Away-day joy for Magpies
By Alex Livie. Last Updated: 19/09/04 3:45pm
Newcastle made it two wins from as many games under the stewardship of Graeme Souness with a battling 2-1 success at Southampton.
A David Prutton own goal on the stroke of half time and a Stephen Carr thunderbolt on 57 minutes sandwiched a fine effort from Anders Svensson to hand The Magpies a rare three points on their travels.
Play was littered with sloppy exchanges in the opening ten minutes, with only Patrick Kluivert seemingly aware of the value of possession, and it came as no surprise that it took 15 minutes for the first chance to be fashioned.
Newcastle could only half-clear a free kick and Fabrice Fernandes almost made them pay, as he flashed in a volley from the edge of the box which was well held at the foot of his left-hand post by Given.
The scare appeared to spark Newcastle into life and Alan Shearer spurned two headed chances, the latter a free header from six yards, to put his side ahead.
The game sparked into life 20 minutes in, with both sides going close to opening the scoring. An incisive move involving Craig Bellamy and Carr fashioned an opening which was scrambled clear by Saints who raced up the other end at lightning pace and it was only a fine block from Andy O'Brien which prevented James Beattie from testing Shay Given.
Newcastle weathered a five-minute spell of intense Saints pressure, somewhat fortuitously on occasions, before Nicky Butt flashed in a 30-yard drive which was well saved by Antti Niemi.
Saints were the better side in the opening 45 minutes, so it was harsh on them when Prutton turned the ball into his own net to hand The Magpies the lead right on half time.
A slick move involving Olivier Bernard and Craig Bellamy cut open the Southampton defence.
Bellamy flashed a ball across goal which was missed by Kluivert, but Shearer was on hand to strike goalwards and the retreating Prutton could do little other than turn the ball into his own net.
Saints bounced back from the setback after the break and secured a deserved leveller on 52 minutes when Svensson collected a lofted ball and slammed past Given, with Newcastle guilty of not clearing their lines from a thrown-in.
As is often the case for Newcastle, attack is the best form of defence and, after having a sound penalty claim waved away, it was a defender who fired them back in front.
There appeared little danger when Newcastle lined up a free kick from 35 yards, but Saints had not counted on the ball being rolled to Carr who advanced forward before unleashing a rasping drive which flew beyond the despairing Niemi and into the top corner.
Shearer is likely to lose the opening goal when the dubious goals panel sit and he was denied again by the agility of Niemi who flew across his goal to parry his header.
Saints poured forward in numbers in the last ten minutes and Newcastle had to defend heroically to preserve their lead.
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|Southampton||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off Target||4|
Barclays Premier League
|5||West Ham United||18||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||18||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||18||17|