Martin Keown was full of compliments after watching Newcastle United take on Southampton.
The former Arsenal defender saying that Rafa’s players ‘look like now they belong in the Premier League’.
The second goal in particular caught his eye, a move that started at right-back with Yedlin, ended with Perez scoring, and Martin Keown declared ‘Beautiful the way they played that’.
Keown thinks that the confidence of a young Newcastle side is there for all to see and Jonjo Shelvey is pulling the strings – but he thinks the whole spine of the team looks good and everybody wants the ball.
Summing up Sunday’s performance and where Rafa and his players have got to after eight games, Martin Keown says Newcastle are making things happen, they now believe it’.
Martin Keown speaking on Match of The Day 2:
“Newcastle are a very young side but the spine of the side: Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden in there, every one of their players looks pretty comfortable.
“They look like now they belong in the Premier League.
“You couldn’t say that before about some of the Newcastle teams in the past, looked haphazard at times.
“There is a structure to the way they play, Shelvey at the centre of everything.
“Everybody wants the ball now in a Newcastle shirt. A threat going forward – Matt Ritchie, I think a lot more to come from him.
“It really impressed me that they managed the ball really well: comfortable passing, linking up, control. They are not out of their depth and they are probing all of the time – they have got lots of bodies in the final third.
“The movement for the (second) goal, you are not watching Manchester City by the way, but you have Yedlin coming out (with the ball) from the back, then Shelvey – a punishing pass, right into the heart of the opposition. Then they have willing runners, making the movement off the ball. Perez gets a little bit lucky, keeper should do better. Beautiful the way they played that.
“18 shots on goal, their most this season.
“Newcastle are making things happen, they now believe it.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Southampton 2 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Hayden 20, Perez 51
Southampton: Gabbiadini 49,75 (pen)
Possession was Southampton 62% Newcastle 38%
Total shots were Southampton 12 Newcastle 19
Shots on target were Southampton 2 Newcastle 5
Corners were Southampton 3 Newcastle 8
Referee: Kevin Friend
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Atsu (Murphy 82), Perez (Merino 63), Joselu (Gayle 68)
Darlow, Clark, Gamez, Diame
Crowd: 31,437 (Newcastle 3,200)
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)
(Read Rafa Benitez’ thoughts HERE)
(Mauricio Pellegrino thought a point was a decent return)
(Alan Shearer’s reaction to the match HERE)
(To view the player ratings and to add your own go HERE)
(Read Alan Pardew’s take on the game HERE)