Newcastle frustrate Brighton in goalless draw

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(BBC)

Brighton were frustrated by Newcastle at the Amex Stadium in a goalless draw that means both teams are unbeaten after two games at the start of the new Premier League season.

The Seagulls enjoyed the better opportunities and nearly took the lead in the first half when Solly March’s goal-bound effort was cleared off the line – just – by the retreating Kieran Trippier.

Adam Lallana’s second-half header was clawed away by goalkeeper Nick Pope, who came to the Magpies’ rescue again not long afterwards to deny March from close range.

There was no let-up for Newcastle in the latter stages as Joel Veltman’s shot took a deflection off former Brighton defender Dan Burn before being cleared off the goalline by Fabian Schar.

Pascal Gross then diverted Kaoru Mitoma’s low cross agonisingly wide as the hosts were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Other than a first-half Callum Wilson effort that was disallowed for a high boot, Newcastle struggled to create meaningful opportunities.

Burn, who started the match at left-back to make way for summer signing Sven Botman in central defence, sent a free header high over the crossbar in the visitors’ best opening of the second period.

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Seagulls rue wastefulness

Brighton’s intricate, one-touch passing against Manchester United last Sunday was a joy to behold at times as Graham Potter’s side left Old Trafford with a fully deserved victory.

While their brand of football can be easy on the eye, it doesn’t always translate into goals – Potter’s team managed just 19 in the league at the Amex last season, seven of which came in their final two home games.

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Neal Maupay, Brighton’s top goalscorer last term, was left out of the matchday squad on Saturday as he continues to be linked with a move away from the club, with Potter admitting after the game that the striker is “considering things” amid interest from Nottingham Forest.

The hosts will be disappointed not to have claimed another three points here after dominating the second half, but a combination of wayward finishing and fine goalkeeping by Pope proved to be the Seagulls’ undoing.

Brighton might consider themselves unfortunate after being denied by not one but two goalline clearances, but Lallana and Gross should have done much better with their second-half opportunities.

“Taking everything into consideration, on a hot day, difficult playing conditions, our boys were fantastic,” Potter said. “We just missed that last little bit, that last little finish, little piece of quality, and their keeper has made some good saves.”

Following his side’s comfortable win at home to newly promoted Forest last Saturday, Eddie Howe was hoping Newcastle could “impose their style” on a Brighton side who have never lost at home to the Magpies in the top flight.

The visitors had opportunities to hurt their opponents on the counter-attack in the first half through Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, but the Magpies’ final ball was often poor.

“Brighton played very well,” said Howe. “We rode our luck at times but we also showed a lot of spirit and unity.

“We were under the cosh but we stayed calm and we battled through it.”

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