NEWCASTLE, England — Newcastle was frustrated again in the Premier League as it was held to a 0-0 home draw by fellow promoted team Brighton on Saturday.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez recalled his regulars after resting a string of them for the 1-0 defeat by Manchester City in midweek, but those seven changes to the lineup still didn't result in a much-needed victory.
Newcastle is 16th but only a point off the relegation zone and three of the four teams below it have played one game less.
Brighton, which is 12th, nearly emerged with a victory at St. James' Park but Lewis Dunk's 68th-minute header was stopped by Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
Earlier, Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle forced Brighton's Matt Ryan into smart saves at the other end, but Brighton was well organized in defence and superior for most of the game.
Newcastle has taken just 19 points from its first 21 games, has won one of its last 12 league games, and is in danger of getting dragged into the relegation scrap.
Brighton isn't completely safe, either, just three points ahead of Newcastle and four points clear of the bottom three.