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Season 2017-18
Brighton & Hove Albion (h) Premier League
since 2012

Saturday 30th December 2017, 3.00pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Insipid



0 - 0




Half time: Magpies 0 Seagulls 0

Full time: Magpies 0 Seagulls 0

We Said



Rafa Benitez:

"Obviously we are not happy because we wanted to win. We created a little bit, but not too much, and they were well organised, so it was difficult to break them down.

"Their goalkeeper still made a couple of saves and it could be better for us, but I would say they were maybe doing well, they managed the tempo of the game and they were controlling what they wanted.

"Then we know they are dangerous at counter-attacks and set-pieces. It's a pity but at least the team was fighting and giving everything like they do in every game.

"I think in the second half, we had more chances and we were pushing harder so this is the positive thing. The reaction of the team is that if something is wrong then they don't give up and they continue, so that is a positive too.

"In these kind of games, you have to try and get three points. It was a difficult game.

"The anxiety is coming because we have a young team and not too many have experience of the Premier League and then we have to cope with this pressure at the bottom of the table. 

"We have to learn, we have to improve.

"Like I said before, they were managing the tempo of the game and you couldn't create too much, but at least we were solid more or less in the defensive half and that is the positive thing. The bad thing is that we have to win these games.

"I think the fans are amazing for the team and they have to be behind the team all the time. When you don't win a game that everyone is suspecting that you have to win, then they have to be disappointed but at the same time, they know that these players are giving everything."

Asked about transfers:

"At the moment I don't know...we have to continue working, trying to find some targets and at the same time be sure we are focused on Stoke."

They Said

Chris Hughton said:

"I thought we were good today. In regards to the result, I think on the balance of play, it was a fair result but on the day, I thought we were the better side of the two.

"In terms of chances, we needed Mat Ryan in particular to make one very good save and it got very edgy towards the end as it would do away at Newcastle. I thought we had some really good periods in the game.

"We have to take the point on the road because we are the away team and there is more pressure on a club to win their games at home, particularly against the teams who are in the same area of the league as you and teams that you think there is an opportunity to get your points from.

"As the away team, if you can pick up points and have a good enough home record over a period of time then generally, you will be OK.

"I have to be pleased because we are new to this division, we have a few players in the squad who have played in the Premier League, but the lads have stepped up to it really well.

"Apart from the Liverpool game, which can happen to anybody, we've been in most games. We've got to get that complete balance which you need of playing well, scoring goals and playing exciting football.

"It's difficult to get that balance and that bit in the final third is probably the hardest thing to find. But we're working as hard as we can, and as long as we can stay in games, we think we've got a chance."


Game 21 of the season for Newcastle saw them move on to 19 points. Following the home loss to Watford (game 13 when we had 14 points), Rafa Benitez set a target of six points from six games - his side have managed five in eight. 

That points total of 19 is one ahead of Steve McClaren at the same point in the 2015/16 season, but four behind Joe Kinnear in 2008/09.

This was United's first 0-0 draw since a Championship blank at Birmingham City last March and their first in the Premier League since May 2016, at Aston Villa. The most recent SJP stalemate was the meeting with Stoke City in October 2015.

Chris Hughton made his fourth managerial return to SJP since leaving his position as Newcastle boss in 2010 and won a first point, following a pair of defeats for his Norwich side (0-1 in 2012/13, 1-2 in 2013/14) and Brighton's 0-2 loss here last season. 

Seagulls @ St. James' - all time:

2017/18 drew 0-0
won 2-0 Lascelles, Shelvey
1991/92 lost 0-1
1990/91 drew 0-0
1989/90 won 2-0 Gallacher, Quinn
1985/86 lost 0-2 (FAC)
1983/84 won 3-1 Keegan, Waddle, Beardsley
1982/83 lost 0-1 (FAC)
1978/79 lost 1-3 Shoulder
1961/62 won 5-0 Leek 3, Tuohy, Hale
1929/30 won 3-0 Gallacher 3 (FAC)

NUFC's year ending results - last 20:

