Saints 4-0 Newcastle United (again!)
The international break meant a delay before Saints could reveal their deadline-eve acquisitions, and in fact we’re still waiting for Sadio Mané. Toby Alderweireld managed to appear against Newcastle though, replacing Yoshida, while Cork’s form has forced him into the starting line-up.
Saints could have gone ahead almost from the kick off when Long charged down Krul’s clearance and sent the ball agonisingly close to the post. The same two were involved again when the keeper seemed to take out the forward on the edge of the penalty area, but our old friend Chris Foy saw nothing wrong with the challenge.
Never mind: Tadić produced a fine cross for Pellè to score with a well directed header, although the visitors’ beleaguered back line might have done more about both contributions. All this in the opening six minutes.
Fortune tends to favour the more assertive side, and Saints were soon rewarded for their start with a lucky second after a totally wayward Pellè shot went sideways and straight to the feet of Tadić, who again set up his teammate for an easy goal. Newcastle looked uninterested in the game, but a goal could have revived them, so Forster’s save from Sissoko may have been more important than the eventual scoreline suggests.
Wanyama came on for Long at the break, with some reports suggesting that the striker was still suffering from the clash with Krul that hadn’t been a foul (remember?). Actually it suited Saints tactically as Wanyama presents a huge physical barrier to a team chasing the game, but the Magpies were more than capable of contributing to their own demise, as with Saints’ third goal. Again there was an element of good fortune, with Davis’s pass deflected nicely into the path of Cork who ran on unchallenged to round Krul and score in what is already his most prolific season.
Sissoko miscued in front of goal, with the loose ball falling to Colback who grazed the post, but it was mostly Southampton possession, as demonstrated by an added time fourth goal, chipped in by Schneiderlin after a multiple passing move: 33 according to Match of the Day, but it now seems to have risen to 41 on the Saints web site.
LSSC Man of the Match: Graziano Pellè for his goals, although the midfield were the stars – Tadić for his assists and Schneiderlin and Cork for their by-now regular goals ran him close.