This weekend’s game saw Newcastle make the long journey down to Southampton. They travelled to St. Mary’s Stadium for their tenth fixture of the season, and still looking for that elusive first win.
The result? Rafa Benitez’s side did enough to lift themselves off the bottom spot in the league, but only due to goal difference.
Mohamed Elyounoussi had the first chance of the match. Ryan Bertrand’s scuffed volleyed effort ran for Elyounoussi who had stayed onside to the shock of the Newcastle defenders. The Norwegian winger could have squared the ball to Danny Ings for what would have been a certain goal but instead he attempted a little chip over Dubravka which was comfortably saved.
Southampton would come even closer with their next opportunity. Redmond played a through ball to an overlapping Bertrand on the left wing fired in a low driven cross. Lemina directed the ball goal bound at the near post but his shot struck the outside of the post and out for a goal kick. On the stroke of half time Jack Stepehens would come close for the hosts. His headed shot was finding the bottom corner but Dubravka got across his goal quickly to push it away.
The second half saw more of the same as Southampton continued to have the better of the opportunities. They might have had a great chance to score if it weren’t for the Newcastle defence. Elyounoussi played a dangerous cross into the box which found Redmond at the far post. Redmond’s effort was blocked, and the ball bounced to Cedric, whose volley was also blocked before it could test Dubravka. That last chance of the game came from substitute Shane Long in the 89th minute. Gabbiadini turned on the ball and played a through ball to Cedric who cut the ball back to the edge of the box to Long. He dragged his first time shot towards the far post but just missed the target as the ball skipped just past the post.
After their early season struggles Newcastle fans will be happy to see their side pick-up an away draw but the performance will have disappointed those who made the 320-mile journey.
Rafa Benitez was feeling positive with the result and clean sheet in his post-match press conference. Benitez urged the fans to get behind the side as they look forward to two consecutive home matches.
So could this point help calm the team’s nerves and help lift their form around? The optimistic side of me wants to say yes, but the realistic side of me knows that results don’t come that easily in the Premier League. Next weekend Newcastle will host Watford as they continue to look for their first Premier League win this season.
Southampton line-up: McCarthy, Cedric, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand, Redmomd, Lemina, Romeu (Ward-Prowse 78’), Elyounoussi (Long 78’), Ings, Austin (Gabbiadini 63’)
Newcastle line-up: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, (Ki 76’), Kenedy, Muto (Atsu 80’), Perez (Rondon 69’)