Newcastle 0-0 Swansea City: Alan Pardew’s men go five games without a win following scoreless draw
The Magpies spurn several chances in front of goal with Demba Ba particularly guilty, as Swans keeper Michel Vorm keeps visitors in the game with a string of fine saves
By Simon Sinclair at the Sports Direct Arena
Demba Ba was twice denied by the post and spurned several efforts as the Magpies dominated the game, but came up against a resilient Swans defence, with stopper Michel Vorm keeping Brendan Rodgers’ side in the game with a string of fine saves.
Fit-again skipper Fabricio Coloccini came back into Newcastle’s starting line-up after missing last week's defeat to Norwich and was joined by fellow long-term absentee Cheick Tiote, who started in midfield.
Leon Best was also recalled by Alan Pardew to start alongside in-form striker Ba, while there was place for Ryan Taylor in the Magpies XI.
Swansea made two changes to the team that beat Fulham with Joe Allen and Danny Graham replacing Luke Moore and Leroy Lita as they switched to a 4-3-2-1 formation.
The Magpies started the game with a quick tempo and nearly opened the scoring from a Yohan Cabaye free-kick, which just whistled over the bar of Vorm with the keeper beaten.
Newcastle were having a lot of success down the right-hand side through Gabriel Obertan, however, the Frenchman couldn’t find the decisive final ball into the box, which happened on more than one occasion after beating his man, much to the frustration of the home fans.
Pardew’s side had another great chance to take the lead when Cabaye lifted a pin-point free-kick into the box which was met by Coloccini, but his diving-header hit the post from just three-yards out.
Ba, who has scored 11 goals this season, almost added to his tally when he latched onto Best’s knockdown in the box, but his volley into the ground smacked the post after beating the outstretched hand of Vorm and bounced away from goal.
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The home side were having the better of the play and but couldn’t find that elusive breakthrough, as Davide Santon rushed down the left and hit a decent ball into the box which somehow missed Best and Ba as both tried to get a foot onto it.
Newcastle’s build up play was excellent and their physical dominance in the area was causing the visitors problems, which nearly led to an opening goal, as Ba again pounced on Jonas Gutierrez’s header but his spectacular volley was well saved by Vorm.
The Magpies started the second half like they did the first, and should have taken the lead as Ba wriggled free of his marker at the back-post and met Danny Simpson’s cross, only to blast his effort over from two yards.
Pardew’s side were in control of possession but the visitors did look dangerous on the break with the pace of Scott Sinclair and Wayne Routledge, however, their final delivery was suspect and rarely troubled the Newcastle defence.
Swansea’s backline was determined and if they failed to stop the Magpies, then Vorm was ready to take centre stage as he denied Ba with a good save as the striker’s header looked to be looping into the back of net.
The hosts were nearly made to pay for their missed chances as the Swans broke up-field with Sinclair, who cut inside the Magpies defence before firing an effort at goal which went just wide of Tim Krul’s post.
The visitors broke again soon after, this time down the right through Routledge, but the winger could not find Graham, who had peeled off his marker in the middle of the area as the cross sailed over his head.
Pardew’s side threw everything forward to try and force a deserved winner but couldn’t find a way past Vorm and a resilient Swansea defence, as they extended their run to five games without a win as the visitors earned a precious away point.
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