Saints well beaten at Newcastle

By SFC Media Sat 10 Mar Newcastle v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | James Ward-Prowse
Sat 10 Mar 3PM
Premier League
Newcastle United
3
Southampton
0
Kenedy [2' 29'] Ritchie [57']
Hoedt (48') Stephens (69')
Referee: Andre Marriner | Venue: St James' Park | Attendance: 52,246

Southampton missed the chance to leapfrog their hosts as Newcastle ran out convincing winners at St James’ Park.

Saints endured a nightmare start, falling behind inside two minutes to a neatly-taken goal from Chelsea loanee Kenedy, who added his second at the end of a slick counter-attack before half-time.

Mauricio Pellegrino made a double substitution at the interval in a bid to turn the tide, but instead saw his side fall further behind as Matt Ritchie found the net with a low shot 12 minutes into the second period.

Saints boss Pellegrino made two changes to his side following the goalless draw with Stoke at St Mary’s last time out.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and James Ward-Prowse were drafted into the starting line-up, meaning Oriol Romeu and Josh Sims dropped to the bench.

Rafa Benítez, meanwhile, who formerly managed Pellegrino at Valencia and Liverpool, had promised a more attacking approach after his team were criticised for being too passive in defeat at Anfield.

It took just 63 seconds for that promise to come to fruition.

The influential Jonjo Shelvey played a high ball in behind the Saints defence cleverly controlled with his back to goal by Kenedy, who took it on his chest and spun in one movement, allowing the Brazilian to escape Cédric and finish with a neat finish back across Alex McCarthy.

Shelvey was at it again soon after, as Saints were exposed for a second time by an even better pass that dissected the backline to find Dwight Gayle, who would have had a golden chance to double the lead had his first touch not escaped him.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg returned as one of two changes to the Saints starting line-up

Saints, sporting a modified home kit that included red shorts and a red panel on the back of the shirt to help differentiate from Newcastle’s traditional black and white stripes, were in a state of shock.

Gayle was in again after Mario Lemina was caught in possession inside his own half, and this time McCarthy was called upon to make a diving save low to his left.

Saints did show signs of regaining their composure by dominating possession, but had no chances to show for it by the time Kenedy doubled his tally on the half-hour.

Ironically, it came courtesy of the first corner of the game – a Saints corner.

When Ward-Prowse’s delivery was half-cleared, Lemina’s attempted volley was a swing and a miss that left the midfielder on his backside and allowed Ayoze Perez to lead a barnstorming breakaway.

Perez motored forward, over the halfway line and deep into Saints territory, only slowing down to await the run of Gayle to his right.

When the striker was found, he resisted the urge to go for goal himself and instead played a superb first-time pass across goal for Kenedy to tap in at the far post.

From a Newcastle point of view, it was a brilliant counter-attacking goal. For Saints, painfully preventable.

Kenedy finishes off a lightning-quick breakaway to score his second of the day

Pellegrino responded to a first half to forget with a double change. Off went Lemina and Dušan Tadić, on came Sims and Shane Long.

Before long, Sims was involved. Latching on to Guido Carrillo’s knockdown, the winger looked to have been blocked off by Florian Lejeune as he accelerated away, but referee Andre Marriner was not interested.

At the other end, Newcastle continued to push. Perez headed over from a corner and Kenedy shot wide in search of his hat-trick, before Ritchie killed off any lingering hopes of a revival.

The former Bournemouth man seemed to be stood in space for an age before Shelvey teed him up, inviting the winger to steer an accurate low shot just inside McCarthy’s right-hand post from 20 yards.

Saints did finally trouble Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka when Carrillo got across the near post to meet a low cross from Sims, before Ryan Bertrand header over from a corner.

Sims had done his bit to breathe some life into a well below-par Saints display, and sent Dubravka stooping to his right to repel a powerful drive with his left foot, but that was the best the visitors had to offer.

Newcastle United

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    37
    63
  • Shots
    7
    6
  • Shots on target
    5
    2
  • Corners
    2
    6
  • Passes Complete
    188
    374

Newcastle United

12
Martin Dubravka (GK)
22
DeAndre Yedlin
20
Florian Lejeune
6
Jamaal Lascelles (C)
3
Paul Dummett
15
Kenedy
Christian Atsu (78′)
10
Mohamed Diamé
8
Jonjo Shelvey
Mikel Merino (83′)
11
Matt Ritchie
17
Ayoze Pérez
9
Dwight Gayle
Joselu (69′)
7
Jacob Murphy
23
Mikel Merino
2
Ciaran Clark
26
Karl Darlow
21
Joselu
30
Christian Atsu
19
Javier Manquillo

Southampton

13
Alex McCarthy (GK)
2
Cédric Soares
5
Jack Stephens
6
Wesley Hoedt
21
Ryan Bertrand (C)
11
Dusan Tadic
Shane Long (45′)
22
Nathan Redmond
16
James Ward-Prowse
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
18
Mario Lemina
Josh Sims (45′)
9
Guido Carrillo
Manolo Gabbiadini (66′)
44
Fraser Forster
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
14
Oriol Romeu
19
Sofiane Boufal
39
Josh Sims
7
Shane Long
35
Jan Bednarek
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