Alexander Isak rescues point but Newcastle frustrated again by Bournemouth

·2-min read

Alexander Isak’s second-half penalty salvaged a point for Newcastle but Eddie Howe’s men are still searching for their first Premier League win since the opening day of the season after they were held by Bournemouth at St James’s Park.

Howe’s first game as manager against the club he coached from the depths of League Two to the top flight threatened to turn into one to forget when Philip Billing put the Cherries in front just beyond the hour mark.

But the Magpies were granted a lifeline three minutes later when a VAR check highlighted a handball in the box by Jefferson Lerma, enabling Isak to step up and sweep home his second goal of the season from the spot.

Nevertheless it proved another frustrating afternoon for the home side who, for all their early-season promise, can now boast a single win in seven and continue to struggle to turn their territorial possession into clear-cut chances.

It took 18 minutes for the lively Miguel Almiron to muster Newcastle’s first shot on target, whilst Bournemouth, largely pinned back in their own half, still managed to threaten through Ryan Christie and a Marcus Tavernier header that flashed just wide.

Kieran Trippier struck the outside of Neto’s right-hand post with a 27th-minute free-kick, but the Magpies did not really look likely to break the deadlock until a frantic minute shortly before the interval.

Joelinton hooked an effort that hit the inside of the post and flashed back across the face of goal, before the Brazilian’s second chance was well saved by Neto.

The Bournemouth goalkeeper did even better moments later when he dived acrobatically to stop a fierce drive from Ryan Fraser, who had been mercilessly barracked by the visiting fans over the manner of his departure from their club two years ago.

Fraser curled another effort just wide early in the second half but it hardly inspired the much sought-after onslaught, in fact it was Bournemouth who visibly grew in confidence and started to create space on the counter-attack.

Their growing confidence paid off in the 62nd minute when Jordan Zemura made unimpeded progress down the left flank and slotted through to Billing who shot low past Pope for the opener.

Despite Isak’s coolly-taken spot-kick three minutes later, the visitors continued to play with more freedom.

Newcastle pressed but remained blunt up front, substitute Jacob Murphy appealing in vain for a second spot-kick when his drive from the edge of the box appeared to strike Billing on the shoulder.

Six minutes of added time saw more of the same as the Bournemouth rearguard dealt competently with all the hosts could throw at them, sealing another encouraging afternoon for their caretaker-boss Gary O’Neil.