Fabricio Coloccini - Newcastle United News

There was no pre-Christmas swan stuffing as Swansea had the woodwork to thank as they hung on to a 0-0 draw with Newcastle at St James’ Park. Demba Ba and Fabricio Coloccini went closest as Michel Vorm’s goal lived somewhat of a charmed life and Brendan Rodgers’ side headed back to Wales with a point.

It was the second week running that Newcastle have failed to take maximum points against a newly promoted side and their fifth without a win. However, the signs were there that their early-season high is not over as they created plenty of chances to take all three points and weren’t troubled defensively.

Prior to the match there were tributes paid to Gary Speed, with “Bread of Heaven” echoing round a packed St James’ Park, which included Speed’s family. In the 11th minute, cards were raised to show a black and white number 11, Speed’s preferred shirt number in his illustrious career.

Tim Krul didn’t have a save to make for the first time all season, and it was his Dutch international team-mate Vorm who had a typically busy afternoon.

Yohan Cabaye’s corner was the first opportunity for the home side, when Fabricio Coloccini, returning from injury, met the Frenchman’s delivery with a firm header, only to see the effort strike the outside of the post.

Ba went close too, when his spectacular volley was kept out by Vorm, but the Magpies couldn’t find the breakthrough. Overall, they had 17 attempts on the visitors’ goal without success, whilst in response the Swans only managed three off-target efforts.

Jonas Gutierrez went agonisingly close too, when his stunning 20-yard effort flew inches past Vorm’s post. Ba had another chance early in the second half but couldn’t control his volley at the far post.

Swansea were poor with possession, a sight that the fans of the Welsh club aren’t used to, but after an hour of relentless Newcastle pressure, they started to attack and try and nick all three points. Scott Sinclair went closest, but his effort at the far post wasn’t good enough to test Krul.

Haris Vuckic and the Ameobi brothers came on to try and win the game for the Geordies as Hatem Ben Arfa watched on from the bench, but Shola’s late effort was equalled by Vorm. Ba had one final chance for the home side, but his effort was wild and flew over Vorm’s crossbar.

The point keeps Newcastle in 6th, but if Liverpool get anything from tomorrow’s game against Aston Villa, Alan Pardew’s side will be in 7th come Christmas time, which is still some achievement given the scepticism that surrounded the club before the season had kicked off.