Newcastle kept a clean sheet for the third consecutive Europa league match as they drew 0-0 at Anzhi.
The home side, whose matches are in fact played in Moscow, failed to win on their own turf for the first time in the competition, with fellow English side Liverpool one of the teams that were put to the sword in the Russian capital.
But Newcastle seemed to have one priority- containment, namely of superstar striker Samuel Eto'o, which worked superbly, with one long range effort tipped over by the keeper all the striker, and indeed Anzhi, could muster in the first half.
The home side cranked up the pressure a notch or two in the second half, with Eto'o looking increasingly more dangerous, forcing another save from Elliot with an hour played.
Newcastle had few clear cut chances overall, but Hatam Ben Arfa, making his first start since December, came closest with a shot inside the box that was met by the keeper.
The game ended goalless, and whilst Newcastle didn't manage to grab a valuable away goal, they will be optimistic ahead of their return leg at St. James' Park, as victory on the night will be enough to put them through.