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Page last updated at 18:30 GMT, Sunday, 22 February 2009

Newcastle 0-0 Everton

By Phil Dawkes

Kevin Nolan
The game was only Nolan's third since joining from Bolton in January

Newcastle overcame Kevin Nolan's first-half red card to grind out a goalless draw with Everton, but the result does little for either side's ambitions.

Nolan was correctly dismissed for a horrific tackle on Victor Anichebe just before half-time.

Phil Jagielka and Jack Rodwell both missed good chances as Everton failed to make their greater possession count.

Newcastle's best chance fell to Peter Lovenkrands in the first half but he shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

Magpies caretaker manager Chris Hughton had spent the week urging his players to take control of their own Premier League destiny, with the team still perilously close to the relegation zone.

But those sentiments were seriously undermined by Nolan, who launched himself into a horrendous two-footed tackle on Anichebe to give his already weakened side an even more difficult task.

Hughton proud of defensive show

Everton signalled their intent straight from the kick-off as Dan Gosling drove forward and unleashed a shot that skimmed past the right-hand post.

Such a bright opening was in stark contrast to the scenes moments later when midfielder Mikel Arteta jarred his knee and was stretchered from the field.

The 26-year-old has been in excellent form recently, having scored in the Toffees' two previous fixtures and his absence was immediately noticeable.

Everton's customary high work-rate did not dip, but they lacked the creative spark and incisive quality that Arteta provides.

Nevertheless, his replacement Segundo Castillo had his side's next effort with a snap-shot from 20 yards that flew wide of the left-hand post.


This was the first instance of a worrying trend for Newcastle as the visitors slowly took hold of the game and forged a series of openings.

A Leighton Baines corner on the 20-minute mark was glanced goalwards by Joseph Yobo and drew a good fingertip save by Steve Harper.

Moments later a deep Baines cross found Jagielka charging in at the far post but he misdirected his volley past the post when he perhaps should have done better.

Rodwell, who opened his account his Everton account in last week's FA Cup win over Aston Villa, almost opened the scoring when he ghosted in at the far post from another Baines corner, but his volley was parried by Harper.

The Newcastle fans were not slow to voice their disapproval with the first murmurings of discontent emerging in response to their side's inability to gain a significant foothold.

As if on cue, United created their best chance of the game, with Nicky Butt's clever reverse pass to Lovenkrands but with only the keeper to beat the Danish striker somehow managed to put his finish past the post.

The tackle that led to Nolan's sending off also ended Anichebe's match as he limped off minutes later to be replaced by Marouane Fellaini.

As expected with their numerical advantage, Everton largely dominated possession from the outset of the second half.

A poor day for Everton - Moyes

However, they failed to truly test Newcastle's diminished personnel and only Jo's tame downward header and a misdirected long-range strike from substitute Louis Saha caused the home defence any concern.

Newcastle had arguably the best chance of the half when a mistake from Joleon Lescott let in substitute Jonas Gutierrez but his attempted chip from 18 yards drifted over.

It was a chance to claim an unlikely win for Newcastle but under the circumstances they will be grateful to seize the draw.

Newcastle: Harper, Steven Taylor, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor, Butt, Nolan, Duff (Gutierrez 46), Ameobi (Martins 58), Lovenkrands (Smith 77).
Subs Not Used: Krul, Cacapa, Geremi, Viduka.

Sent Off: Nolan (44).

Everton: Howard, Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Gosling (Saha 74), Neville, Arteta (Castillo 7), Rodwell, Anichebe (Fellaini 45), Jo.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Van der Meyde, Jacobsen, Wallace.

Booked: Fellaini.

Att: 47,683

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Everton's Phil Jagielka 6.91 (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
Premier League as it happened
22 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
22 Feb 09 |  Football
Kinnear back home after surgery
22 Feb 09 |  Newcastle
Magpies' Owen has groin operation
22 Feb 09 |  Newcastle

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