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).

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little