Newcastle United were held to a goalless draw by Leeds United on their final outing of the calendar year on Saturday afternoon.
Neither side could find a winner at a rain-soaked St James’ Park despite the efforts of Kieran Trippier, who had a hand in most of the Magpies’ best chances of the afternoon.
Leeds dug in to secure a point, denying Eddie Howe’s side a seventh straight Premier League victory in the process.
A fairly even opening half saw both teams show some endeavor in the final third. The tricky Wilfried Gnonto saw his effort dip over the bar as Leeds pressed first but the better opportunities fell to Newcastle. Trippier’s searching pass found Chris Wood, who rounded Illan Meslier with his first touch but couldn’t quite finish.
Trippier’s deliveries, as has been the case since he arrived in Tyneside, were the main source of United’s best attacks. After Joelinton saw a tame shot saved by the visitors’ French shot-stopper, the England full-back’s corner was met by Fabian Schar, who saw his header flash wide.
There were some promising moments for Jesse Marsch’s men, most notably when Brendan Aaronson turned and saw a low drive blocked on its way to goal, but the Magpies remained the most likely to break the deadlock. Another Trippier corner almost resulted in Dan Burn turning home Joelinton’s far-post knockdown before Miguel Almiron fired wide, while a Trippier free-kick almost brought a first United goal for Sven Botman, who saw his sliding effort smothered by Meslier
Jack Harrison zipped through with a jinking run late in the half but couldn’t find the target, while after the break, Schar twisted in the box before blazing over after—who else—Trippier had sent over an inviting free kick. A flick by Dan Burn then presented former Leeds frontman Wood with an opening, but he couldn’t lift the ball over the advancing Meslier instead hitting the goalie square.
Rodrigo, alone up front for Leeds, tested Nick Pope with a curling strike, but it was still Trippier who kept creating chances at the other end. Schar’s header from his set piece was repelled by Meslier, and Sean Longstaff looked certain to score before lashing over the Gallowgate End.
The final quarter of an hour became fractious and stop-start but there were still chances to be had. Leeds broke away with Rodrigo, but the Spaniard’s pass to substitute Mateusz Klich was overhit, while Longstaff blasted another cutback over the bar and Bruno Guimarães saw a late penalty appeal waved away as a hard-fought encounter brought the curtain down on 2022.
Newcastle will visit Arsenal on Tuesday, Jan. 3, as the Premier League's unrelenting schedule keeps churning out games on a daily basis.