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Southampton 0-0 Newcastle: Magpies frustrate Saints in cagey stalemate

Report and highlights as Saints are held by Magpies

Ben Grounds

Saturday 27 October 2018 18:22, UK

preview image 2:44
Southampton 0-0 Newcastle

Newcastle earned a battling point at Southampton to move off the foot of the Premier League table as two teams bereft of confidence played out a 0-0 draw at St Mary's. 

Southampton, who remain 16th and two points outside the relegation zone, came closest to breaking the deadlock with Mohamed Elyounoussi, Mario Lemina and Shane Long all spurning good chances.

The Magpies failed to have a shot on target all game, with a wayward effort from Jonjo Shelvey one of few attempts of any note.

Mark Hughes' Saints have now gone five home games without a goal, while this represented a third goalless draw away from home for Newcastle this season.

Mark Hughes was unable to inspire his side to a home win on Saturday
Image: Mark Hughes was unable to inspire his side to a home win on Saturday

Player ratings

Southampton: McCarthy (6), Cedric (7), Bertrand (7), Stephens (7), Hoedt (7), Romeu (6), Lemina (7), Elyounoussi (6), Redmond (6), Ings (6), Austin (6).

Subs: Long (5), Ward-Prowse (6), Gabbiadini (6).

Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Dummett (7), Lascelles (8), Fernandez (7), Yedlin (8), Shelvey (6), Diame (6), Ritchie, (6) Kenedy (6), Perez (5), Muto (7).

Subs: Ki (6), Atsu (n/a), Rondon (5).

Man of the match: Jamaal Lascelles

There was a humorous moment in the first half when Rafa Benitez accidentally knocked his glasses off, but there was very little the Newcastle boss would have missed in the way of goalmouth action.

Southampton were the brighter side, and should have taken the lead after just three minutes when Ryan Bertrand's mishit shot fell at the feet of Elyounoussi but Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka did well to smother his shot with Charlie Austin waiting unmarked for the square pass.

Saints were untroubled by their opponents and again came close when Bertrand latched onto Nathan Redmond's pass before finding Lemina, but his flicked effort struck the foot of the near post.

More on this story

Charlie Austin thumps the ball into an empty, but his goal is disallowed
Image: Charlie Austin thumps the ball into an empty net, but his effort was disallowed

Team news

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was one of Southampton's better players during last weekend's 0-0 draw at Bournemouth, but he was not in the matchday squad, due to illness. Oriol Romeu took his place in midfield alongside Mario Lemina after overcoming a knee problem.

It was an unchanged starting XI from last weekend for Newcastle, but fit-again Salomon Rondon was named among the substitutes at St. Mary's.

In the third minute of added time at the end of the opening period, Bertrand was again the provider as his corner was met by Jack Stephens, but Dubravka dived to his left to keep out the defender's header.

Southampton signalled their intentions early in the second period as Bertrand's cross found Danny Ings, but his shot was blocked by his own team-mate Austin, summing up Saints recent woes in front of goal.

Shelvey then blazed over, having chopped inside two home defenders, before Austin was correctly penalised for a foul on Dubravka which resulted in his simple finish being chalked off.

Newcastle continued to defend resolutely as both Cedric Soares and Redmond had efforts blocked, and as the game ticked into stoppage time, Long missed a gilt-edged chance from Cedric's cut-back as he dragged his shot wide.

Notes for Southgate

Bertrand and Shelvey have both spoken this week of not giving up hope on their England careers, but neither excelled to the point of threatening a surprise recall when the squad meets again in November.

Bertrand was full of energy going forward while Shelvey was full of endeavour, but both were outshone by Lascelles.

The Newcastle captain has been touted for an England cap before, despite playing in a struggling side, and on this evidence Southgate will take heart from knowing that if he suffers a defensive crisis at centre-back, Lascelles would be ready to answer the call.

Man of the match - Jamaal Lascelles

For all of Newcastle's toothlessness going forward against a side not known for their attacking, Lascelles was imperious at the back.

The defender was solid throughout alongside his partner Federico Fernandez as Saints' attempts to create a head of steam in the second half were thwarted by a sea of turquoise shirts marshalled by their captain.

Jamaal Lascelles was the game's stand-out player for his dogged defending
Image: Jamaal Lascelles was the game's stand-out player for his dogged defending

The managers

Mark Hughes: "We were the side that was trying to win the game over the 90 minutes. I thought that we had the better chances, and Alex McCarthy hasn't had a shot to save.

"It's back-to-back clean sheets, and that's something we've been working on just to tighten up our defensive platform which will allow us to be a little bit more confident at the top end."

preview image 3:03
Mark Hughes believes his side deserved to win against Newcastle, but praised his players' performances.

Rafa Benitez: "I think we have to consider the circumstances, going away from home at the bottom of the table, getting a clean sheet and a point.

"They pushed hard in the second half so we did well to keep our clean sheet. A bit of better possession at times would've led to clearer chances, but it was difficult."

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Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez says he has to take the positives of a clean sheet and point away from home but concedes his side need to do better following their draw with Southampton.

Opta stats

  • Southampton (D3 L2) have failed to win any of their opening five league matches at home for the first time since 2001-02, a season they went on to finish 11th in the Premier League.
  • Newcastle have failed to win any of their opening 10 matches of a league season for just the second time in their history, last doing so 120 years ago, back in the 1898-99 top-flight campaign.
  • Each of the last six sides who failed to win any of their opening 10 Premier League matches went on to be relegated (Norwich City in 2004-05, Watford in 2006-07, QPR in 2012-13, Reading in 2012-13, Burnley in 2014-15 and Sunderland in 2016-17).
  • Newcastle United are now winless in each of their last eight away games in the Premier League (D3 L5), last winning on the road at Leicester back in April.
  • Southampton have failed to score in five straight Premier League matches for the first time since April 2001 under manager Stuart Gray.
  • Southampton winger Nathan Redmond has now had 19 shots in the Premier League this season, more than any other player yet to score a single goal in the competition so far.

What's next?

Southampton travel to face Leicester at the King Power Stadium in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Tuesday before visiting Manchester City in the Premier League next Sunday.

Newcastle return to St James' Park next Saturday to face Watford.

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