Newcastle continue renaissance

Newcastle leapfrogged Southampton in the Premier League thanks
to a 4-2 victory in a thrilling encounter at St James’ Park.

The home crowd were stunned into silence as early as the third
minute, when Morgan Schneiderlin gave the Saints an early lead, but
it was all Newcastle for the rest of the half.

However, the Toon faithful had to wait until just after the
half-hour mark to equalise, when Moussa Sissoko tapped in after
Yoan Gouffran’s effort had been blocked by Saints’ stopper Artur
Boruc, then Papiss Cisse’s spectacular 25-yard dipping effort gave
Newcastle a deserved lead at the break.

Just as they had in the first period, Southampton came out of
the blocks the quickest after the interval, and Rickie Lambert
scored his 100th goal for the club from close-range to put the
Saints level.

However, a Yohan Cabaye penalty and a bizarre own goal from Jos
Hooiveld meant Alan Pardew’s men took all three points from this
thrilling encounter.

It was France day at St James’ Park, with fans donning all kinds
of Gallic attire to celebrate the influx of new faces at the club,
but the positive feeling around the ground was soon turned sour by
the Saint’s opener.

Rickie Lambert, who was a nuisance all afternoon, knocked down
Luke Shaw’s diagonal ball into the path of the onrushing Morgan
Schneiderlin, who swivelled and stroked the ball past Premier
League debutant Rob Elliot, deputising in place of the injured Tim
Krul.

However, after that it was all Newcastle, with the only surprise
that it took so long for the home side to find that equaliser,
which came thanks to Sissoko after great work from Gouffran down
the right, bamboozling the Saints’ backline with some neat
footwork, and firing a low shot which was saved by Boruc, but
Sissoko was on hand tap in.

Papiss Cisse then produced a moment of magic reminiscent of his
spectacular strike at Stamford Bridge last season, smashing in a
thunderous effort from 25 yards to give the Magpies the lead at the
break.

However, the Saints were soon level after the interval thanks to
Southampton’s dangerman Lambert. Adam Lallana was allowed time and
space to pick out the hitman in the box, who had no trouble
stroking the ball past Elliot.

The momentum swung once again as Southampton sensed a rare
victory in this part of the North East, but a blatant handball from
substitute Danny Fox as the impressive Mathieu Debuchy attempted to
hook a Cabaye cross into the dangerzone gifted Newcastle the
opportunity to regain the lead from the spot, and Cabaye duly
obliged, slotting his penalty past Boruc.

The goal that sealed the points for the Magpies was harsh on
Southampton, but it was the manner in which it was scored that will
anger boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Danny Fox attempted to lash the ball clear in his six yard area,
but instead volleyed straight at Hooiveld, who was powerless to
stop the ball bouncing in.