A three goal win for Newcastle in an excellent performance but as Dwight Gayle points out, none of the three goals came from strikers.
Both Gayle and Perez had chances but their main contribution was in a supporting role, as a brilliant break from the edge of their own box saw the pair out-pace the admittedly very slow Southampton defenders, before Perez fed Dwight Gayle and despite an excellent chance to score himself, instead put across a very clever pass which meant Kenedy couldn’t miss.
Kenedy had already scored a brilliant solo effort on only 70 seconds and as Dwight Gayle says: ‘It is nice to score in the second minute’.
Newcastle have rarely had that luxury/comfort of an early lead this season at St James Park but from the moment Kenedy hit the back of the net, the result was never really in doubt.
Great also to see Matt Ritchie get goals in consecutive home matches, rubber-stamping his improved form of late.
For Gayle though, it is simply a case ‘Everybody pulling in the same direction’, as being the key to Newcastle giving them now a great chance of reaching safety ASAP.
Dwight Gayle talking to the Chronicle:
“The defence were fantastic, as they have been for the last few months, long may that continue.
“Hopefully we can keep pushing up the table and get to a position of safety.
“I thought it was just important that we got the win and played really well.
“Everybody’s just pulling in the same direction, everybody is focused on the main goal, to stay up.
“You can see that from everybody – we scored three goals on Saturday and none of them came from the strikers.
“We are all working hard and that’s a reflection of people pulling in the same direction.
“It was a fantastic day for everybody.
“It is nice to score in the second minute..
“After that, we probably had a shaky 10 minutes and they put us under a bit of pressure.
“The second goal gave the breathing space and we then played well in the second half.
“I thought we soaked up the pressure they put on us and they didn’t have too many chances.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 Southampton 0
Newcastle: Kenedy 2, 29, Ritchie 57
Possession was Southampton 63% Newcastle 37%
Total shots were Southampton 6 Newcastle 7
Shots on target were Southampton 2 Newcastle 5
Corners were Southampton 6 Newcastle 2
Referee: Andre Marriner
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Merino 83), Kenedy (Atsu 78), Gayle (Joselu 69)
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Murphy
Crowd: 52,246 (Southampton 1,600)
(Alan Shearer raves about loan signing and Newcastle’s win but admits to mixed emotions. Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the three goal win HERE)
(Mauricio Pellegrino couldn’t believe what he was watching – His reaction HERE)
(3 positives and 3 negatives from Saturday’s match – Read HERE)