sport

Newcastle draw a blank

Newcastle were held to a 0-0 draw by Metalist Kharkiv in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 fixture at St James' Park.

Papiss Cisse had a goal ruled out in each half for offside and missed several other good chances on a frustrating night for Newcastle.

Metalist - whose previous competitive game was on December 6 due to the Ukrainian Premier League's winter break - always offered a threat of their own during an open game.

It took 17 minutes for either side to muster an attempt at goal, Gabriel Obertan cut inside from Moussa Sissoko's square ball to drag a right-foot effort just wide.

Metalist should have taken the lead four minutes later after Marlos slid the ball in between two defenders to set up skipper Sosa, but team-mate Cleiton Xavier accidentally blocked his path to goal.

Cisse had the ball in the net after 23 minutes but the linesman had already raised his flag, wrongly judging that Sissoko - who provided the final pass - was offside in the build-up.

Metalist goalkeeper Oleksandr Goryainov came to the rescue when Cabaye put Cisse through one-on-one before Xavier's header brought the best out of Tim Krul at the other end on 29 minutes.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew brought on Sylvain Marveaux - and later Shola Ameobi - as he looked for something to take to Ukraine next week.

Cisse turned in Sissoko's cross on 74 minutes only for the linesman to again raise his flag, and the Senegalese striker headed straight at Goryainov from point-black range in stoppage time.