An unbelievably simple goal as
Cedric Soares curled over a
cross for Graziano Pelle to rise above the hesitant Chancel Mbemba and nod low past
Tim Krul. The 'keeper got a hand to it but couldn't
stop it crossing the line at his far post and into the Gallowgate End goal.
The Italian who scored twice against Newcastle last season has now netted a goal
per game for the Saints this time round (converting in both legs of
Southampton's Europa League tie against Vitesse Arnhem) 0-1
Following Jack Colback's corner, Massadio Haidara's deep cross from the United
left took a big deflection to loop over Maarten Stekelenburg, Papiss Cisse
chested the ball home from point blank range at the Leazes End - a vital touch as
the ball looked to be curling wide.
Half time: Magpies 1 Saints 1
United broke at pace and Cisse set Gabriel Obertan charging down the right
flank, the Frenchman getting past Targett before supplying an inch-perfect
first-time cross for Gini Wijnaldum to beat alleged marker Cuco
Martina and glance a header into the far corner.
Another cross from the right sailed over our
defence - this time from Dusan Tadic - substitute Shane Long out-jumping Daryl Janmaat
to head past Krul at the far post.
Full time: Magpies 2 Saints 2
Steve McClaren said after the game:
"We were quite fortunate he (Mitrovic)
did not get a red there and there would have been no complaints if he did.
"I don't know if he got that much contact but I'm just saying with the
present rules of the game... I think in the olden days those kinds of
challenges were 10-a-penny.
"That's what he is. He certainly doesn't hold back. He wanted to come on and
impress. He's only a young lad and you can see how strong and direct he is.
He is going to be a player.
"I didn't quite know what to expect and I was absolutely delighted with what
I saw - I thought for 75 minutes the team were excellent. We have learned so
much and can we get better? Most definitely.
"It was a typical emotional rollercoaster.
It would have been a travesty if we had lost.
"Wijnaldum was excellent. He has joined us late. For 70 minutes he was very,
very good, and scored a great goal.
Asked why he opted for Gabriel Obertan over Rolando Aarons, McClaren
"It was tactical really in aspect to Cedric Soares, who is a hell of an
attacking full-back and we wanted somebody to stay wide and curb that. I
think he (Obertan) did it that well.
"Southampton took Soares off at half-time and changed him. We have been
trying to get him to do that a bit more - he has got great pace and
strength. Sometimes you have to run beyond people. He did that towards the end
of the first half, and the second goal was fantastic.
"It was good that Papiss scored, that
Gabby did that and Gini also scored. I am pleased because what I have seen is
a great foundation and base on what we can build on. That’s what I said to
"But you know the Premier League. If
you don’t prepare or recover properly then you aren’t right for next week,
and we have another tough game against Swansea. And there’s no letting up –
especially with our start.
"This place is unique. I have to go a long way to get to my seat up at
the top of the stand. I am sure during the season I will get a lot of stick,
not just handshakes!
"It’s great to get the first game
out of the way. For the players – because that’s it last season has gone
– and for us (the staff) because we have something new we can feed back on.
"We have experienced a great home
game, Southampton contributed as well and it was a great game for neutrals -
Not maybe us but we just want to get better on that.”
Goalscorer Papiss Cisse:
"I have a contract at Newcastle United. I need to be professional every
time I play. I don't have a team to leave to. I am a Newcastle player. I try
to work hard in every game I get.
"Having other strikers makes me work
harder. I know that there are two players behind me who want to play. Only
hard work shows the gaffer what I can do, whether in the game, or in the
"I want to show him I want to play. I
want to score goals to help this team get the wins."
Goalscorer Gini Wijnaldum:
“(I enjoyed it) very much today because I already was looking forward
to playing the game today and I had read a lot of good stories about the fans
and the atmosphere here in the stadium and today I see it with my own eyes and
I like it. I enjoyed the game.
