Blackburn settle for stalemate as goals dry up

Blackburn Rovers 0 Newcastle United 0
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The Independent Football

After the feast, the famine. These teams scored seven and conceded eight between them in last weekend's goalfests but they could not conjure a single one in an Ewood Park stalemate that left a superior Newcastle United side frustrated.

Although Rovers threatened with an early Roque Santa Cruz header against a post, it was the only meaningful attempt by the home side as Newcastle dominated thereafter. Yet their failure to capitalise leaves the Tyneside side still seeking a first victory since 5 January.

The Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said: "It's tinged with disappointment because our performance was excellent. Sometimes against a side like Blackburn you can find yourself wanting because of the size and physical strength of them but we stood up really well and bossed the other side of it, which was our movement and passing.

"The only disappointing factor was probably around the last third. With the amount of possession we had, we should have worked the goalkeeper harder."

Soon after Santa Cruz's near miss, Newcastle also struck the woodwork – Jose Enrique's superb 60-yard pass put Peter Lovenkrands clear but, with only Robinson to beat, the Dane's attempted lob landed on the crossbar.

Robinson then turned behind a dipping Joey Barton cross as Newcastle controlled the midfield. With Jermaine Jones drifting infield from the Rovers right and leaving full-back Michel Salgado exposed, Newcastle were finding plenty of space to exploit down that flank. Enrique played a searching low ball into the box but Lovenkrands failed to connect at the near post.

Kean admitted he was relieved to have avoided a fourth successive loss. "It wasn't really our day when the first chance hit the post. I don't think we created much after that but at least it breaks the sequence of defeats and we'll take the point."

The Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini had the best chance of the second period following a deep Barton corner in the 54th minute. Collecting the ball on his chest on the edge of the box, the Argentina international fired in a powerful half-volley that Robinson tipped over.

After four second-half goals in their fightback against Arsenal last week, Newcastle drew a blank but Pardew had at least not lost his sense of humour. "After Arsenal we've had enough excitement for one week."

Attendance: 26,781

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Man of the match: Jose Enrique

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