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Season 2021-22
Southampton (h) Premier League


Saturday 28th August 2021, 3pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Indefensible





2 - 2





Half time: Magpies 0 Saints 0

55 mins Newcastle attacked down the left flank; Ritchie, Saint-Maximin and Almiron all involved before the ball was funnelled back to Fabian Schar.

Moving towards the centre of the field, he knocked a deceptively languid right-footed ball towards the back post, to where an onside Jacob Murphy had found some space behind Kyle Walker-Peters.

Murphy did well to nod the ball back across the six yard box into the path of Callum Wilson who stooping between dithering defensive duo Jack Stephens and Mohammed Salisu to head the ball into the Gallowgate goal

A proper number 9's goal.

74 mins Saints substitute Nathan Redmond had already been given time and space to cross from the left wing and when a further opportunity arose just moments later after out-pacing Murphy, his delivery was deadly.

Fresh from scoring a midweek hat-trick in the League Cup,
Mohamed Elyounoussi beat Matt Ritchie in a race to the far post and diverted the ball goalwards with his right shin from six yards.

Freddie Woodman made a good save to palm the ball off the goal line, but it went only as far as the Saints player who was sliding in on goal, bouncing off his left knee and into the net from point-blank range - Woodman on his back behind the goal line and helpless to intervene again.

expert timing....

90 mins* A ball into the Southampton box was cleared upfield by Schar and controlled by Allan Saint-Maximin in the centre circle. The reluctance of Salisu to commit himself allowed the Toon man to arc around and sprint forward over halfway towards the visiting Gallowgate goal.

Threading a forward pass to Joelinton, who looked to have just strayed beyond Stephens (but wasn't pulled up by VAR), the Brazilian raced into the Saints box, cutting back infield to dump Salisu on his backside.

Joelinton laid the ball to Ryan Fraser, who was just behind the penalty spot when he took a touch and tried to place his right-footed shot between the goalkeeper and covering defender Ward-Prowse on the line.

The ball ricocheted back off the feet of the latter into the path of ASM, who gleefully lashed the ball home, managing a celebratory pirouette before vaulting the hoardings and embracing fans.

The scorer received a yellow card once he returned to the pitch/earth
. 2-1

...Kung fu fighting

90+6 mins If United's second summoned up the spirit of Karl Douglas, then Southampton's leveller was more akin to Jack Douglas.

Somehow a simple ball from Nathan Redmond in centre field penetrated the home defence and put Adam Armstrong through on goal. Just as he was about to shoot Jamaal Lascelles slid in with a last-ditch tackle.

It looked like the Newcastle defender had foiled his former Magpie colleague, but not long after the ball was cleared a VAR penalty check was announced - Lascelles by this time having gone to ground clutching his face, with replays suggesting that he'd been clobbered by a stray boot from Woodman.

And once VAR man Mike Dean invited match referee Paul Tierney to check the pitchside monitor in front of the East Stand the award was a certainty.

James Ward-Prowse's hard low penalty whistled just inside Woodman's right hand post, although the 'keeper got very close to reaching it.

Full time: Magpies 2 Saints 2

the PL recorded ASM's goal as 90+1 mins but reviewing the actual video of the game he nets just before 89:59 becomes 90:00 so 90 minutes for us.

We Said

Steve Bruce:

"They’re entitled to their opinion (the fans who chanted for his sacking). I find the whole thing very, very disappointing, as anybody would, I suppose.

"Our first-half performance wasn’t good enough. I’ll accept that. Second half, we were a bit more like ourselves, played with a bit more intensity and intent.

"The most important thing was we passed the ball to each other better, and maybe did enough to win the match.

"It was a disappointing afternoon all around.

"After watching it
(the tackle that led to the penalty) back, I think it is the right decision but it was a charade for VAR to give it. In my opinion this needs to be addressed.

"We did turn it around. We didn't play anywhere near good enough in the first half. Second half we showed much better to get on the ball to have the courage to go forward and play forward. It was much better second half.

"In my opinion we have taken the lead twice and deserved to go on and win it. We've now given three penalties away and it's cost us badly.

"You are always at your most vulnerable when you score. We have scored with two or three minutes to play and haven't seen it through. That's disappointing - of course it is - but the decision has gone against us. We just have to take it and stop making these decisions that give penalties away.

"It's tough to take, a penalty decided by VAR, and we are all bitterly disappointed."

They Said

Ralph Hasenhuttl said: 

"We missed that chance - we had chances to score and you could feel it was nervy in the stadium, especially in the first half.

"We must kill them then, and we didn't. They only needed one moment to come back and then everything was good for the fans.

"In the past we've played good games there and never taken something. It was always running against us.

"In this game we deserved at least a point. We have not been able to win today but when you have to take a late point you must take it.

"When you come back in the 93rd minute then you must be happy. We showed we are fighting until the end because coming back from such a hit in overtime it's fantastic for the guys and deserved.

"It was a clear penalty. Mike Dean was the VAR and he couldn't say no that it wasn't a penalty.

"I have not seen the penalty
(conversion) to be honest. I could not look at it and I was only listening, and this is what you need a captain for.”

About Djenepo's miss in the first half:

"It was an absolutely unbelievable chance we have to score normally, yes. He could try that ten more times and he wouldn't get it over the bar again from one metre out."


Newcastle's 500th Premier League home game ended in the 123rd draw SJP has witnessed in that competition. We've won 245 and lost 132.

Callum Wilson now has 14 PL goals to his name for United, taking him level with Loic Remy and one behind Andy Carroll.

Allan Saint-Maximin moves on to seven PL goals in a Newcastle shirt, one ahead of Joelinton and level with Fabian Schar and Matt Ritchie.