“Yes it is harder than the Dutch League but I like it also. It is a really
good start and that’s why I wanted to celebrate the goal with the
"I think it’s great if you can score on your debut – but yeah, it’s
sad that we don’t win the game.
"First I want to play good games – I want to score goals, make action
and show how good I am.
"As a team we must win a lot of games to rank higher than we did last
year so that’s what I want to do. I want to show the people how good I can
Ronald Koeman not travelling after undergoing an Achilles operation, his brother
Erwin - Ronald's second in command - said:
“Normally with a draw here
you can be happy, but after the game I have mixed feelings. I think if you see
the last ten minutes, we should have won. Ten minutes before the end when we
came back from the 2-1 down thanks to a great header by Shane (Long) you
think we can get the point.
"But in the last ten minutes and injury
time you saw we were in a good physical way. We showed that and we had two big
chances from Sadio Mané, but he did not hit the target and that was the
"You are playing to win and that’s
good if you are a professional. A draw in Newcastle is okay but in the last ten
minutes with the chances we had, you have to be disappointed.
"It was a little bit different - for me
it was the first time in charge in the Premier League. In this stadium it was a
great feeling. The preparation went well with all the coaches and finally, the
most important is the game and we took a point.
“We had contact by telephone before.
Ronald saw the game in Holland and I will call him after. I hope he is coming
back to Southampton soon."
"It is not a bad start but if you are professional and you get the chance to
win you have to win. I don't think he
touched him, but if he did then Matthew (Targett) was in hospital, I think."
Our failure to hold the lead in
this game meant that our unenviable record in 2015 is little improved -
we've won just two in the last eleven games at SJP and taken 10 only
points from a possible 33.
Steve McClaren was unable to share the achievement of winning his first
Premier League game in charge of United with Graeme Souness (Southampton
away 2-1), Glenn Roeder (Portsmouth home 2-0), Sam Allardyce
(Bolton away 3-1) and Alan Pardew (Liverpool home 3-1).
Instead, taking a point saw him emulate Kenny Dalglish (Southampton
away 2-2), Kevin Keegan (Bolton home 0-0) and John Carver (Burnley
Avoiding defeat though saw him avoid the fate of Kevin Keegan
(Spurs home 0-1), Ruud Gullit (Villa away 0-1), Bobby Robson
(Chelsea away 0-1), Chris Hughton (Hull home 1-2), JFK
(Blackburn home 1-2), Alan Shearer (Chelsea home 0-2) and Chris
Hughton (Manchester United away 0-3).
Home comforts? First PL home game results:
1993/94 Spurs lost 0-1
1994/95 Coventry City won 4-0
1995/96 Coventry City won 3-0
1996/97 Wimbledon won 2-0
1997/98 Sheffield Wednesday won 2-1
1998/99 Charlton Athletic drew 0-0
1999/00 Aston Villa lost 0-1
2000/01 Derby County won 3-2
2001/02 mackems drew 1-1
2002/03 West Ham won 4-0
2003/04 Manchester United lost 1-2
2004/05 Spurs lost 0-1
2005/06 West Ham drew 0-0
2006/07 Wigan Athletic won 2-1
2007/08 Aston Villa drew 0-0
2008/09 Bolton Wanderers won 1-0
2010/11 Aston Villa won 6-0
2011/12 Arsenal drew 0-0
2012/13 Spurs won 2-1
2013/14 West Ham drew 0-0
2014/15 Manchester City lost 0-2
2015/16 Southampton drew 2-2
There were debuts for Georginio Wijnaldum, Chancel Mbemba and
Aleksandar Mitrovic, taking the number of players to feature for Newcastle
in the Premier League to 197.
Wijnaldum is the seventh Magpie to mark his Premier League debut with a goal, following
Alex Mathie, Les Ferdinand, Stephane
Guivarc'h, Duncan Ferguson, Xisco and Papiss Cisse. As was the case
with the preceding six, his maiden strike came at SJP.
Papiss Cisse's 35th Premier League goal puts him seventh in our
Premier League scoring list, now one ahead of Rob Lee. His next target is
Nolberto Solano, with 37.
