League One side Oxford United took Premier League Newcastle to an FA Cup fourth-round replay with a battling performance at St James’ Park.
The Magpies named a full-strength team, with debutant Nabil Bentaleb forcing a good save from Simon Eastwood from 20 yards.
Newcastle striker Joelinton had two goals correctly disallowed for offside.
Oxford had the best chances to win the game in injury time, with Nathan Holland having a shot tipped over by Karl Darlow and Rob Dickie heading over the bar from the corner.
Newcastle at full strength but held again
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has a refreshing attitude to the FA Cup.
Having reached the 2014 final with Hull, he has targeted it as a tournament Newcastle can have a run in, admitting they are not going to win the league.
They have not reached the fifth round since 2005-06 and just as they did against Rochdale in the previous round, they will need a replay if they are to progress.
It was a celebratory atmosphere to start with – a 52,000 sell-out as rumours circulated about a possible Saudi Arabian takeover.
Bruce named his strongest side – with Allan Saint-Maximin returning from injury and causing Oxford plenty of problems – as well as forcing Eastwood into three saves.
Joelinton had his usual struggles in front of goal but found the net twice, though both times while in offside positions.
They did have a strong penalty appeal on Joelinton in the first half, with captain Jamaal Lascelles heading over moments later.
Substitute Matty Longstaff went close moments after coming off the bench but in truth Newcastle did not do enough to win.
Oxford fully deserve replay – and it could have been better
Oxford have been excellent this season, although performances have dipped recently – with one win in six games including this one.
They played well, although were not at their best, and may feel this is a game they would have won a month ago.
They let Newcastle know they were in for a battle early on when Dickie and Joelinton clashed in an aerial challenge and both players needed bandages on their heads for the majority of the game.
Watched by the largest crowd they have ever played in front of outside Wembley, they had their first ever VAR moment when the video assistant referee checked out a potential Magpies penalty for a tackle on Joelinton, but the U’s escaped.
They contained Newcastle in the first half and created several match-winning chances in the second.
Marcus Browne will rue the moment he was sent in one-on-one by Alex Gorrin but shot straight at Darlow.
It could have been even better had Holland scored his first U’s goal in injury time – or Dickie kept his header lower. But the Oxford owners will not complain about Newcastle heading to town for a replay in front of a full Kassam Stadium. And Robinson will fancy his chances of winning that.
‘We didn’t do enough’ – what they said
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “Frustrating, disappointing. We didn’t do enough basically. Oxford, you have to say well done to them, they came and made it difficult for us but this is one of those where we didn’t play well enough. We are still in the hat and we will go there and I am sure be better than we were tonight.
“We didn’t pass the ball well enough, we didn’t create enough. It was one of those afternoons where too many of them didn’t get to a level they can. It is disappointment for all those thousands that came today and we didn’t play well enough to get in the tie. It was a poor performance all round.
“It is what it is. We can’t make many changes because of the injuries we have. We accept we have had a tough time with injuries so we will be as strong as we can be.”
Oxford United manager Karl Robinson speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “It’s incredible. We’ve played three Premier League teams this season and only one of them has beaten us – Manchester City. So I have got to give credit to my players.
“For the fans who turned out, it just shows you this cup has got a wonderful presence. My players were exceptional. Probably say we got the best chance of the game. All in all a very good performance by my players and I am very pleased with them.
“I thought we tried to play, which was brave of the players. We started nervously and I wasn’t happy. I told them to relax and once they did that they got to grips with the game a bit more.”
Both sides are in league action next Saturday. Oxford host Blackpool in League One (15:00 GMT), with Newcastle at home to Norwich in the Premier League (15:00).