Newcastle held on to beat Southampton despite playing the last 18 minutes with nine men, as Miguel Almiron scored twice for the hosts at a rain-soaked St James’ Park.
The result sees Newcastle remain in 16th but may ease some of the pressure on manager Steve Bruce, whose side are now 11 points clear of the bottom three.
However, it was a dismal conclusion to the week for Southampton, who were unable to bounce back from their 9-0 defeat at Manchester United despite Jeff Hendrick’s dismissal early in the second half and an injury to Fabian Schar – when the hosts had already made their three substitutions.
On-loan Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock had given Newcastle a perfect start, steering in Allan Saint-Maximin’s cut-back to open the scoring on his debut before Almiron doubled their lead with a shot that deflected off Saints defender Jan Bednarek.
The Paraguay winger then restored Newcastle’s two-goal advantage after Takumi Minamino lashed in a brilliant debut goal for the Saints.
James Ward-Prowse’s wonderful free-kick had given Saints hope of rescuing a point even before Hendrick was sent off for two bookings, but a resilient Newcastle held on.
Southampton have now lost five consecutive top-flight games for the first time since September 1998.
Newcastle turning a corner?
After a winless run of 11 matches in all competitions, Newcastle appear to be showing signs of a recovery, taking six points from the last nine available.
Manager Bruce will be quietly satisfied by the way in which his side eked out this success.
Having used midfielder Isaac Hayden to solve a central defensive crisis, Bruce disbelievingly saw both right-back Javier Manquillo and top scorer Callum Wilson depart with injuries before half-time.
Until then his tactics had worked wonderfully well, as the hosts looked to capitalise down their left where Southampton central defender Jack Stephens was playing in an unfamiliar role at right-back.
Almiron, who covered more ground than any other Newcastle player (11.29km), and Willock were key to that plan, roaring forward in support of Wilson and Saint-Maximin at every opportunity.
Had Jonjo Shelvey not missed a great opportunity from Willock’s pass a minute after the break, they may have enjoyed a more comfortable afternoon.
Instead, it became a rearguard action once Hendrick’s tug on Minamino’s shirt brought a second yellow card for fouls on the Japan international.
With Southampton laying siege to the home goal, keeper Karl Darlow brilliantly blocked Jannik Vestergaard’s close-range header to confirm the three points.
After Tuesday’s bruising defeat, Southampton’s trip to the north-east was always going to be a test of character.
However, they made the worst possible start and, at times, Bednarek, who had his red card at Old Trafford rescinded, must have wished his suspension had stood.
The Poland defender had already been turned inside out once by Saint-Maximin before the French winger accelerated past him to lay on the opener for Willock.
For the second, Bednarek’s positioning in front of Alex McCarthy left the goalkeeper with no chance to react when Almiron’s powerful left-footed drive diverted off him into the net.
Southampton, who had a Che Adams tap-in correctly ruled out for offside, did show flashes of brilliance.
Both Minamino’s goal – he ghosted past Hayden before producing a memorable finish – and Ward-Prowse’s exquisite free-kick, which found the top left corner, were fit to grace any game.
Although his team controlled possession, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s expression at the final whistle was almost as gloomy as the conditions.
More to follow.
- 26DarlowBooked at 90mins
- 19ManquilloSubstituted forKrafthat 24′minutesBooked at 45mins
- 5SchärSubstituted forat 79′minutes
- 16HendrickBooked at 50mins
- 10Saint-MaximinSubstituted forDummettat 67′minutes
- 13WilsonSubstituted forJoelintonat 36′minutes
- 5StephensSubstituted forN’Lunduluat 81′minutes
- 35BednarekBooked at 73mins
- Craig Pawson
Match ends, Newcastle United 3, Southampton 2.
Second Half ends, Newcastle United 3, Southampton 2.
Karl Darlow (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Nathan Redmond (Southampton).
Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Joseph Willock.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Jamal Lewis.
Foul by Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton).
Karl Darlow (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Paul Dummett.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Paul Dummett.
Attempt missed. Che Adams (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Substitution, Southampton. Daniel N’Lundulu replaces Jack Stephens.
Attempt missed. Jan Bednarek (Southampton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Emil Krafth.
Offside, Southampton. Ryan Bertrand tries a through ball, but Takumi Minamino is caught offside.
Fabian Schär went off injured after Newcastle United had used all subs.
Attempt blocked. Fabian Schär (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
VAR Decision: No card change Jan Bednarek (Southampton).