Eddie Howe has praised the defensive performance of his Newcastle United side as they earned a goalless draw at Arsenal on Tuesday evening.
With the two teams beginning the match sitting first and third respectively, a negative result for either team could have had implications for their respective Premier League title bids.
Both teams were squaring off at the Emirates Stadium having lost just one fixture apiece all season, and that is how it remained as they played out an entertaining share of the spoils.
Although Newcastle had their moments in North London, they rode their luck during the early and latter stages as Arsenal bid to open up a 10-point lead at the top.
At the full-time whistle, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was left frustrated at a penalty decision not going his side's way, leading to a heated confrontation with Howe.
The Spaniard also made a point in his post-match interview of claiming that Newcastle had reverted to negative tactics to face his side.
Nevertheless, while admitting that his team had not been at their best, Howe has acknowledged that he was delighted with the "mentality" of his players in keeping yet another clean sheet.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Howe said: "I think it was a very, very good defensive display and great mentality from the group. You saw good teamwork and a collective effort. I think Arsenal are very good and pose different problems so we knew defensively we needed to be rock solid.
"I don't think there were many periods in the game where we were totally OK. We did have our moments - I don't think we were great on the ball - but we had our moments to potentially nick it on the counter-attack or with a set-piece.
"We settled down after 15-20 minutes and started to play but Arsenal are a top side and we did well in the second half as pressure grew to be resilient. I was a little disappointed we couldn't pose more of a threat. We could have done a bit better with but the lads gave everything."
While Newcastle were able to retain hold of third position in the standings, they are now level on points with Manchester United, who also possess a game in hand, after they breezed past Bournemouth by a 3-0 scoreline.No Data Analysis info