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Season 2020-21
Southampton (h) Premier League


Saturday 6th February 2021, 3.00pm.
Live on BT Sport

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Fluid




3 - 2




16 mins Allan Saint-Maximin (or Sam Maximus as Paul Merson called him on Sky) took Fabian Schar's through ball down the left and pulled it back for debutant Joe Willock to finish first time into the Leazes End net. 1-0

26 mins Jeff Hendrick's crossfield pass reached Saint-Maximin on the left side of the box and he swivelled to lay the ball into the path of Miguel Almiron.

The Paraguayan's shot deflect off the heel of Jan Bednarek and beat Alex McCarthy at his near post for
. Somewhat fortunately, the Newcastle man was awarded the goal by the PL - had it gone the other way, the Polish defender would have been credited with an og for the second time in a week. 2-0

30 mins Saints loan debutant Takumi Minamino took a touch in the box before blasting home inside Karl Darlow's near post. 2-1

45+4 mins With Saint-Maximin bearing down on him, McCarthy's hasty clearance to Ryan Bertrand at left back was weak and Miguel Almiron made a successful challenge for it, racing into the box and slotting home. 3-1

Half time: Magpies 3 Saints 1

48 mins Stand-in central defender Issac Hayden conceded a free kick in a central area and James Ward-Prowse stepped up to hit a perfect free-kick into the top left corner giving Darlow no chance. 3-2

Full time: Magpies 3 Saints 2

We Said

Steve Bruce said:

"A mate of mine said when I took the job that it came with a health hazard.

The two minutes just after half-time summed it up, where we could have gone 4-1 up and looked very, very rosy indeed. Instead within a minute, it's 3-2 and we're down to 10 men.

"The last half an hour is awful, to be brutally honest: it's not often you can hang on with 10 men for half an hour, let alone 25 minutes with nine men... but the blocks they got in, the challenges they made, I couldn’t be more pleased. They have hung on very well.

"The resilience of the team and the effort and the commitment of them was terrific. We know how difficult that is - Southampton shipped in goal after goal the other night.

"They were terrific in their defending with their attitude and their application to get a result was pretty evident.

"I'm never going to say we've turned a corner but I've been pleased over the last month. There have been been signs of improvement. The players are buying into it, so let's hope we can get a few more results along the way.

"Callum Wilson has a hamstring, Javier Manquillo has an awful injury and Fab Schar's injury is bad.

"With the change in formation and system the one person who's benefited from it all is
(Miggy) Almiron. He's been terrific. He's a great pro - he's a joy to work with.

"We're taking one step forward, it seems, and always two back. You can understand why managers were complaining because we were simply playing too much in December and January and most clubs are falling to pieces with it."

On Jeff Hendrick:

"Jeff will know better, He will know he committed a silly foul (and) it caused us a difficult afternoon."

They Said


Ralf Hasenhuttl commented:

"It's easy to sum up: defensively not good enough for the Premier League, again. The way we conceded the goals in the first half was far too easy and then it's always tough to come back.

"We tried everything in the second half, but also with not always the best tools and this is the reason why we in the end lose a game that you never have to lose, normally.

"Maybe we were a little bit under the shock from last Tuesday, but
(I) cannot accept it because the team seemed motivated at the beginning, everybody wanted to show up there and that's the reason why I am not happy.

"We had chances in the second half but not enough to deserve to win. We are in a tough situation at the moment, but we have to find a way out as quickly as possible.

"The way we conceded is far too easy. It's not the way you can defend in the Premier League. It's always difficult to come back, we tried, scored twice, but when you defend like this, it's hard to get points, it's so simple.

"You can talk about being one man more, two men more, we had a few chances, but the way we gave the goals away was too easy.

"We find the reset button and find back the behaviours we showed at the beginning of the season. I know it is a tough moment now, and when we start like this, it's almost immediately the same problem. It's too easy.

"In general we must find a way back to the way we played. To be consistent over 38 games is the difference between a good team and a team that wants to be good."


Newcastle made it six points out of possible nine, a radical improvement on the two points they collected from the previous 27 that were on offer.

The Magpies scored three first half goals in the same Premier League game for the first time since the 6-2 home victory over Norwich City under Steve McClaren back in October 2015.

The last time they scored three times in one half of a PL game was the second period of the home meeting with Sheffield United in June 2020.

Before today, just five of the 22 PL goals scored by Newcastle this season had come in the first half. That's now eight from 25 scored.

Joe Willock
became the 246th player to appear for the club in the Premier League - and the 154th to register a goal for them in that competition.

He's the eleventh player to mark his debut by scoring - and the third this season, following Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick away at West Ham.

Willock isn't the youngest, with Matty Longstaff almost two years younger when he netted against Manchester United. He is the fastest to find the net though, three minutes quicker than the 19 minutes it took Alex Mathie at the same end of SJP against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993.