Tim Krul made his 150th Premier League start for the club.
Saints in Toon - Premier League
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
record v Saints:
a superb debut goal from Georginio Wijnaldum, Newcastle and their new Head
Coach Steve McClaren ultimately had to be content with a draw at St. James' Park on Sunday afternoon.
from behind to lead 2-1 through Papiss Cisse and Wijnaldum, United
significantly lost momentum late on and came close to losing after the
Saints produced an equaliser and wasted other good chances to register a
fourth successive victory against the Magpies.
That would have been harsh on a home side who started brightly and
played well at times but after overseeing his first Premier League game in
nine years, McClaren will have a notebook full of concerns that he and
his staff will need to address (including Simon Smith working with Tim Krul
to overcome a reticence to come off his line that may stem from previous
The defensive frailties that allowed Shane Long and Graziano Pellè free headers in
front of goal were uncomfortably familiar to home fans, as the new central defensive
duo of Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba failed to deal with the
sort of crosses that proved our downfall last season.
Goals either side of the break looked to have cancelled out the Saints opener, but
a back injury that saw Vurnon Anita depart on a stretcher soon opened up of
some alarming gaps in midfield.
A clearly unfit Cheick Tiote replaced Anita, while the arrival of a
pedestrian Siem De Jong for Wijnaldum further weakened the side and allowed
the visitors to exhibit their superior fitness and stamina.
Whether McClaren felt honour bound to give senior player De Jong a go is
unclear, but the eagerness of Ayoze Perez may have been a credible
alternative in trying to keep the ball in the opposition half.
United's third debutant of the game arrived from the bench, although Aleksandar Mitrovic
couldn't have complained if he'd instantly seen red for a wild lunge that evoked memories of Billy Whitehurst.
A first 16 seconds on the field in the Premier League (five with the ball in
play) saw him cautioned.
Gini capped a fine debut with a fabulous headed goal, while Mbemba recovered from his error for the opener to give an athletic display
and show signs of gelling with captain Colo, whose lack of pitch time in
pre-season was more than evident by full time - although had he been able to
get anywhere near the advancing Mane in added time a penalty may have
Wijnaldum had got one early chance on target but saw it blocked, while Krul
similarly frustrated Southampton soon after. However United proved unable to
profit from a constant stream of dead ball opportunities and rarely looked
like breaking down the visitors from open play - hardly a shock given the
similarity of personnel on show.
It always felt like the Magpies needed a third to secure the win and after
going 2-1 ahead, we soon ceased to exist as an attacking force - although
what looked suspiciously like a rehearsed free kick routine on the hour
deserved to come off for the sheer novelty of it.
Southampton seized the initiative, gradually applied more and more pressure and
duly gained their reward, coming close to taking all three points but
shooting wide on a couple of occasions and seeing Jack Colback twice make
A draw was
probably a fair result as neither side deserved to lose an entertaining game
and our first opening day point in three seasons. Time will tell whether
it's the start of an upturn but given our track record, it's unwise to make
even a preliminary judgment until the transfer window shuts.
If nothing else though, the sense of drift and decay that hung over us has
dispersed and an attempt to take the team in a new direction has been made -
not least a much-needed overhaul of the coaching staff with the clear aim of
getting more from the existing resources, although they may just have to
break Emmanuel Riviere up for spare parts.....
Having laughingly been given the task of assessing his squad in a muddled
pre-season, McClaren and his staff now have to fashion a side within very
clear constraints. As was the case in January 2013 when a mid-season points
failure opened the coffers, flirting with disaster in May achieved a
loosening of the purse strings. Had we been six points better off though,
it's open to question just what would have been different - certainly the
owner's interview may not have happened.
Remember the company motto though about achieving "the best pound
for pound value" and modify any expectations accordingly.
McClaren is not the messiah, because they don't want one.
Condolences to friends and family of NUFC stalwart John Shanley, who died on