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Opinion

Southampton 0 Newcastle 1 as Steve Bruce’s luck well and truly returns with VAR assisted victory

8 months ago
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Southampton 0 Newcastle 1  – Saturday 7 March 3pm

In a debut season of so much VAR debate and controversy, it had almost completely passed Newcastle United by.

Until now.

Djenepo giving a yellow card for a 28th minute late challenge on Isaac Hayden.

Only to be upgraded to red after the ref checked the pitchside monitor after a word in his ear.

The Southampton player was late but no doubt we would be upset if it had been a Newcastle player, as not really any malice there.

The Saints had started the game on top, the Newcastle defence all over the place.

However, only a brilliant triple save by Alex McCarthy prevented NUFC taking the lead. Dwight Gayle having an effort saved and then Almiron twice denied, all in the matter of a few seconds.

Pretty even until the red card and then Newcastle should have had the game sewn up by half-time as Southampton struggled to regroup now down to 10 men.

Dwight Gayle could and should have had a hat-trick before the break, hitting the keeper when one on one with a free header, putting another effort wide of the post from only six or seven yards.

As the chances came and went, you felt sure Newcastle had to score.

Just before half-time, it looked like the moment had came.

A penalty given via VAR for handball when it could possibly have been given as a foul on the Saints defender.

Matt Ritchie stepped up and put in the bottom right corner, only for a superb Alex McCarthy save!

After the break, Newcastle looked a bit clueless as the man advantage wasn’t particularly showing. Southampton more organised but a lack of initiative from NUFC as well – from team and Steve Bruce.

Not really creating any chances of note and the Saints suggesting at times they had a goal in them with the ever dangerous Danny Ings at the heart of anything good going forward.

As the clock ticked down this was beginning to look like a massive wasted opportunity.

However, Sean Longstaff only seconds after coming on put a high ball behind the Saints defence and as Valery failed to deal with it decisively, Saint-Maximin dispossessed him and then put his shot through the home keeper and in off the post with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Phew.

Newcastle’s first Premier League goal in almost eight hours of football and only the eighth goal in 13 PL games.

The luck massively returned for Steve Bruce today and with results going NUFC’s way as well, this looks a pivotal day.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that not bringing in a striker in January was gross negligence.

The lack of finishers in this team/squad is frightening.

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)

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