, 2020 - Newcastle United had goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to thank as they climbed to 10th spot in the Premier League following a tense 0-0 draw with Norwich City at St. James’s Park on Saturday.
Despite being bottom of the standings, the visitors came out all guns blazing, playing much of the opening 45 minutes in the Newcastle half and forcing Dubravka into two fine first-half saves to keep the scoreline level.
Norwich created plenty of chances and won a slew of corners, but all too often they struggled to get many of them on target. When they did, Dubravka was equal to the task.
Finnish forward Teemo Pukki, Norwich’s top scorer in the league with 11 goals this season, had a great chance to put his side ahead in the 73rd minute, but again Dubravka was quickest to react and Ciaran Clarke was able to clear the danger.
With Norwich pouring forward, new loan signing Danny Rose came on as a substitute to make his debut for Newcastle. They had to work hard to repel yet another Norwich corner deep into stoppage time.
The final whistle prompted boos from the home supporters but favourable results in the day’s other games saw Newcastle rise to 10th place while Norwich remain bottom of the league on 18 points, both from 25 games.
Norwich manager Daniel Farke couldn’t hide his disappointment with the result.
“We were dangerous, they did everything we asked for. We want them to be more brutal with their finishing, but these things happen sometimes. I’m happy with the performance, not the result,” he said.
“We’re not playing to avoid losing, we’re playing to win. It has been four top-class performances in a row,” Farke added.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was almost as disappointed as his side’s supporters, despite their good position in the league.
“We set ourselves up to be difficult to beat. If you look at the record we’ve got, we’ve done fantastically well. Now we have to get a little bit of quality in forward areas,” Bruce said.
Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Christian Radnedge