2017/18 Brighton (h) drew 0-0
2016/17 Nottingham Forest (h) won 3-1
2015/16 West Bromwich Albion (a) lost 0-1
2014/15 Everton (h) won 3-2
2013/14 Arsenal (h) lost 0-1
2012/13 Arsenal (a) lost 3-7
2011/12 Liverpool (a) lost 1-3
2010/11 Spurs (a) lost 0-2
2009/10 Derby County (h) drew 0-0
2008/09 Liverpool (h) lost 1-5
2007/08 Chelsea (a) lost 1-2
2006/07 Everton (a) lost 0-3
2005/06 Spurs (a) lost 0-2
2004/05 Arsenal (h) lost 0-1
2003/04 Blackburn (h) lost 0-1
2002/03 Spurs (h) won 2-1
2001/02 Chelsea (h) lost 1-2
2000/01 Manchester United (h) drew 1-1
1999/00 Leicester City (a) won 2-1
1998/99 Liverpool (a) lost 2-4

An update on that NUFC with/without Jamaal Lascelles in 2017/18 stat:

With: 2,1,0,0,1,1,1,2,0,1,1,1,1,2,1,0 = conceded 15 goals in 16 games
Without: 4,3,2,3,3 = conceded 15 goals in 5 games





Two Championship sides settled for a Premier League point apiece at St. James' Park on Saturday, following an instantly forgettable encounter that was barely worthy of the closing spot on that night's edition of Match of The Day

Newcastle's first home point since October ended a five game losing run at Gallowgate, but brought little comfort at the final whistle - and even less joy when other full time results arrived.

Having stonewalled their way to a single goal loss against champions-elect Manchester City, a more positive performance was anticipated and a starting lineup augmented by Dwight Gayle, Mikel Merino, Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu boosted those hopes. 

However an uninspiring first half brought only fleeting glimpses of attacking intent from the hosts; Merino sending a couple of shots wide and Gayle's centre testing Albion goalkeeper Matthew Ryan.

Another 52,000 crowd were barely lifted from their slumbers until visiting forward Glenn Murray flung himself to the floor and then earned a lecture from referee Anthony Taylor for his verbal dissent.

The second period almost got off to a flying start, Isaac Hayden's deflected 49th minute shot after a corner causing Ryan to scurry across his goal line before turning the ball round his post. 

A fine 58th minute cross from Atsu on the left then brought an equally good header from Gayle that was blocked by Ryan, but the anticipated onslaught was never to arrive - despite Brighton sitting back in apparent expectation of a frenetic finale.

Quite simply the visitors were never stretched at the back for any length of time: we failed to chase down balls and were unable to inhabit their penalty area. United were erring on the side of caution tactically (perhaps as a consequence of pressing for a winner here against Leicester and ending up empty-handed) but that's not enough to excuse our lackadaisical approach. 

The arrival of messrs Perez, Shelvey and Murphy sadly did nothing to add momentum - a lack of movement and width seeing sideways and backwards passing to the audible anguish of home fans who have now seen us fail to score in five of the last six home games.

Despite the squad rotation of the last week, players looked physically and mentally tired, outweighing the hoped-for confidence boost from both the West Ham and Manchester City outcomes.

We'd worried beforehand that the injury to Rob Elliot that saw him replaced by Karl Darlow could weaken our defence, but he was barely tested as the visitors made it five successive away games without a goal. 

Having beaten Brighton twice last season, it's difficult to see this as anything other than two points lost against a side that we really should have far greater ambitions than - and who have claimed three vital points of their own against us this time round.

If top-flight survival equates to insipid goalless home draws against the likes of Chris Hughton's Seagulls side, then we really are in a desperate plight.

Three successive blanks on home turf is the stuff of relegation certainties and we mustered a similar number of goal efforts today as when overtly parking the bus for 75 minutes against Pep's lot.

There was also another rotten attempt by Gayle at diving to win a penalty in the second half today - neither punished nor acknowledged by the referee.

Wins for Bournemouth and Swansea plus a draw for Huddersfield made this result look even worse - and left us 16th, with 19 points from 21 games.

That's four points off the bottom with three of the four teams currently beneath us having a game in hand. Crystal Palace, West Ham and West Bromwich Albion do at least all face top five sides, but we've rarely prospered by relying on the efforts of others.

Next Monday's opponents, Stoke, were on the receiving end of a 0-5 thrashing at Chelsea - our opening game of 2018 now even more significant in the increasingly desperate quest for points.

Anyone looking for solace in the transfer window though may be in for a disappointment. 

It appears that the owner is in no mood to sanction any repeat of January 2013, when an ailing side with one point more than the current lot were boosted by a 20m outlay on five players
that ultimately proved sufficient to steer the side clear of danger. 

Expect loans and other discards at best this time round - and more days like today.


Page last updated 08 February, 2018