Newcastle United’s Premier League survival still hangs in the balance after a frustrating goalless draw with West Ham at Upton Park. Papiss Cisse had a shot cleared off the line by Winston Reid as the Magpies failed to take all three points, while others around them further endangered Newcastle’s top flight status.

Wins for both Wigan and Aston Villa make the relegation battle all the more intense, as the Latics now only have to win their game in hand (against Swansea on Tuesday night) to plunge Alan Pardew’s side into the bottom three with just two games remaining.

After last week’s debacle against Liverpool, it was an encouraging sign for Newcastle that they were able to keep a clean sheet. The returning Fabricio Coloccini was a large factor in that success, as the visitors looked considerably more solid with the Argentine in their own final third.

Rob Elliot deserves a special mention too, as the Irish goalkeeper pulled off a number of stunning saves to ensure his side escaped the capital with a point, one which could yet keep his side in the division.

Hatem Ben Arfa made his first start since returning from injury and was Newcastle’s brightest spark in the first half, making a number of trademark dribbles through the Hammers’ defence but failing to create any serious chances.

The main talking point came after 19 minutes, when Yohan Cabaye found Cisse with a defence-splitting pass. As Jussi Jaaskelainen rushed out, Cisse scuffed a shot underneath the Finnish keeper, only for Reid to clear off the line.

Next season the Premier League will welcome goal line technology but referee Phil Dowd will have wished he had it at his disposal now, as even numerous TV replays failed to provide a clear conclusion to the incident. The irony is that come the end of the season, that decision could be the difference between a team staying in the Premier League or not.
The home side improved after the break and Toon old boy Andy Carroll was causing problems.

He had a penalty shout turned down when he tangled with Danny Simpson, before forcing a save from the legs of Elliot as he turned smartly inside the area.

Elliot saved his best to deny another former Newcastle player though, as Kevin Nolan attempted to inflict damage on his old club. Matt Jarvis’ cross was met by Nolan and after Elliot palmed the first effort back off the knee of the midfielder, managed to repel the deflection with an instinctive thrust.

Minutes after the double save, Yoan Gouffran had the chance to win it for Newcastle on the counter attack, as he burst clear of the defence to collect a hopeful clearance. With Jaaskelainen charging out, Gouffran headed past him and had the goal at his mercy but was unable to convert from a tight angle.

On balance of the game, a point for either side was certainly fair, although Newcastle will look at replays of the goal line clearance as a potential defining moment of their season.