Newcastle United 1-1 Saints
I think it’s appropriate on behalf of all LSSC away fans to dedicate this next match report to the memory of Martyn Brockwell, our former colleague and regular travelling companion.
Indeed it is especially fitting for one of our longest journeys, away to Newcastle. And a bit of a surprise before kick-off for the faithful, with Lallana left out as Saints took the field with Osvaldo, Lambert and Rodriguez set to play.
Newcastle, especially at home, provide a different challenge to most Premier League opponents, and maybe that’s why Hooiveld started in place of Fonte, but he especially will be disappointed by the games’s opening goal, scored easily by Gouffran after Jos’s miskick set him up – once again, though, it was a goal conceded when there were plenty of red shirts in the vicinity.
Having seen his side pose few threats in the opening period, manager Pochettino made two tactical changes at the break, the most important being Lallana, but a welcome return for a semi-fit Schneiderlin also helped… some might observe that the withdrawal of Osvaldo didn’t do much harm either.
It all allowed Davis more freedom, and he struck the post with a volley that had Krul well beaten. This was just a warning before Saints drew level on 65 minutes – an unusual goal from a side not best suited to the swift counter attack, but it was superbly executed, with Lallana making a key contribution on the half way line to allow Rodriguez and Davis to exchange passes before the former swept the ball home, albeit from a position precariously close to offside.
Gazzaniga played his part in limiting the goals against to one, but he was the most relieved man on the ground after Remy failed to make anything of a hopelessly miscued clearance.
Rodriguez might have won it late on, but the Magpies were playing with a high intensity, as shown by Sissoko who managed to shove referee Jones over in the exchange of flung handbags that followed an injury to Gazzaniga. He escaped without punishment, as did both sets of coaches who staged a scrap of their own on the far touchline as a result of the same incident.
LSSC Man of the Match: Steven Davis, who suddenly became Southampton’s most potent attacking weapon.