Newcastle United 1-1 Bournemouth: Alexander Isak cancels out Philip Billing opener

Jefferson Lerma handles a cross from Kieran Tripper to give Newcastle a penalty against AFC Bournemouth

Alexander Isak scored his first goal at St James’ Park but Newcastle remain without a win since the opening day of the Premier League season after being held by a disciplined Bournemouth.

Eddie Howe’s side fell behind against his former club when midfielder Philip Billing stretched to steer a Jordan Zemura cross from the left-hand wing past Nick Pope with just over an hour gone.

Five minutes later Newcastle were level as Isak – a club record £60m summer signing from Real Sociedad – converted a penalty after Jefferson Lerma was adjudged to have handled a Kieran Trippier cross by the video assistant referee.

The draw is Newcastle’s fifth of the season and stretches their winless run to six games, although they climb to 10th in the table.

Bournemouth have now claimed five points from an available nine under caretaker manager Gary O’Neil to leave them 12th.

As at all Premier League games this weekend there was a minute’s silence before kick-off, which was impeccably observed, for the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II followed by the national anthem. There was also stadium-wide applause in the 70th minute in honour of her 70-year reign.

Cutting edge lacking for both sides

It has been a frustrating start to the season for Newcastle with goals hard to come by, and this will be another game where they will feel they should have taken three points.

They were dominant for large periods – they had 72% possession and 20 attempts at goal – but again lacked a clinical edge.

They had chances with a Trippier free-kick and a cushioned Joelinton effort both striking posts in the first half.

Bournemouth’s summer signing Neto also tipped away efforts from Joelinton and Ryan Fraser, but the latter, who earned a recall to the Scotland squad this week, and Miguel Almiron spurned good opportunities.

It left Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley looking unimpressed in the stands, with the results this season not yet matching Newcastle’s lofty ambitions.

Howe was similarly frustrated, telling BBC Sport: “I don’t think we played particularly well, we were off our best level. One for us to reflect on.

“I am desperate to win, it feels like a long time for us. We need to win and compete and be the best versions of us.”

A period of change may be forthcoming at Bournemouth too, with a Las Vegas consortium hoping to buy the club.

It has left uncertainty about the manager’s role with O’Neil now in charge since Scott Parker was sacked on 30 August, but it has hard to argue with the results that the former Portsmouth and Middlesbrough midfielder has produced.

Bournemouth looked organised and were prepared to put their bodies on the line, while on another day they could have taken three points as Marcus Tavernier headed wide in the first period before driving wide in the second.

Whether O’Neil will be in charge when Bournemouth host Brentford on 1 October – the next round of Premier League fixtures after the international break – remains to be seen.

“I will be finding out what’s happening club-wise next week and will see what the plan is,” O’Neil told BBC Sport.

“I have no idea what’s happening – I knew I was taking today and I don’t know about further, I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.”

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