), Almiron (Murphy, 84), Wood (Wilson, 64), Joelinton. Subs not used: Darlow, Lascelles, Ritchie, Lewis, Manquillo, Anderson.