Southampton (h) Premiership
Referee Rennie correctly pointed to the spot after Calum Davenport tugged
back Shola Ameobi as Antti Niemi raced off his line and collided with the
38 mins Celestine Babayaro's free kick from the left flank was swept home by Titus Bramble on the first bounce at the near post, as the visiting defence stood stock-still. 2-0
42 mins A corner played towards our back post was nodded back by Davenport for Kevin Phillips to head against Shay Given's crossbar, strike partner Peter Crouch reacting first to flick home the rebound from close range. 2-1
Half time: Newcastle 2 Southampton 1
Full time: Newcastle 2 Southampton 1
Graeme Souness said:
"I think in the first half we should have had more than two goals. Some of our football in the first half was excellent and then they have got a goal and got back in the game.
"In the second half we had chances again but got nervous in the last ten minutes and but for a stop by Steven Taylor they would have got something from the game which would have been hard on us.
"They (Southampton) have battled hard and not given up, at 2-1 you would expect that, but we have got to score more goals from the opportunities we create because we created lots of chances.
"It is an important three points today as we face Arsenal next week, but we can take some confidence as our football was excellent."
About Alan Shearer:
"Standing in the tunnel, we have got some young players and when you have got someone of his stature, it helps them enormously. He is a leader in every sense of the word.
"I think he had a good hour. The intention was always to give him an hour and he had a good hour. He will be better for that."
Saints boss Harry Redknapp said:
"I thought it was a bad decision (to give the penalty).
"We get the keeper carried off
and concede a penalty - it's backs to the wall stuff from the first five
minutes, but we hung in there and in the end we pressed them back
and were unfortunate not to get anything from the game.
"When the keeper went off and he gives
the penalty, the keeper gets injured and gets carted off on a stretcher, you
think 'This is going to be a good day here'.
Former Toon boss, now assistant to Redknapp,
Jim Smith added:
It's now four games
unbeaten in 2005 with Arsenal next up at Highbury - the last team to beat
us in our final game of 2004.
Another average team dispatched at St.James' Park then, but like Birmingham before them, the last minute of the game arrived with our opponents inexplicably still in with a sniff of a point.
The continued inability of this side to build on an early lead and sew up a game as a contest is now starting to grate.
Now don't get me wrong, the three points were very gratefully received and the result obviously more welcome than the disappointing draws against Everton and Pompey.
But from the outside looking in, it seems inexplicable that we can establish a pattern of play from the outset and look to be dictating both the pace and pattern of a match.
What people quite naturally cannot quite grasp is how we then continually falter as the game progresses - almost as if we invite the opposition in to make a game of it.
It's important to note here that we're not talking about conceding a goal - in this case Crouch's.
Of concern is the way in which we are seeming to wilt by around the hour mark, notably in midfield, where Dyer, Jenas and Bowyer all looked spent at the point against the Saints.
The net result was that the ball came
bouncing back from Given's punts with depressing regularity.