(Willock's goal was his second in the Premier League, the first coming for Arsenal last season against Southampton - and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy).

Miguel Almiron
scored more than once in the Premier League for the first time. He now has eight in that competition (four in 2019/20 and four in 2020/21) and 13 to his name in league and cup for NUFC.

Saints in Toon - Premier League era:

2020/21 Won 3-2 Willock, Almiron 2
Won 2-1 Shelvey, Fernandez
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, OG x 2
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


Goals from debutant Joe Willock and a pair from Miguel Almiron earned Steve Bruce's side a priceless victory at a sodden St. James' Park on Saturday.

That fails to tell the tale of an eventful 97 minutes though, as the Saints were beaten by nine for the second time in a week - this time men, not goals....

The main points:

8 mins Jonjo Shelvey set Callum Wilson away to net, only for the effort to be correctly disallowed for offside.

11 mins Jeff Hendrick was booked for a bad tackle.

16 mins Allan Saint-Maximin took Fabian Schar's through ball down the left and pulled it back for debutant Willock to finish first time into the Leazes End net for 1-0.

24 mins Javier Manquillo was unable to continue after sustaining damage to his right ankle blocking a stray pass, Emile Krafth replacing him at right back.

26 mins Hendrick's pass to Almiron in the area saw the Paraguayan shoot, only for it to deflect off Jan Bednarek and beat Alex McCarthy at his near post for 2-0.

30 mins Saints loan debutant Takumi Minamino blasted home to make it 2-1.

36 mins Wilson pulled up with possible hamstring trouble and was unable to continue, making way for Joelinton.

45+3 mins Krafth booked for a foul.

45+4 mins McCarthy's ball out to Ryan Bertrand was weak and Almiron made a successful challenge for it, racing into the box and slotting home for 3-1.

48 mins Stand-in central defender Issac Hayden conceded a free kick in a central area and James Ward-Prowse stepped up to give Darlow no chance. 3-2.

50 mins A needless shirt tug by Hendrick in central midfield saw him booked for a second time and dismissed. Newcastle went down to 10 men.

63 mins A shot from Danny Ings hit a post and rebounded into the arms of a relieved Darlow.

65 mins Che Adams forced the ball home from close range but the goal wasn't given due to an earlier offside.

67 mins Saint-Maximin was replaced by Paul Dummett, the last recognised defender on the Newcastle bench. He wasn't injured, but couldn't swim....

73 mins Bednarek was booked for a foul on Almiron outside the area, VAR confirming yellow rather than red.

75 mins Schar took the subsequent free kick but hoofed it into the defensive wall and then charged in to meet the rebound, injuring his knee.

79 mins Schar left the field on a stretcher, Newcastle went down to 9 men.

79 mins United finally found a formation that stopped them conceding goals - a rigid 4-4-0...

90+1 mins The visitors won their seventh corner but couldn't make it count. The hosts never had a corner.

90+5 Darlow was booked for time-wasting.

90+7 mins Referee blew for full time, confirming Newcastle's first home win in six attempts and a fifth successive league reverse for Southampton.

And so, The Geordie Nation breathes again, after what could reasonably termed a difficult watch that verged on the unbearable in the closing stages.

Most of those involved for Newcastle though deserve full credit; Jamal Lewis making light of fitness issues to give an assured display, Hayden playing a third different role in recent games and Krafth disciplined on his return.

Mention too for Dummett, who made a series of vital clearances at centre half and even Joelinton, who got up to speed after some early hints that he didn't have the mindset for the task in hand.

Before the madness of the second half, the industry of Almiron and the adventure of Saint-Maximin were pivotal in building up the vital lead. The forward runs from midfield by Willock were also effective, something that other sides take for granted but we habitually lack.

The brainlessness of Hendrick cannot easily be excused though, ample cover behind him making his shirt grab on halfway even more irresponsible. His suspension will doubtless extend Jonjo Shelvey's stay in the team - although he did precious little to warrant it today. Had he taken the glaring chance to make it 4-1 early in the second half then this could have been far less traumatic.

Schar's frustration with his rotten free kick got the better of him, recklessly endangering himself with the follow-up challenge and paying the price.

The lack of a midweek fixture and the scheduling of our next game for a week on Monday will hopefully give our battered defence a chance to regroup - Manquillo and Schar today following Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez into the sick bay, while Ciaran Clark was about to become a father.

And while news on the fitness of Wilson is anxiously awaited, his colleagues did at least manage to net three times without him playing any direct part in them - something of a novelty so far this season.

Two wins in a week combined with generally favourable results elsewhere has put a far healthier complexion on the season, not withstanding the ongoing headcount issues in defence.

And if not quite the entertainers, then this version of NUFC is rather easier on the eye than the joyless charade of previous weeks. Who could have predicted that actually trying to score goals would have a positive outcome on results?


Page last updated 21 June, 2021