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Date: Saturday 20th March 2019, 5.30pm
Live on BT Sports
Venue: St. James' Park
3 - 1
by righteous indignation after the Almiron incident, Isaac Hayden took the ball
off the toes of Pierre Hojbjerg with a one-footed lunge into
the path of Ayoze Perez. The Spaniard jinked his way to the right side of the box
and just when it seemed he would pass, he slotted the ball between covering
defender Jan Bednarek's leg and in off the far post. 1-0
Matt Ritchie's determination to reach the ball on the halfway line took him
past a pair of idling opponents and his pass set Salomon Rondon scampering
away down the left touchline.
Shadowed by two Saints defenders, the striker made it into the box before a
sending over a perfect low cross to the far post for Ayoze Perez to
slide in beyond Ryan Betrand and stretch his right leg, hitting the ball into the
ground which took it over the dive of visiting custodian Angus Gunn. 2-0
Half time: Magpies 2 Saints 0
Nathan Redmond's cross from the right was touched into the path of
Mario Lemina who
hit a firm low shot from the edge of the area that beat Martin Dubravka's dive to
Some concerted pressure on the Saints goal led to two corners and when the
second was half-cleared, Matt Ritchie threw himself at the ball. His header may have
been going in but Ayoze Perez glanced the ball to the other side of Gunn and into
the unguarded Leazes goal. 3-1
Full time: Magpies 3 Saints
"Iím really pleased. We can see the potential, we can see how big this massive club in this
fantastic city can be.
"I was talking with the other manager before the game and he said Ďgreat
stadium and atmosphereí - everybodyís impressed. Now, we have carry on,
trying to continue with the same feeling."
On James Ward-Prowse fouling Miguel Almiron:
"You see the foul, we had two players running in against the goalkeeper
and I donít care how far from goal it was.
"We had two players in the middle of the pitch and just their goalkeeper,
it was a very clear chance. The next Southampton player was ten metres behind.Ē
On the chances of avoiding relegation:
"I think we are safe. Mathematically, we still have to see what happens,
but it will be very difficult for us to go down. I think you have to give
credit to the team and the fans.
"To have at this stage of the season 41 points, nearly safe -
mathematically we cannot say that we are safe, but nearly safe - is really
important, and now we have three games, and we have to try to do our best to
be as high as possible in the table."
"Heís worked hard, but has to be more consistent and he will score even
more goals! But, you have to be happy with a player that has quality and is
working for the team. Heís someone that can do something different.
"The way that we play now,
with Miguel Almiron with his pace, Rondon holding the ball, and the
wing-backs, he is finding more space in between the lines, and also behind the
defence. A lot of things are coming together.'
On the injuries:
"I think itís a hamstring injury but we have to wait and assess him. We
(also) lost Schar and Hayden, and we had some problems and had to
On his future at the club:
"Any time, we have to talk because at the end, everything that will
happen on June 30 has to be good for everyone. Until then I have to decide if
we sign anyone, so we have to talk any time.
"We had problems at the beginning of
the season, but we stuck together and now we are doing well. We have been improving but we have a limit.
"In the Premier League you
have to compete with the teams who are finishing seventh and tenth, we have to
compete with them in terms of wages and fees. We need to find a balance.
"We signed (Martin) Dubravka
last year and he won the first game against Manchester United, and he's more
than 24, we have (Miguel) Almiron doing well and we have (Salomon) Rondon,
who are more than 24 and doing well.
"At the same time, we have
(Isaac) Hayden, (Jamaal) Lascelles, or even (Sean) Longstaff,
so the balance is the key.
"(In terms of
negotiations) We are in the same position as we were before.
"When I came here, I could see the potential of the club to be
challenging, certainly for seventh to 10th in the table but looking higher.
"But when you analyse the transfer
fees and wage bills of other teams, we're not competing."
Ralph Hasenhuttl said:
"It was an intense game. First-half we were not able to stop them.
After 20 minutes, it seemed we got out of the pressure but then there was
the situation with the corner and a counter-attack against us, where we made
"We were a little bit lucky it was only a yellow in this moment but
then the crowd was loud and their team was very aggressive. We were sitting on
the back foot and it was not good enough today.
