(Reuters) - Brighton & Hove Albion did everything right except score a goal in a 0-0 Premier League draw at Newcastle United on Saturday that heaped the pressure on both teams.
In a game of few clear chances at St. James’ Park, Newcastle defended for large parts of the match against the visiting side who dominated possession and passing statistics but lacked the cutting edge up front.
Brighton substitute Aaron Connolly nearly stole a winner as he lifted the ball over Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in the 75th minute but Fabian Schar acrobatically cleared it off the line to ensure the match ended goalless.
The result left Steve Bruce’s side with one victory in six matches while, for all of Brighton’s new style of possession play under Graham Potter, the south-coast club have not won since beating Watford 3-0 on the opening day of the season.
“We found it very difficult. We knew Brighton would come and want to take the football and basically we couldn’t get after it well enough,” Bruce told the BBC.
“The Achilles heel is that we have to take big chances when we get them. We couldn’t wait to get them in at halftime. We didn’t deal with Brighton who kept the ball well and they made it a difficult evening for us. We got away with one (point).”
Newcastle brought on Andy Carroll for his first game since rejoining the club on transfer deadline day but the striker, fit again after an ankle injury, failed to spark them.
“It’s a missed opportunity. We dominated the whole game. They stuck Andy Carroll on late on but we defended well,” Brighton defender Lewis Dunk told Sky Sports.
“It was frustrating today. We’re passing the ball well and dominating games but we need to finish teams off... hopefully we’ll be in a more comfortable position at the end of the season. If we play like that, we’ll get there in the end.”
Brighton travel to Chelsea next Saturday while Newcastle face another potentially tough test at Leicester City the following day.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon