Newcastle dominated the stats sheet but offered very little going forward as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday.
Phillip Billing poked home against the run of play early in the second half but an immediate response from the penalty spot from Alexander Isak proved to be the only moment of real quality from any Newcastle player in the attacking third.
Newcastle began the game on top and had Bournemouth pinned back for large parts of the opening 15 minutes, although the Cherries nearly opened the scoring as Marcus Tavernier beat Dan Burn to a header but couldn’t keep it on target.
Howe’s men had over 70% possession as the clock ticked past 20 minutes, but all they had to show for their dominance was half-chances for Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron – until Kieran Trippier’s excellent free-kick hit the outside of the post and went wide.
The pressure on the Bournemouth goal ramped up shortly before the interval. Joelinton hit the post before Neto pulled out an excellent diving save to deny Bruno Guimaraes and keep the scores level heading into the break.
Ryan Fraser dragged wide within a few minutes of the restart as Newcastle continued their tepid onslaught. Bournemouth dropped into a back five and Howe’s side took far too much time figuring out how to play against that.
Against the run of play, Bournemouth actually grabbed the opener as Jordan Zemura’s cross found Billing, who prodded home past Pope to give his side the ultimate smash-and-grab lead just after the hour mark.
That advantage didn’t last too long, however. Jefferson Lerma’s handball was caught by VAR and the ensuing penalty was confidently dispatched by Isak two minutes later.
Despite conceding that equaliser, Bournemouth looked increasingly comfortable at the back as the game progressed, and they held on to what was a hard-fought point.