Newcastle held fellow relegation battlers Norwich to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night, despite being down to ten men for more than 80 minutes at St. James’ Park.
Ciaran Clark blasted a clearance against Teemu Pukki and compounded his own error by hauling the striker back as he ran through on goal just nine minutes in. Referee Andy Madley had no hesitation in sending the Magpies defender off, and a VAR review didn’t offer a reprieve.
Billy Gilmour forced Martin Dubravka into a decent save from the resulting free kick, but Newcastle were able to frustrate their visitors for the rest of the first period, restricting them to very few chances and even going close themselves through Joelinton’s long-range effort 20 minutes in.
The hosts felt they should have had a penalty shortly after the break, with Lukas Rupp surviving a VAR review despite appearing to trip Joelinton right on the edge of the area. Eddie Howe’s men didn’t have to wait long for an opportunity from the spot, though, with Gilmour punished for a flailing arm that blocked Federico Fernandez’s header in the box three minutes later.
Canaries keeper Tim Krul got a strong hand to Callum Wilson’s penalty, but couldn’t keep it out.
Newcastle looked like they would hold on with Norwich toothless throughout, but Pukki popped up to produce a perfectly-executed volley into the top corner with little over ten minutes remaining. The Canaries could have won it too, but Dubravka saved well one on one with Pierre Lees-Melou after the Frenchman had dispossessed Fabian Schar to run through on goal in the 93rd minute.
This scrappy relegation dogfight finished all square, and the pair remain in the Premier League’s bottom three. Here’s how the players rated…
Martin Dubravka (GK) – 6/10 – Good save to push away Gilmour’s free kick. Really should have done better to keep hold of the Scot’s cross in the build-up to the equaliser. Half redeemed himself with an excellent save in stoppage time.
Javier Manquillo (RB) – 6/10 – Solid enough but caught too far infield for the leveller.
Fabian Schar (CB) – 7/10 – Really solid after being let down by his original centre-back partner. Big late mistake went unpunished – somehow.
Ciaran Clark (CB) – N/A – Oh jeez. Made a horrible error before hauling Pukki down ten minutes in to earn a straight red card.
Jamal Lewis (LB) – 6/10 – Busy up and down the left in the first period, although it was all a little chaotic. Didn’t really have any impact on the second 45.
Ryan Fraser (RM) – N/A – Sacrificed in the 11th minute for a replacement centre-back.
Jonjo Shelvey (CM) – 7/10 – Clattered an early shot over. Worked hard to keep Norwich’s midfield at bay and crucially kept his discipline.
Joe Willock (CM) – 6/10 – Still able to get forward well despite the one-man deficit. Quiet second half before being swapped for a more defensive option.
Allan Saint-Maximin (LM) – 6/10 – Plenty of trademark bustling dribbles, but they didn’t exactly lead anywhere. Subbed with a quarter of an hour to go.
Callum Wilson (ST) – 7/10 – Somewhat inevitably struggled to get involved after the red card. Fired a half-chance well over from Willock’s cut-back. Not his best penalty, but it ended up in the back of the net.
Joelinton (ST) – 7/10 – Worked hard and fired a decent shot narrowly over in the first half. His defensive work was incredible – put in a huge shift for the team.
Federico Fernandez (CB) – 7/10 – Introduced immediately after Clark’s red card. Forced the penalty with his header.
Isaac Hayden (CM) – 5/10 – Should probably have been back marking Pukki for the equaliser.
Miguel Almiron (LM) – N/A
Tim Krul (GK) – 6/10 – Got a hand to Wilson’s penalty, so maybe should have done better if we’re being harsh.
Max Aarons (RB) – 6/10 – Typically busy down the right but really should have had more of an attacking impact.
Grant Hanley (CB) – 6/10 – Restricted Newcastle to few opportunities, but that was always likely to be the case against ten men.
Ben Gibson (CB) – 6/10 – Same as Hanley but with more passing.
Brandon Williams (LB) – 7/10 – Among Norwich’s top performers from left-back – which says a lot. Taken off for some reason.
Josh Sargent (RM) – 5/10 – Didn’t look comfortable as a winger. Shifted up top alongside Pukki after half-time, which didn’t really help. Subbed.
Lukas Rupp (DM) – 6/10 – All-action, acting as more of a box-to-box midfielder, but a little loose in possession. Lucky not to concede a penalty – or perhaps a free kick – for tripping Joelinton.
Billy Gilmour (CM) – 6/10 – Stung Dubravka’s fingertips with the free kick following Clark’s dismissal. Inevitably saw plenty of the ball as Newcastle sat deep. Not sure what he was thinking as he jumped with his arm in the air to concede the penalty.
Kenny McLean (CM) – 5/10 – Barely saw the ball in the first half, other than slicing a poor shot over. That didn’t really change after the pause.
Christos Tzolis (LM) – 5/10 – Hardly involved and subbed at the break. Really not his night.
Teemu Pukki (ST) – 7/10 – Good pressuring to force Clark’s error. Probably would have preferred not to be hauled back as he ran through, though. Quiet thereafter until showing excellent technique to volley the equaliser into the top corner.
Pierre Lees-Melou (LM) – 6/10 – Brought on at half-time as Norwich moved to a diamond shape.
Adam Idah (ST) – N/A
Dimitrios Giannoulis (LB) – 7/10 – Stayed cool to cushion a loose ball back to Pukki for the equaliser.