Rafa Benitez was understandably buzzing as he reflected on the job he and his players did on Saturday afternoon.

If ever there was a day when statistics can mislead, then the game against Southampton showed it.

The visitors had almost two thirds (63%) of the possession but there was only one team who did anything when they had the ball.

Newcastle looked dangerous every time they came forward and whilst they were two up at the break, it could easily have been four.

Once Matt Ritchie added to the two Kenedy goals just before the hour mark, it was predictable that then Rafa Benitez would  close the game down and try to ensure there was no encouragement for a well beaten Saints team.

It wasn’t that he went negative, just wanted to make sure of a win and clean sheet, with a fourth goal being a bonus if it came along.

Rafa says that everybody at the club knew how ‘massive’ this game was, especially with a three week break now before the next game.

As always he praised the work ethic of his players and particularly the fact they were so determined to add the clean sheet to a win that looked certain from some way out.

Rafa Benitez:

“We knew it was massive for us.

“Against a team close to us in the table, we needed to do well.

“The players approached it well, the intensity they showed, the way they moved the ball – very pleasing!

“You need a bit of luck to score early.

“We than scored a second and just needed the third to kill the game.

“You could see the hard work that they put in for the clean sheet.

“When you see the payers working so hard, as a manager you have to be very pleased.

“We know Southampton have most of the possession in their games, and after the goal, they had to take the risk and attack.

“So we have to be organised.

“When you play against a team who have possession and pass a lot, you have to defend well and then counter attack.

“Five points above the relegation zone is good…but there is still plenty to do.

“I have confidence in the team that we can do it.”

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

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Merino 83), Kenedy (Atsu 78), Gayle (Joselu 69)

Unused Subs:

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)

(Read the match ratings for all NUFC players after the 3-0 win HERE)

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    The Fat Guy has us now accepting the unacceptable, he`s lowered the standards of Newcastle that much we celebrate beating a team like Southampton as though it was a European Cup win.
    this clubs in the gutter & we all know who put it there.

    • Peaky Magpie

      You’re right,going into every season just praying for survival without been able to compete is exactly where we don’t want to be….but as long as Augustus Gloop is still around that’s all we’ve got to look forward to…

      • TheFatController

        Augustus, come away from that chocolate river of broadcasting money….

    • GlasgowMag

      More relief than a major celebration for me. The only thing positive for me is having a world class manager at the helm and also despite their lack of quality in the ranks the players attitude and work rate has been outstanding this season. I support the team not the regime one day this fat leach will be a distant memory keep the faith!!!

      • Geordiegiants

        Only 2 seasons ago our ground was full of banners saying we don’t mind being poor as long as we try, or something along those lines. Now we have a team that tries harder than I can remeber under Jabba, still they berate our manger and some of our players. There just isn’t any winning with some of them, it’s not ideal and every sane person knows Jabba is taking the pee. We need action not just sitting there doing nothing. Either walk out and boycott or demonstrate. The West Ham fans are.

    • Arty Hume

      Think the fat one views the top ( championship ) and bottom ( prem ) of the two leagues as one so existing somewhere between the two is acceptable for him. Thing is some fans have accepted this too and thats the problem ( I dont care who the owner/manager/or how we play, I support the team ). If there is no resistance nothing changes, sometimes you have to take a few punches in the face to win the fight!!!

  • Geordiegiants

    I always will and always have trusted Rafa, he makes mistakes like every great manger does, Bournemouth being a very big one in my opinion, but he ALWAYS comes out a winner in the end.

  • TheFatController

    Possession stats were summed up by mourinho yesterday – ‘Liverpool control games with possession, we control games without it…’

  • Mayor Vaughn

    Top class!

  • Oldgeordie

    Don’t hear the Rafa bashers or am I going deaf in my old age? Great performance lads. Now keep going up.

    • ghostrider

      It’s not the time to bash anyone. We won and we won easily.
      It doesn’t matter that Southampton were worse than disgraceful and should give their fans their money back…it matters that we went for it and scored 3 goals against them.

      Does Rafa get the credit?
      I’d say Rafa and all the players and coaches, etc, get the credit, as do the fans for making it a great atmosphere.

      Just as he will get it in the neck… and the players if they don’t perform. Pretty simple really.
      Well done to Rafa and the team and all who took part in making it a positive day.

      • Oldgeordie

        Please accept this as a genuine comment and one made in sincerity. Delighted that you have accepted that there are good points in everyone and that the end product is the most important.