Eddie Howe is praying the “football gods” even things up later in the season after Newcastle were denied a victory in a entertaining goalless draw with Crystal Palace.
Record signing Alexander Isak wasted the opportunity to mark his home debut with a goal as Newcastle were held by Patrick Vieira’s men in a game which heralded 42 shots.
The £58m man, who scored in is first appearance at Liverpool in midweek, could not beat Eagles goalkeeper Vicente Guaita one on one just 16 minutes into his home debut in front of an expectant crowd of 51,863 at St James’ Park.
Guaita later saved a Sean Longstaff header and saw Miguel Almiron’s deflected shot come back off the upright. But Nick Pope had to block substitute Odsonne Edouard’s late shot with his right foot to ensure his side came away with a point from a 0-0 draw.
Howe, speaking to BBC Sport said: “It was an incredible game. Two teams going at it trying to deliver. Barring a slow start – or maybe a 15-20 minute period in the middle of the first-half – the lads gave me everything.
“How we have not scored, I’ll let you look back and decide.
“There were more presentable ones [than the Alexander Isak chance]. Everything we tried in and around the goal didn’t work, even the one we did score.”
Howe was left frustrated after Joe Willock’s goal was ruled out by the referee on the pitchside monitor for a foul on the keeper.
Howe: ‘I am not sure what Joe is supposed to do’
Crystal Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell appeared to be the one who had pushed Willock into the goalkeeper with the ball ending up in the net. But Michael Salisbury, who watched the monitor, awarded the free-kick to Palace, much to Howe’s amazement.
“You hope it is not one of those days where you get caught by a sucker punch. I have to credit my players for not losing focus and discipline. In terms of effort and the team pulling together it has been really good.
“We should have more points. One win and a few draws that should be wins, but it is a long season. Performance levels are really good. I hope the football gods level it up and we get points maybe when we’re not playing so well.”