Newcastle United 1 Arsenal 1: Taylor's strike a tonic for Allardyce

"Help the lads rebuild the fortress tonight," the advert in The Evening Chronicle implored. The Toon Army did not quite man every section of the barricades some 2,000 tickets remained unsold but St James' was restored to something more like its old self last night, with the Newcastle fans fully behind the Newcastle players and an inspiring United effort keeping the visitors at bay, not to mention the home manager in his job with a deal more security.

Sam Allardyce watched from the sidelines with satisfaction and not a little relief as his team turned their home ground into more of a citadel than the bouncy castle it was threatening to become a leaky one at that, after defeats of 4-1 against Portsmouth and 3-0 against Liverpool. Roared on by their supporters, a reinvigorated, new-look Newcastle rode the blow of conceding a fourth-minute goal to Emmanuel Adebayor to finish on level terms with Arsne Wenger's New Invincibles.

They did so with a goal on the hour by Steven Taylor and departed to thunderous applause, having left a weakened Arsenal side missing Cesc Febregas, Alexander Hleb, Mathieu Flamini and Robin van Persie looking distinctly "vincible". "It was a huge result for us," Allardyce said. "It does take the pressure off."

Indeed it does, with the talk of the Tyne no longer the prospect of Newcastle being in need of an eighth manager in 11 years. Arsenal have had just the one man in charge in that time and, though their fourth draw of the season qualifies as a setback, they are four points clear at the top of the Premier League table and remain unbeaten after 15 games with two points more than the class of 2003-04 had in the bag at the same stage of their unblemished campaign. "It was like they [Newcastle] made a reunion to win the game tonight," Wenger said. "They made a fight of it."

It was a harder fight than it might have been, though. The home guard, with Taylor replacing the injured Abdoulaye Faye, were still finding their feet when they fell a goal behind. From wide and deep on the right, Emmanuel Ebou spotted Adebayor in space in the vicinity of the penalty spot and clipped the ball forward for his team-mate to chest down and send a right-foot volley past Shay Given.

Just over three minutes gone; 1-0 to the Arsenal; and a ninth league goal of the campaign for the Gunners' Togolese marksman. Allardyce grimaced in the directors' box but almost cracked a smile a minute later. Sadly for the Newcastle manager, Geremi is no Adebayor when it comes to finishing. Rising to meet James Milner's ball from the left, he sent his header a foot wide of the post.

The atmosphere had been electric from the start and the Toon Army remained defiantly positive, even when Arsenal showed signs of clicking into the groove that had Aston Villa chasing shadows for 45 minutes last Saturday. It took a near-post block from Given to thwart Adebayor after the 6ft 4in "Kanu with pace", as Wenger dubbed him, skipped past Taylor and Nicky Butt and bore down on the home goal in his deceptively languid fashion.

Not that the traffic was one way. Far from it. Just before the half-hour mark, Geremi thumped a free-kick under the defensive wall, drawing the first save of note from Manuel Almunia. Then, 10 minutes before the interval, Taylor got his head to a right-wing corner from Charles N'Zogbia and Almunia pushed the ball on to his right-hand post. It was a first-class save unassisted by a helping hand from Lassana Diarra, as TV replays confirmed.

There was a big hand all round as Taylor and his team-mates departed at half-time and they got straight back on the front foot after the break, Almunia fielding a long-range effort from N'Zogbia. It might have been different had Tomas Rosicky not run into traffic with Adebayor screaming for a return ball on the break.

As it was, though, Newcastle were level on the hour courtesy of some defensive pussyfooting. Eduardo da Silva was caught trying to dribble out of trouble wide on the left, affording Habib Beye the opportunity to sling the ball into the area, where Alan Smith flicked a header on to Taylor, who smacked a right-foot shot in off the left post.

Newcastle might have pinched the three points, Ebou making a late goalmouth clearance from a David Rozenhal header. Still, the home players left the pitch to the announcement that they had all been voted "man of the match". As for their manager, it was a point of honour. Whether it proves to be a turning point remains to be seen.

Newcastle (4-4-2): Given; Beye, Rozenhal, Taylor, N'Zogbia; Geremi (Viduka 77), Butt, Barton, Emre; Martins, Smith. Substitutes not used: Harper (gk), Enrique, Emre,Edgar.

Arsenal (4-4-1-1): Almunia; Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy; Ebou, Gilberto, Diarra, Rosicky; Eduardo (Bendtner, 68); Adebayor. Substitutes not used: Lehmann (gk), Denilson, Song, Walcott.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments