Newcastle United continued their impressive unbeaten run in the Premier League after holding league leaders Arsenal to a goalless draw on Tuesday evening, with the Magpies’ only loss this term having come away to Liverpool back in August.
The Magpies had more than held their own in what was a fiercely contested encounter in north London, with referee Andy Madley having notably dished out five yellow cards prior to the interval as a sign of the ferocious nature of the battle.
On a night in which the Tynesiders were at times forced to dig deep in order to repel their rampant hosts, a rare opening did fall the way of Brazilian powerhouse, Joelinton, only for the midfielder to inexplicably header wide just before the break.
As it proved, Eddie Howe’s men were ultimately left thankful for the goalkeeping heroics of Nick Pope to help keep the Gunners at bay, with the Englishman superbly denying Eddie Nketiah from the angle in the closing stages.
That commanding outing – in which the summer signing made four saves – saw the former Burnley stopper rack up his tenth league clean sheet of the campaign, while also recording a solid match rating of 7.9, as per Sofascore.
The only Newcastle figure to better that figure, however, was Kieran Trippier, with the 32-year-old recording an 8.4 match rating after yet again proving something of a hero for the northeast side from his right-back berth.
The “relentless” ace – as lauded by journalist Dom Smith – was typically dominant defensively as he won five of his seven total duels, having notably been “exceptional” in dealing with opposition winger, Gabriel Martinelli, according to the Telegraph’s Sam Dean.
The 53-touch maestro – who made four tackles in total on the night – also offered a real threat in an attacking sense as he recorded a respectable haul of three key passes, with that the joint-most of any player for either side.
Trippier – who produced a ‘superb captain’s display‘ according to the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder – was ultimately crucial in helping to maintain the away side’s truly imperious defensive record, having shipped just 11 goals in 18 league outings thus far this term.
While it may not have been pretty at times, that latest result has illustrated once again the great strides that the St James’ Park outfit have made under Howe this season, with the visitors having fought tooth and nail to earn a point that keeps them firmly in the top-four race.
For all the plaudits that will flood in for the aforementioned Pope following that clash, it is also worth noting just how influential Trippier was once again as the real leader in the side.