Newcastle United are STILL short of goals – and that's a big worry

Is it too late to sign a striker?

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 6:21 pm

Tim Krul, certainly, has had tougher afternoons at St James’s Park, his former home.

The transfer window closed last night without Newcastle United signing a striker, but Steve Bruce’s team, held to a goalless draw by Norwich City this afternoon, was crying out for a goalscorer.

And the game underlined just why supporters were so keen for the club, which failed with a £35million bid for midfielder Boubakary Soumare, to sign a striker last month.

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Joelinton was again unconvincing up front, and Norwich left the pitch wondering how they hadn’t taken all three points. Injury-hit Newcastle need goals from someone.

Steve Bruce, United’s head coach, had handed loan signing Nabil Bentaleb his first Premier League appearance for the club, but left Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro, also signed on half-season deals last month, would have to come off the bench for their debuts.

Lazaro had spoken of his love for Premier League football after joining on loan from Inter Milan, but the first 45 minutes weren’t much of a spectacle.

Newcastle, beaten 3-1 at Carrow Road last August, lacked ideas and imagination on the ball.

Allan Saint-Maximin is challenged by Alexander Tettey.

Their best chances before the break fell to Joelinton, who couldn’t get on the end of one Matt Ritchie cross and had another header saved by former United goalkeeper Krul.

At the other end of the pitch Dubravka did well to deny Sam Byram and Teemu Pukki. Federico Fernandez also stopped Pukki with a goal-saving challenge.

Bruce sent on Lazaro and Sean Longstaff early in the second half, but things didn’t immediately improve, and United had a let-off in the 62nd minute when Pukki, unmarked at the far post, shot over Dubravka’s goal.

Norwich looked the likelier team to score, and Ciaran Clark cleared the danger after Pukki broke into the box in the 73rd minute. Rose came on five minutes later, and Newcastle hung on to claim a point.

Nabil Bentaleb.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Yedlin (Lazaro, 54), Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden (S Longstaff, 56), Bentaleb, Almiron, Saint-Maximin (Rose, 78), Joelinton. Subs not used: Darlow, Schar, Lejeune, Atsu.