9 man Newcastle dig deep to hold on and gain first win in six at St James Park
Newcastle United 3-2 Southampton
27 minutes with 10 men, 19 minutes with 9 men, a rearguard action to be proud of, a debut goal and a brace from Almiron gives United a first win in 6 home games.
A debut goal from Joe Willock, following by two from Almiron doesn't even begin to tell the tale of this one. A red card for Hendrick for a stupid pull of a shirt when already booked, and a horror injury for Schar when all subs had been used left Newcastle down to 9 men. But a heroic defensive performance, with saves, blocks and clearances off the line, meant that two stunning strikes for the away side, through Minamino and Ward-Prowse, would count for nothing. A win to be proud of in so many ways!
A goal on the quarter hour mark form debutant Joe Willock, after a lovely run into the box and a delicious cutback by Saint-Maximin, would give the Magpies an early lead at St James Park for the second game running. And when Saint-Maximin then found Almiron on 26 minutes, with the latter crashing the ball against Bednarek for his second own goal in two games, the Magpies were 2-0 up and flying.
But a stunner from Minamino just 4 minutes after Newcastle's second, and the withdrawal of Wilson through injury just after the half hour mark would give real concern for the Magpies.
But with the last kick of the first half Miggy Almiron seized the momentum back for Newcastle. A pass out from McCarthy didn't look horrendous, but the pace of the Paraguayan caused panic and after deflecting hurried clearance towards goal he followed up with a steely side foot finish low and beyond the keeper left hand.
Another wonderful Ward-Prowse free-kick moments into the first half, after Shelvey had just missed a sitter, should have been bad news enough. But a crazy shirt pull by an already booked Hendrick meant an early bath for the Newcastle midfield man, piling pressure on his team. And after Schar's injury on 79 things were looking grim.
But those left of the pitch defended with everything they had. Throwing EVERYTHING into what was left of the game and every challenge. Just being able to hang on with give this team such a boost. It will tell them they can achieve what they need to in the remainder of the season.
And whilst Newcastle will have to lick their wounds with defensive depth evaporating by the minute and key man Wilson hobbling off, those three points might just make all the difference.
A huge result.
A debut for Joe Willock, on loan form Arsenal, would see Almiron pushed out to the left (not his favourite position), whilst Allan Saint-Maximin would also return to the starting line up after being deemed fit enough to go from the off after his bout of COVID and a couple of substitute appearances.
Newcastle would make a competent enough start, getting the ball in the Southampton net early on through Wilson who had been played clean through only to be rightly flagged offside once the ball went dead.
Allan Saint-Maximin showing some good skill too in the early stages as he would dance into the Saints area, but his cutback from a promising position would only find a red shirt.