Here is a look at what the national media had to say following Newcastle United's draw with Bournemouth.
Newcastle miss opportunity to strengthen grip on top-four
Sam Drury of the BBC said: "It shows how far Newcastle have come under Howe that there will be frustration following a result that keeps gives them a two-point cushion in fourth. But while they are still far exceeding pre-season expectations, they now hold themselves to a higher standard and, up against a side battling relegation, they failed to meet it.
"Bruno Guimaraes was serving the second game of a three-match ban and was sorely missed in the midfield, particularly during an uncharacteristically sloppy first-half showing. There was an improvement in the second half but save for Gordon's gilt-edged chance when Neto spilled Saint-Maximin's shot and smothered Longstaff's follow-up, Newcastle chances were at a premium.
"It is a third straight draw and fifth in six games, and while a point at Arsenal can be seen as a point gained, draws with Leeds, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Bournemouth fall closer to the two points dropped category. For all that a top-four finish this season would appear to show Newcastle are ahead of schedule under Howe, in a season in which Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham are all under-performing to differing extents, a better chance may be a long time coming.
"Newcastle are still ahead of the chasing pack, and with the Carabao Cup final to come as well there is every reason for optimism and enthusiasm at St James' Park, but they will hope this run of draws does not result in a feeling of 'what might have been' come the end of the season."
Almirón salvages point for Newcastle as Eddie Howe returns to Bournemouth
Ben Fisher of The Guardian said: "Eddie Howe always knew his return to Bournemouth would fiddle with his emotions. Long before masterminding their incredible rise from League Two to the Premier League, there were the days when his mother, Anne, would drive him into training as a 12-year-old at the club’s centre of excellence.
"His homecoming inevitably stirred memories but at full-time the thoughts at the forefront of his mind centred on Newcastle’s fifth draw in six league matches extending their unbeaten run to 17 games. After all, he has banned his children from talking about the Carabao Cup final.
"Naturally, there was a tinge of disappointment but Howe also recognised Newcastle were fortunate to end up with a point, surviving a late fright when Kieran Trippier’s goalline clearance approaching seven minutes of second-half stoppage time denied Dominic Solanke, whom Howe signed for Bournemouth, a late winner. Bournemouth’s players prayed Trippier’s intervention was too late to stop Solanke’s backheel from Hamed Traoré’s cross going over the line, but the referee, Stuart Attwell, checked his watch and replays showed the Newcastle captain did just enough.
"At the final whistle Bournemouth fans finally felt able to universally serenade their former manager, their hero. Howe, on his first visit back to this stadium since departing in August 2020, wanted to thank them in return.
"He applauded the away support and then the home fans singing his name from all four sides, giving them a thumbs up and a wave before heading down the tunnel. “It only really struck me at the final whistle when I sort of knew what was about to happen,” Howe said. “It had been a long wait to thank the Bournemouth fans. I was emotional, I’m not going to lie.”
Magpies drop points in the race for Champions League football
Riath Al-Samarri wrote for the Mail: "In the stadium he once called home, there was no great comfort and a little too much familiarity for Eddie Howe. Bournemouth’s reawakening saw to one and another draw saw to the other.
"That’s five in six league games now for Newcastle. No losses in that time, no fall from the top four either, and indeed an extension to 17 for their unbeaten run. But it’s a significant slowing of pace nonetheless and races at the sharp end of this division are rarely forgiving of those in limp mode.
"Of course, it’s the sort of drama that most clubs would love. Relish even. And yet if we believe in such concepts as momentum, then there must be a scintilla of concern for Howe that air is leaking from the balloon when they have forthcoming league games against Liverpool and Manchester City either side of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United.
"That they have created such grand opportunities for themselves tells the story of Howe’s time at the club, which remains at least as big a factor in their rise this season as the immense wealth of their Saudi backers. But that being said, dropping points against Leeds, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Bournemouth does have an ominous ring to it."
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