Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United took a huge step towards safety this weekend as they put three past a helpless Southampton side, who never looked like troubling them at St James’ Park. The Saints had hardly got a foot in the game before Kenedy opened the scoring displaying superb control and touch, just two minutes into the game. He again popped up at the end of a superb Newcastle United counter to add to his first goal, at the half-hour mark, taking his side into the break 2-0 up.
Pellegrino wanted to change things in the second half but the Magpies continued to dominate, till Matt Ritchie was set up by Jonjo Shelvey at the hour mark to seal the game. Benitez’s side have shot up to the 13th place in the points table and here are the player ratings for the hosts in this game:
Martin Dubravka (6):
Had just one real save to make, late in the game, as he helped himself to an easy clean sheet against a misfiring attack.
DeAndre Yedlin (6):
Stuck to his task well on the flank, adding numbers to attack when needed and covering space on his flank.
Jamaal Lascelles (6):
Won everything thrown at him on what turned out to be a comfortable night for the skipper.
Florian Lejeune (7):
Solid in the air and dominating with his marking and clearing, Lejeune never gave the likes of Long and Carrillo a chance to settle on the ball in the final third.
Paul Dummett (7):
Won a number of crunching tackles and kept Southampton on their toes, constantly frustrating them and stopping their attacks down the left flank.
Matt Ritchie (7):
A cool finish from outside the box to seal the game but did a lot more, as he kept the ball rolling and added numbers to the midfield to shield his backline.
Jonjo Shelvey (8):
The architect of the victory for Newcastle United, Shelvey picked up a couple of assists and created more chances than any other player on the pitch.
Mohamed Diame (7):
Added a physical presence in the midfield and inside the box, making it tougher for Southampton to create anything in the final third.
A superb touch and turn to score his first and great energy to score his second as Kenedy not only finished off the chances created but also kept his discipline till he was subbed off.
Ayoze Perez (6):
Involved in the build-up to the second goal and was a constant threat in possession for the visitors.
Dwight Gayle (6):
Should have scored a couple of goals as he was given far too much space in the final third but did well to pick up Kenedy for his second on the night.
Added a physical presence for Newcastle United late in the game.
Christian Atsu (N/A)
Mikel Merino (N/A)