Newcastle 3 Southampton 0 provoked a whole range of emotions.
With so much at stake going into the game, scoring after only 70 seconds was just what Newcastle needed.
Newcastle had won their last home game against Manchester united but there had been a long and tortured road towards that.
A time period of 113 days separated that win over Man U and the previous victory in the PL at St James Park, over Palace back in October.
When the going has got tough at Newcastle, the players have responded, just look at what it meant to Kenedy (see photo above) after he scored his and Newcastle’s second goal on Saturday.
On the other hand, you just had to look around at the Southampton players, if they hadn’t given up before then, certainly that second goal on 29 minutes ensured the last hour, ensued you had a team of visiting players who only wanted the game to end as soon as possible.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is a Danish international midfielder who was signed for £13m by Southampton 18 months ago, he got very emotional when asked to talk about the match.
The 22 year old saying ‘sorry’ was a feeble thing to say to the 1,600 travelling fans but that was all he could offer, as well as a promise that ‘This cannot happen again’.
Southampton arrived at Newcastle with a reputation of drawing a lot of matches (13 PL games so far) but at the final whistle on Saturday they look a team with serious problems, only one win in their last 17 games.
The Southampton display actually reminds me of many Newcastle ones I watched under Pardew, Carver and McClaren, but very few that come anywhere near this have been witnessed under Rafa Benitez.
Not the most talented group of players Newcastle have ever had but certainly they have character and spirit, plus they want to play for the manager. That is all you can ask for from any team.
“I don’t like the words to say ‘I’m sorry’ but it is the only thing we can say at the moment (after losing 3-0 to Newcastle), on behalf of the players to the fans, that have come a long way in great numbers to support us.
“To everyone that showed up in a Southampton shirt…it’s not fair to them (the fans) or to ourselves.
“Everyone needs to look in the mirror and ask what they can do for the team, just in the next game to get a result, let’s not speak about staying up.
“I’m very disappointed and angry with myself and as a team it’s just not good enough.
“You can blame other things but it’s just not good enough.
“We stand here as a group and we didn’t succeed today, that is the fact.
“We have to be in the Premier League but the reality speaks for itself.
“It doesn’t mean the big picture is broken; luckily – and this is the good side of football – we have a new possibility to show that we are better than this.
“We need to step up (after this Newcastle performance), in every aspect of the game.
“This cannot happen again.”
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)