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Page last updated at 19:11 GMT, Saturday, 22 November 2008

Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle

By Andrew McKenzie

Michael Owen battles for the ball in the air for Newcastle
Owen and his team-mates were rewarded for a fine defensive effort

Chelsea were left frustrated after being held to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge by Newcastle.

The Blues were not at their fluent best but still created enough chances to have won the game.

Frank Lampard was denied by a stunning Shay Given save and Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic both went close.

Newcastle defended stoutly, but Joe Cole had a goal disallowed for offside and Chelsea claimed Given had carried a Lampard free-kick over the line.

Blues boss Luiz Felipe Scolari cut a dejected figure on the touchline as he saw his side fail to win at home for the third time in four games.

In contrast, Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear, who confirmed after the game he will continue in the role until the club is sold, milked the applause of their fans after they held on for a battling point.

The north-east club went into the game without an away win since March and having not tasted success at Stamford Bridge for 22 years.

Kinnear hails season's best display

They rarely looked like coming away with a victory but were rewarded with a crucial point for a sterling defensive display.

Chelsea should have led when Florent Malouda picked out an advancing Lampard, but his point-blank header was spectacularly kept out by a flying one-handed save by Given.

Lampard was fit to start despite missing England's midweek friendly in Germany, with Joe Cole and Ashley Cole also lining up for club after being unavailable for their country.

Newcastle handed a first start in seven weeks to England outcast Michael Owen, but the striker found himself more occupied with helping out their overworked midfield as the Magpies got men behind the ball.

It was a tactic that worked in the opening half as, for all their possession, Chelsea were restricted to half-chances.


Nicolas Anelka scuffed a shot from outside the box and Malouda could not apply the finish to a powerful run at the heart of Newcastle's defence.

Anelka's persistence down the left led to a header over the bar from defender Ivanovic.

Chelsea full-backs Jose Bosingwa and Cole almost combined for the opening goal, with the former picking out the latter at the far post only for his stooping effort to somehow stay out.

Ivanovic saw a thumping header flash just wide of the post from a Lampard free-kick as Chelsea finished the half strongly.

They stepped up the pace after the break with Anelka seeing a deflected shot kept out by Given's chest.

The home side had a goal disallowed goal when Joe Cole was adjudged offside after following up Malouda's shot.

Scolari praises stubborn Newcastle

Chelsea were unhappy with the decision and they were further aggrieved when they felt Given had carried a Lampard free-kick over the line, with replays proving inconclusive.

The last half an hour saw Chelsea almost camped in the Newcastle half but they seemed to run out of attacking ideas.

Habib Beye pinched the ball off the head of Anelka in front of goal and substitute Michael Ballack shot into the side-netting as Newcastle clung on defiantly and Chelsea missed a chance to go clear at the top.

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari:
"We played 70% of the game in the opponent's half and we tried 10 times to score a goal. They didn't try to make anything against us.

"Who won today? Newcastle because they came here to draw with us. The players tried but it is not the day for us.

"The man on the pitch is the boss. I didn't like this referee today but he's the referee and if he said it is offside it is offside. Finish."

Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear:
"It was a magnificent performance and about the best we've played as a team. Shay Given pulled off some great saves but as a team it was as good as it gets.

"I don't think Chelsea created a clear-cut chance. Our commitment was magnificent. We've drawn at Manchester United and Chelsea. It's not bad is it?

"I'm delighted with the performance and we can go on from this."

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Joe Cole (Ballack 82), Deco, Lampard, Malouda (Kalou 72), Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Sinclair, Bridge, Ferreira, Mineiro.

Newcastle: Given, Beye, Coloccini, Bassong, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez (N'Zogbia 76), Guthrie, Butt, Duff, Martins (Ameobi 61), Owen.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Cacapa, Edgar, LuaLua, Carroll.

Booked: Gutierrez, Guthrie.

Att: 41,660.

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Newcastle's Shay Given (8.13 on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Kinnear to stay for another month
22 Nov 08 |  Newcastle
Premier League as it happened
22 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
22 Nov 08 |  Football
Chelsea Player Rater
22 Jul 08 |  Live Text

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