Half-Time Report: Goalless between Newcastle United, Benfica

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew before kick-off in the Europa League tie against Metalist Kharkiv on February 14, 2013
© PA Photos
Newcastle United and Benfica play out a goalless first half in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie at St James' Park.

Newcastle United and Benfica have played out a goalless first half in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie at St James' Park.

The Portuguese visitors currently lead the contest 3-1 on aggregate thanks to their victory last week.

Benfica came close to taking the lead with just three minutes on the clock, but Tim Krul reacted quickly to bundle Lima's instinctive effort away with his legs.

Despite the early scare, Newcastle soon grew in confidence but struggled to create any decent chances in front of goal.

Instead they were lucky not to fall behind on 28 minutes when Nicolas Gaitan rounded Krul before seeing his shot cleared off the line by Massadio Haidara.

Newcastle thought that they had scored on the stroke of half time, but Papiss Cisse's strike was correctly ruled out for offside.

Papiss Cisse celebrates with manager Alan Pardew after grabbing the winner against Fulham on April 7, 2013
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