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3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Southampton 0 Newcastle 1

4 months ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Southampton 0 Newcastle 1.

A game full of drama and incident but only goal 11 minutes from time.

Ending a desperate run of only one win in ten Premier League games and seven goals in the last twelve PL matches, a first PL goal in almost eight hours of league football.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

Jamie Smith yet again has the honour…:

This is a bit easier than recent weeks mind!

POSITIVES

Long Haul Rewards

Southampton has regularly been a nightmare for Newcastle fans.

I personally remember getting a train to the old Dell during a petrol crisis, losing 2-0 to a pair of Marian Pahars goals and the Saints fans singing “What a waste of petrol” to the miserable away end.

Even when we were good this was not a happy hunting ground, so it was magnificent to send the sold out away end home happy having made one of the longest treks in the league. Hopefully a couple of south coasters head off to the Championship this year and reduce the mileage a bit. Speaking of which…

Safe?

On 35 points with nine to play would suggest that we won’t have to think about the Championship next season.

There still needs to be a win from somewhere but the fixtures are far from terrifying and victory over Sheffield United next week would be a nice settler before a huge game in the cup. There’s obviously a bigger question of exactly what the point is of staying where we are and some even believe the club will be better off without the Premier League to exhibit Ashley’s advertising.

I disagree with this as I don’t believe he’d ever write off the chance to earn off his investment, so the best hope of getting rid is to stay in the top flight. Time will tell but for now we can at least start to think about possibly enjoying the rest of the season?

VAR! VAR!!

I like to think I’m tolerant of other people’s opinions on most matters but this is one I’m not budging on: if you support Newcastle and you are anti-VAR you’re stark raving wrong.

The amount of times in the past that we have been wronged by terrible cheats, incompetent officials and baffling stupidity, utterly dwarfs the two incidents in the last 30 years I can think of where we have benefitted from decisions (Demba Ba’s handball at Reading and Steven Taylor’s blatant dive to salvage a draw against the mackems).

Examples that spring to mind are Aguero’s offside goal for Man City costing us a win that would have beaten relegation and the subsequent displays of outstanding ineptitude against Nottingham Forest and Burton that could have cost us our quick return.

I would argue that had VAR not correctly allowed Shelvey’s goal at Bramall Lane and accurately upgraded Djenepo’s booking to a red card yesterday, we would potentially still be in serious relegation bother. Kudos to the ref for actually using the pitchside monitor, Southampton will grumble but he was brilliant and I want him every week (cue Mike Dean v Sheff Utd).

NEGATIVES

Hard work

We won but made heavy weather of it, with Gayle missing a host of chances in particular.

Astonishingly, at 0-0 late in the game I checked my Twitter feed and people were actually screaming for Joelinton to come on and add something to the attack! Also, a bit of grief for Ritchie but I don’t think it was a particularly bad penalty, just a great save.

The positive view would be that we are actually creating chances now but the lack of goals from up front continues to be a cause for concern. The cup game with Man City is our biggest game in years and you may only get a couple of chances against a side like that. Someone needs to take them.

ASM! ASM!!

It may only have been his second goal but our impotent attack looks a different prospect with Allan Saint-Maximin on the pitch.

Who knows, with a proper striker in there we could even have a degree of potency in future. However, I fear the opposite.

Like the brilliant Dubravka at the other end, ASM is more likely to be coveted by other better run clubs come the summer and NUFC will just see the pound/euro signs. If we were to lose this pair I dread to think the actual state of the next season.

Underachieving?

The table shows a healthy gap to the bottom now but the same is true if you look up.

There has been a massive missed opportunity in a year where Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs have all faltered and Man City’s misadventures could see 5th place get a Champions League spot. We now sit 8 points and 8 places off that slot and you have to wonder how much that gap could be reduced if we’d had a striker who’d added 10 extra goals to the season?

Stats from BBC Sport:

Southampton 0 Newcastle 1  – Saturday 7 March 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Saint-Maximin 79

Southampton:

Red card Djenepo 28

Possession was Southampton 38% Newcastle 62%

Total shots were Southampton 6 Newcastle 14

Shots on target were Southampton 3 Newcastle 7

Corners were Southampton 5 Newcastle 8

Referee: Graham Scott

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Lazaro 72), Fernandez, Lascelles, Rose, Hayden (Sean Longstaff 79), Shelvey, Ritchie (Joelinton 61), Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, Gayle

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Yedlin, Bentaleb

Crowd: 30,096 (NUFC 3,000)

(Steve Bruce now claims credit for Allan Saint-Maximin impact – Shameless? – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce reacts “Why’s everybody getting their knickers in a twist? The decisions are right.” – Read HERE)

(Ralph Hasenhuttl says Newcastle United didn’t have any idea how to score against Southampton’s 10 men – Read HERE)

Southampton 0 Newcastle 1 – Watch official match highlights here including dramatic late ASM winner! – Watch HERE)

(Southampton 0 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s incident packed win – Read HERE)

(Southampton 0 Newcastle 1 as Steve Bruce’s luck well and truly returns with VAR assisted victory – Read HERE)

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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