"I have to say it, in the first-half it was too calm, too slow and
not aggressive enough. In that way, you canít play in the Premier League
because you have no chance. If you start
like that and are 2-0 down at half-time, it's hard to come back.
"The opponent was very good today, very aggressive and physical. We had
no chance to keep the ball and that creates pressure sometimes.
"That was why we changed so much at half-time by taking off two
players and the shape. You normally do if you have the feeling that nothing
works. In the second-half we were coming back from 2-0 down but against such a
team in this stadium it is not easy to come back.
"We tried everything and had a few chances for an equaliser. We
played very well in the second half but it was too late They didn't have a lot
of chances in the second half, apart from hitting the post, which was lucky.
"We have to be sharper and more aggressive. We know we are not safe - 40
points is the reason why it's a crucial game on Tuesday. We need to be
concentrated and hard working.
On goalscorer Lemina:
"Iím happy for him. He came into the second-half in a very difficult
game and showed that he has quality on the ball and good physical attributes.
It was a fantastic goal for him..
"Itís a good sign for him and I hope he can stay without pain
because that will be good for us.
"The second-half was a good first step for him to get 45 minutes
and we play again on Tuesday so letís have a look to see what position we
can use him.Ē
With three games left, Newcastle now have 41 points - three less than
they managed last season and ahead of their totals in 2008/09 (relegated
with 34), 2012/13 (survived with 41), 2014/15 (survived with 39) and 2015/16
(relegated with 37).
(24 hours later, a 0-2 home defeat for Cardiff at the hands of Liverpool
mathematically confirmed that we couldn't be caught and had retained
top-flight status. Fittingly, the goalscorers were two SJP old boys; Gini
Wijnaldum and James Milner).
NUFC after 35 games:
2017/18: Won 11, Drawn 8, Lost 16. Gd of -9 (scores 35, conceded 44) 41
2018/19: Won 11, Drawn 8, Lost 16. Gd of -9 (scores 35, conceded 44) 41
The Magpies have now scored 35 Premier League goals this season -
matching their smallest previous total, set back in the 1997/98 season. 22 of those goals were scored at home, which exceeds our lowest PL of
21 that was recorded in the 2017/18 campaign.
Perez's hat-trick is Newcastle's first in the PL since Gini Wijnaldum
hit four against Norwich City at SJP in October 2015. United's most recent treble in all competitions
Dwight Gayle's Championship effort at home to Birmingham City during December 2016.
Perez reached double figures for the season in the PL and is top scorer with 11 in all competitions - one more than Salomon
Rondon (nine in PL +1 in League Cup). Ayoze moved up to ninth in our PL scorer chart, his 31 goals
taking him above Obafemi Martins, Demba Ba and Gary Speed:
Ayoze Perez 31
Robert Lee 34
Papiss Demba Cisse 37
Nolberto Solano 37
Les Ferdinand 41
Shola Ameobi 43
Andy Cole 43
Peter Beardsley 46
Alan Shearer 148
After bagging a brace on six previous occasions in all competitions for
the club, it was seventh time lucky for Perez in completing a first
NUFC hat trick. The Spaniard is the eleventh player to have bagged a PL treble
for us, this was the fourteenth hat trick completed by those eleven:
1993/94 Peter Beardsley v Wimbledon (h)
1993/94 Andy Cole v Liverpool (h)
1993/94 Andy Cole v Coventry City (h)
1995/96 Les Ferdinand v Wimbledon (h)
1996/97 Alan Shearer v Leicester City (h)
1999/00 Alan Shearer v Sheffield Wed (h) (5)
2005/06 Michael Owen v West Ham (a)
2010/11 Andy Carroll v Aston Villa (h)
2010/11 Kevin Nolan v mackems (h)
2010/11 Leon Best v West Ham (h)
2011/12 Demba Ba v Blackburn Rovers (h)
2011/12 Demba Ba v Stoke City (a)
2015/16 Gini Wijnaldum v Norwich City (h) (4)
2018/19 Ayoze Perez v Southampton (h)
Saints in Toon - Premier League
2018/19 Won 3-1 Perez 3
2017/18 Won 3-0 Kenedy 2, Ritchie
2015/16 Drew 2-2 Cisse, Wijnaldum
2014/15 Lost 1-2 Gouffran
2013/14 Drew 1-1 Gouffran
2012/13 Won 4-2 Sissoko, Cisse, Cabaye (pen), OG
2005/06 Won 1-0 Dyer (FAC)
2004/05 Won 2-1 Shearer (pen), Bramble
2003/04 Won 1-0 Shearer
2002/03 Won 2-1 Sh.Ameobi, Hughes
2001/02 Won 3-1 Robert, Shearer 2 (1 pen)
2000/01 Drew 1-1 Gallacher
1999/00 Won 5-0 Ferguson 2, Solano, Dabizas, OG
1998/99 Won 4-0 Shearer 2 (1 pen), Ketsbaia, OG
1997/98 Won 2-1 Barnes 2
1996/97 Lost 0-1
1995/96 Won 1-0 Lee
1994/95 Won 5-1 Watson 2, Cole 2, Lee
1993/94 Lost 1-2 Cole
Almost unnoticed on the visiting bench was former Magpie goalkeeper Fraser
Forster, who hasn't featured competitively for the Saints since
first hat trick in English football for Ayoze Perez on Saturday helped United secure the victory that took them past the 40 point mark and banished any lingering
doubts about Premier League status.
