Newcastle recorded back-to-back home wind for the first time this season as Southampton became the latest victims of the French revolution on Tyneside.
Christened as “French Day” by the club in honour of our recent influx of French players, two of them marked the occasion with a goal whilst other put in good performances for the team. However it was Papiss Cisse who scored the goal of the game, lashing the ball home from 30 yards.
Our record since the arrival of our January signings has been impressive and is a large reason for why we are starting to pull away from the drop zone. Since we brought our business to a close we’ve beaten Aston Villa, Chelsea and Southampton in the league, beaten and drew with Metalist Kharkiv in the Europa League with our only defeat in six coming away at Gareth Bale.
Things didn’t start off well for United on this day though and they found themselves behind on 3 minutes when Morgan Schneiderlin got on the end of a Rickie Lambert header, turned Steven Taylor and fired low past Rob Elliot, who was making his Premier League debut for the club in the absence of Tim Krul.
Southampton tried to protect their lead which allowed United to build a head of steam. They should have been level when Mathieu Debuchy burst down the right and cut the ball back for Yoan Gouffran who saw his effort find the feet of Cisse six yards out. the Senegal striker showed a good first touch to trap the ball but his second touch was wild as he sliced wide of the post.
United were level on 33 minutes, and it was three of the French contingent who combined to restore parity to the scoreline. Yohan Cabaye played a perfect ball forward for Yoan Gouffran to run on to. The former Bordeaux man burst into the left of the penalty area performing stepovers along the way before shooting at goal. Artur Boruc could only parry the effort across goal to Moussa Sissoko who tapped home from a couple of yards out.
Just nine minutes later and the home side were ahead after Rob Elliot took a long free-kick deep inside our own half. The ball eluded the entire Southampton defence before sitting up for Papiss Cisse to hit it first time from 30 yards out. A wonderful goal ensuring United held the half-time advantage.
Half-time: Newcastle 2-1 Southampton
Much like the first-half, Southampton drew first blood in the second period and found themselves level within five minutes of the interval. United had already had a warning after Rickie Lambert forced a fine save from Rob Elliot from a free-kick just outside the penalty area, but they didn’t heed it and Lambert scored his 100th goal for Southampton after Adam Lallana burst down the left and crossed for the former Bristol Rovers man to fire home first time.
At 2-2 the game was delicately poised and you got the sense that the next goal would be vitally important. It very nearly fell the way of Southampton aswell as Rickie Lambert ghosted in at the far post only to put his header wide.
However soon after United were handed a golden chance to regain the lead. Yohan Cabaye played one of those “hoof balls” straight to the feet of Mathieu Debuchy who crossed first time only to see the ball blocked by the arm of Danny Fox. Referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot and Yohan Cabaye sent Boruc the wrong way from 12 yards out.
That was on 67 minutes but with quarter of the game remaining you always felt that another goal was needed to kill off a determined Southampton side. That goal arrived 11 minutes from time in rather comical circumstances as Davide Santon crossed from the left only for Danny Fox to see his attempted clearance smash off Jos Hoiveld into the back of the Saints net. Game over.
Full-time: Newcastle 4-2 Southampton
The win moves us six points clear of the drop zone and it’s the first time we’ve scored four goals in a game since beating Wolverhampton Wanderers in April 2011. It’s also the first time this season we’ve won a game after conceding the first goal and the first time we’ve won back-to-back home games all season long. Quite a few things to put to bed courtesy of this result.
Hows about this for another stat? Of all our goals scored, 89% of them this season have been scored by French speaking players! Tres bien!
How about another? Only two goalkeepers have registered an assist this season. One is Rob Elliot, the other is Tim Krul!
There’s some highlights below for you to have a peek at if you wish to do so. I suggest you do. We’ve not had a great season in terms of results and although that seems to be improving why not spoil yourself and watch it again?
Next up we travel to Swansea who will be in buoyant mood after their League Cup triumph yesterday. We won there last season but it won’t be an easy game and we’ll have to be at our best if we are to come away from the Liberty Stadium with a positive result in the bag.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Rob Elliot, Mathieu Debuchy, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon, Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Papiss Cisse
Subs: Jak Alnwick, Vurnon Anita, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, James Perch, Gabriel Obertan, Sylain Marveaux, Shola Ameobi
Southampton: Artur Boruc, Nathaniel Clyne, Yoshida, Jos Hooiveld, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jack Cork, Steven Davis, Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert
Subs: Kelvin Davis, Jose Fonte, Gaston Ramirez, Danny Fox, James Ward-Prowse, Emmanuel Mayuka, Jason Puncheon