Southampton vs Newcastle Match Report
Southampton v Newcastle Match Report
Southampton 4 Newcastle United 0 Saturday 29 March 3pm
If you had wanted to put into ninety minutes the justification for English backbone over foreign mercenaries, then you would have found it difficult to beat this south coast pantomime.
Anybody who watched the whole match would undoubtedly tell you that the scoreline flattered Newcastle, though there again I would have to exclude anybody on Mike Ashley’s payroll from that, judging by the patter of Alan Pardew and certain other employees.
It was embarrassing, and the way Southampton spurned chance after chance I just got the impression that they knew they were going to win and mentally became lazy, knowing United were there to be picked off whenever they chose.
I think Rob Elliot is nowhere near the standard we need for even a number two but you couldn’t fault him today, Southampton firing chance after chance which Elliot was equal to, with the assistance of the home players who were woefully wide from many great positions on numerous chances.
Alan Pardew afterwards claimed that it could have been a different story if United had gone in on level terms but the reality was you were talking about two teams of vastly different abilities, at least on the day.
The first goal summed up the 90 minutes, the Newcastle defence caught ridiculously square and immobile as the simplest over the top ball saw Southampton’s Lambert and Rodriguez go clear with no defender within the same timezone, Lambert squaring for a Rodriguez finish from some eight yards out.
For those of you who braved Match of the Day that night, Alan Hansen described it as ‘This is the worst goal that has ever been conceded, if Southampton had been playing against nobody then it couldn’t have been any easier.”
Whatever you think about Hatem Ben Arfa you must agree he was given a raw deal today.
Given no freedom to attack the opposition, clearly he was under orders to defend as his main priority, which makes the whole business of picking him totally pointless.
It was just so predictable that Pardew picked on Hatem to come off at half-time, along with Mapou who was at right-back.
He wasn’t great but Pardew chose to wipe out his right hand side despite it being no worse than the left or our fragile centre.
The half-time changes certainly changed things..for the worst.
Lallana got free for around the twentieth time and Lambert lashed it home, with both second half sub Santon and Captain Colo simply ‘innocent’ bystanders.
For a period it looked as though the Saints were going to take pity on us but instead they eventually roused themselves to finish the job off.
Firstly, Lallana struck a long distance beauty that could easily have been closed down, then in the final minutes a great goal by Rodriguez saw him stroll through the United defence before making it four, this could easily have been the scoreline at half-time and then god knows what would have happened by the end.
This is so depressing and it is hard to see where a goal is coming from, never mind our next point.
Newcastle: Elliot, Mapou (Santon 46), Coloccini, Williamson, Haidara, Sissoko (Dummett 78), Tiote, Anita, Gouffran, Ben Arfa (De Jong 46), Cisse
Unused Subs: Alnwick, Gosling, Shola, Steven Taylor
Ref: Andre Marriner
Crowd: 31,360 (2,187 Newcastle)
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