This teatime game kicked off under blue skies, but the warm temperatures and a
lack of goalmouth activity initially threatened to leave supporters snoozing.
That all changed midway through the first half, when referee Anthony Taylor's refusal to dismiss James Ward-Prowse
for a cynical bodycheck on Miguel Almiron fired up home players and fans
The Paraguayan was still in his own half, but with a clear route to goal as he
raced forward with Salomon Rondon in support. Blatantly denied a goalscoring
opportunity by Ward-Prowse in the absence of any covering defenders, the
outcome was a yellow card, rather than red.
Surrounding by protesting players and with an incensed manager and staff protesting at pitchside,
coach Mikel Antia was sent to the stands for
abusing the linesman, Rafa fortunate not to follow him.
That anger though was quickly channelled in a positive way by the
black and whites, and renewed harrying of the opposition defence would soon
bring tangible reward.
Isaac Hayden's persistence set up Perez to weave his way into the Saints area
before netting with a low shot that went through a covering defender's legs
and nestled in the far side of the goal.
1-0 soon became 2-0 as more slackness from the visitors allowed United to push
forward down the left flank and Salomon Rondon squeeze a cross to
the far post for Perez to force the ball home.
Rondon himself almost made it 3-0 a minute into added time, but his shot
from eight yards out was blocked as he seemed certain to convert.
Despite not being certain of their own top-flight survival, Southampton had
shown remarkably little as an attacking force in the opening 45 minutes, but
would dominate the game following the interval.
A double change by Ralph Hasenhuttl saw Mario Lemina and Stuart Armstrong
arrive, and Lemina got
one back just before the hour mark as he was given time to shoot from the
edge of the area.
Maya Yoshida missed twice from close range for the visitors, while rare
attacks by United led to Ki striking the base of a post and
Gunn somehow saving a deflected drive from Hayden.
Injuries to Almiron, Fabian Schar and Hayden saw all three substituted and
affected our balance - concern that what looked like a hamstring pull by
Almiron could bring his season to an early conclusion. The Paraguayan looking
like he was almost in tears as he left the pitch.
Pressure continued to build on United and there was a clear sense of unease
within the ground, not helped when Rondon's header was blocked on the line by
Ward-Prowse after a scramble in the area.
However, Perez wasn't finished and was in the right place to glance home Matt
Ritchie's goalbound header four minutes from full time - the committed
intervention of Ritchie capping a display surely motivated by the boyhood
Pompey fan facing his Hampshire rivals.
The Saints kept pushing on to make the five added minutes slightly
uncomfortable before the final whistle sounded and Perez left the field with the match ball and
applause ringing in his ears.
There were rousing choruses of appreciation for the manager too, as he was left
in no doubt about the support he retains from the stands during what could
be his penultimate home game in charge.
In his post-match media comments, Benitez then reiterated the importance of
the club striving to do more than merely survive in the Premier League - a
view seemingly at odds with comments from Lee Charnley following the release
of the club accounts this week.
Three games to go then and safety has been reached, but little else seems
decided on Barrack Road.