Following defeats by West Ham and Aston Villa in the PL plus the penalty shootout reverse to Burnley, today's draw meant that Newcastle avoided starting a season with a quartet of losses for the first time since 1934/35.

And avoiding defeat by the Saints ensured that The Magpies have one point on the board after three games - the last time they failed to do that was at the beginning of 1999/00.

James Ward-Prowse's penalty conversion was timed at 95:51 and becomes the latest time that we've conceded a PL goal since exact records began to be compiled in 2006. The previous late one was Marcus Rashford at the same end of SJP in October 2020 (95:35).

Saints in Toon - Premier League era:

2021/11 Drew 2-2 Wilson, Saint-Maximin
Won 3-2 Willock, Almiron 2
2019/20 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

We've now held a lead no less than four times in the opening two PL home games of the season, but failed to win either game.

Newcastle have now scored a total of four goals in their opening two PL home games - the most since 2010/11, when they managed six as a consequence of scoring that many without reply against Aston Villa - and then losing 0-2 to Wolves at SJP next time out.

Conceding eight goals in their opening three PL games is the most porous start to a PL season for The Magpies since 1999/00, when Ruud Gullit's side lost 0-1 at home to Villa, 1-3 at Spurs and 2-4 at Southampton.


Coming into United's fourth game of the season on the back of a trio of defeats, our innate glumness had checked the odds on another reverse courtesy of an Adam Armstrong goal - 25/1 if you were interested.

Tyneside's prodigal son failed to find the net as he did in 21 attempts for his hometown club, but would make a pivotal contribution to proceedings deep into second half added time.

At that point an atmosphere that had veered between positive and poisonous all afternoon was firmly in the joy zone , as Steve Bruce's side appeared to have pulled off a smash and grab raid to snatch three undeserved points.

Despair though was be lurking in the Leazes penalty area; as Jamaal Lascelles made contact with Armstrong to concede his second VAR spot kick in as many Premier League games - this one rather more clear cut than the Villa one. 

Blue skies lent a positive air to proceedings at kick off time, but temperatures in the stands would soon be raised by the ineptness of United's efforts rather than the Tyneside sunshine. The honeymoon period for fans back in SJP has barely lasted as long as a best man's speech...

Anti-Bruce chants were audible from both the Leazes and Gallowgate Ends as early as the half hour mark as Southampton eclipsed the hosts, but were thankfully unable to translate their dominance into goals at that point.

Newcastle were booed off after a scoreless first half, before Callum Wilson's diving header gave them the lead 10 minutes after the restart amid great celebration and tangible relief.

That advantage lasted 20 minutes before Freddie Woodman parried an effort at his back post from Mohamed Elyounoussi after Nathan Redmond's cross but was unable to stop the same player forcing the rebound in.

Allan Saint-Maximin then looked to have won it when he fired home in the first minute of added time after Alex McCarthy blocked Ryan Fraser's shot.

Off and running then? Oh no. A succession of unwise non-interventions soon culminated in Jamaal Lascelles making contact with Armstrong in completing a 93rd minute clearance from his own six yard box.

After some momentary confusion, the dreaded VAR penalty message was posted on the big screen before match referee Paul Tierney went off to check the pitchside screen - which only has one outcome as we know to our cost.

The inevitable spot kick award was then stroked home by James Ward-Prowse in the 96th minute. There may have been further booing when the full time whistle rang out seconds later, but it just didn't register.

Having also faced a League Cup penalty shootout in midweek, Woodman could be forgiven for feeling somewhat shell-shocked, never mind the punch-drunk spectators watching this horror show unfurl again and again.

If nothing else, Newcastle go into the international break having broken their points duck - Bruce having avoided emulating Ruud Gullit, the last Toon boss to begin a season with a trio of losses.

But at the risk of repeating ourselves, the furore over this latest VAR decision fails to mask the glaring issues across the field, especially in a woeful first half when Southampton's Moussa Djenepo was guilty of missing two absolute sitters in quick succession. 

Quite simply we didn't look prepared for the task in hand; relying on counter attacking and going into panic mode whenever the opposition stepped up.

The Wilson and Saint-Maximin goals may have stemmed the growing tide of criticism against the manager, but that promises to be only a temporary reprieve on this evidence. Never mind the short blanket, this was fur coat and no knickers.

ASM fleetingly appeared to have salvaged what felt like a monumental if undeserved three points - and in the process wipe the collective memory banks of another clownish display from the Frenchman.

It wasn't to be though, our on-field failings thus far this season matched by an apparent curse that we're helpless to prevent shafting us at every possible turn. Yes it was a penalty, but we appear to be being micro-managed, with every possible indiscretion highlighted.

In referencing the most overt anti-Bruce crowd reaction since he joined the club, it's worth stating that his most vocal critics had already deserted their seats and voted with their feet: today felt like the sound of more tolerant supporters exhausting their reservoirs of patience.

Not that it will matter a jot: if anything the catcalls will harden the attitude of this lot to retain their loyal servant - and were that to change, another sap would doubtless be unearthed from somewhere.

The names might change, the issues won't: the bigger picture remains unpalatable. We avoid relegation simply to flirt with it once again, having fallen into the abyss twice so far under the current ownership.

The considerable payoff due to the Steves would of course have to be funded from somewhere, selling a player perhaps - if anyone actually wanted to buy one....

The Saints have now taken just five points from the last 42 on offer away from home. And aside from today's, the other four came last season, courtesy of two teams now plying their trade in the Championship.

Coupling that travel sickness with the lamentable record Southampton have on Tyneside in particular, it's pertinent to ask the question just who we expect to actually beat this season.

And things get no easier after we return in September, with our next two opponents rattling in seven goals apiece as they both collected maximum points from us last season.

The transfer window closes on August 31st. Or Tuesday as we call it


Page last updated 21 June, 2022