Poor finishing cost Newcastle as they began life after Yohan Cabaye tonight, as the Magpies left Carrow Road after a goalless draw with Norwich City.

Loic Remy struck the post and the crossbar before later being sent off for fighting with Bradley Johnson and Hatem Ben Arfa also wasted a gilt-edged opportunity just before the break.

Cabaye’s absence hardly limited the Geordies though, as they dominated from start to finish and created numerous chances. The only problem they had was finishing them off, something which new signing Luuk De Jong may be able to help with should tomorrow’s medical go smoothly.

The main tormenter was Ben Arfa, who stepped into Cabaye’s role as chief playmaker and looked back to his best as Newcastle caused Norwich problems from the off.

First, Remy was denied by the woodwork as he attempted a trademark curling shot after cutting inside from the left wing before Ben Arfa tested John Ruddy in the Norwich goal with a powerful drive.

The former Marseille winger then wasted the best opportunity of the match just before half-time. Sammy Ameobi – making a rare start as Cabaye’s absence created an opportunity – linked up with Remy nicely before cutting back for Ben Arfa, who made a mess of the finish when well placed.

Newcastle’s domination continued in the second half but again the woodwork stopped them from taking the lead. This time an effort worthy of breaking any deadlock – a stunning 25-yard Remy free kick – thundered back off the bar with Ruddy well beaten.

Norwich had created little during the course of the match but after riding their luck so many times, they almost won it with two late chances.

Robert Snodgrass forced Tim Krul into a fantastic save with a diving header at the far post, before Gary Hooper blasted past the Dutch goalkeeper only to see his effort come back off the bar.

Then the unsavoury scenes unfolded, as Remy and Johnson got into a scuffle with less than ten minutes remaining.

The trouble started when the two were jostling for the ball before they exchanged pushes and went nose to nose near the touchline. Johnson then reacted as if he had been butted – even though there was clearly no intention from Remy – and referee Chris Foy sent both men off.

That means Remy will miss Saturday’s derby against Sunderland, giving new man Luuk De Jong the ultimate baptism of fire.