The Seagulls ended 2017 with a 0-0 draw against Newcastle United at St James’ Park – here are five talking points from the contest in the north east.
Albion’s draw with Newcastle United at St James’ Park was their third clean sheet in their last four Premier League matches. A 0-0 draw with Burnley at the Amex a fortnight ago was followed by a 1-0 victory over Watford on the south coast seven days later.
The draw on Tyneside was also the side’s eighth shut-out of the campaign so far.
SAVED ATTEMPTS BY RYAN
Australian stopper Matthew Ryan once again played a key role in the Seagulls taking something from the contest. The goalkeeper made a smart double save from Dwight Gayle in the opening period – the second stop a quick reaction to pounce on a loose ball from the forward’s original effort on goal.
In the second half the keeper was alert to palm away a deflected shot from Isaac Hayden from close range, and equally agile to keep out Gayle’s header from Christian Atsu’s left-wing cross as well.
CHRIS’S TOON RETURN
Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton returned to St James’ Park to a warm reception from the Tyneside’s club’s supporters.
The 52,000-sell-out crowd acknowledged the Albion boss both before and after the contest as spoils were shared in the north east.
DEFENSIVE DUO GO CLOSEST
Albion’s best chances went to the central defensive partnership of Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk – with the pair going close respectively in either half.
Irishman Duffy headed Pascal Gross’ corner from the left-hand side narrowly over the crossbar a few minutes before the break.
Dunk then headed towards goal following the former’s knock back across goal from another set-piece from the German midfielder – but Karl Darlow clawed the Englishman’s header away from danger as the trio looked the Seagulls’ biggest threat on the afternoon.
A GOOD YEAR
The game was Albion’s final contest of the calendar year, as the Seagulls ended 2017 at St James’ Park.
The last 12 months have been a hugely successful one for everyone involved with Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, with the highlight undoubtedly being promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history in April.
With 22 points from 21 matches at the halfway mark in the top flight this term, it has been a memorable and positive year for the Seagulls, who begin 2018 with a game at home to AFC Bournemouth on New Year’s Day lunchtime.