Almiron scores again as Newcastle thrash Saints | Howe: We weren’t at our best


Miguel Almiron scored again as Newcastle moved into third place in the Premier League with a comfortable 4-1 win over Southampton at St Mary’s.

Almiron’s composed finish in the 35th minute – his seventh goal in as many Premier League games – gave Newcastle the lead before substitute Chris Wood (58), Joe Willock (62) and Bruno Guimaraes (90+1) struck in the second half to ensure it was a comfortable afternoon on the south coast for Eddie Howe’s side.

The victory sees the Magpies climb above Tottenham, who lost to Liverpool later on Sunday, into third place in the table and extends their unbeaten run to nine matches.

Southampton scored a late consolation to make it 3-1 through Romain Perraud (89), but a sixth defeat in nine games leaves them in the relegation zone and piles more pressure on manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Player ratings

Southampton: Bazunu (5), Larios (6), Bella-Kotchap (6), Salisu (6), Perraud (6), Maitland-Niles (6), Ward-Prowse (6), S Armstrong (6), Elyounoussi (5), Walcott (5), Adams (5).

Subs: Lavia (6), Aribo (6), A Armstrong (6), Edozie (6), Caleta-Car (6).

Newcastle: Pope (6), Trippier (8), Schar (6), Botman (7), Burn (7), Guimaraes (7), Longstaff (7), Willock (7), Almiron (8), Murphy (7), Wilson (6).

Subs: Wood (7), Shelvey (6), Saint-Maximin (6), Manquillo (n/a), Anderson (n/a).

Player of the match: Miguel Almiron.

How Newcastle thumped Saints

After an even start at St Mary’s, Newcastle grew into the game and went ahead 10 minutes before half-time when Paraguay international Almiron wove his way into the area, evaded a challenge from Ainsley Maitland-Niles and sidefooted past Gavin Bazunu into the bottom-left corner.

Southampton, who were forced into a first-half change when Juan Larios was replaced by the returning Romeo Lavia, should have levelled moments before the break when Stuart Armstrong’s cross found Mohamed Elyounoussi, but the Norwegian somehow skied his effort from six yards.

Team news

Armel Bella-Kotchap returned to Southampton’s line-up for the first time since dislocating his shoulder against West Ham last month.

Romeo Lavia was also a welcome return on the Saints bench, re-joining the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Theo Walcott got his first start of the season, while there were also starts for Juan Larios and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as Ralph Hasenhuttl made four changes from last weekend’s loss at Crystal Palace.

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe made just one change from the starting XI that beat Aston Villa last time out.

Jacob Murphy started in place of Joelinton, who was serving a one-match suspension after picking up five yellow cards.

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Almiron weaved his way through the Southampton defence to put Newcastle 1-0 up

James Ward-Prowse directed an early free-kick after the restart straight at Nick Pope, while Elyounoussi’s second half began much like the first ended as he directed another shot over the crossbar.

The weather soon began to mimic the hosts’ afternoon as substitute Wood pounced on a pass, pivoted, and directed the ball into the bottom corner under the worsening deluge before Willock added to Newcastle’s advantage with a low strike to the same spot four minutes later.

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Substitute Chris Wood curled in Newcastle’s second

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Joe Willock raced clear to make it 3-0 to Newcastle

Perraud denied the visitors a clean sheet, giving Pope no chance as he fired a composed strike into the top-right corner. But Southampton’s celebrations were cut short as Guimaraes responded immediately, curling Newcastle’s fourth past a diving Bazunu.

The high-flying Magpies have lost just once in the Premier League this season – a 2-1 defeat at Liverpool on August 31 – and are just five points behind champions Manchester City and seven adrift of leaders Arsenal.

Southampton have lost eight of their 14 league matches this season and are 18th in the table, one point and one position below local rivals Bournemouth.

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Romain Perraud scored a consolation goal for Southampton

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Bruno Guimaraes’ precise strike made it 4-1 to Newcastle

Trippier allays injury fear

With England manager Gareth Southgate watching on as he prepares to name his World Cup squad on Thursday, he would have feared the worst when Kieran Trippier was substituted due to an apparent hamstring issue.

However, the Newcastle right-back allayed any fears after the match, telling Sky Sports: “I just felt it tighten up as I stretched. I came out in the second half to carry on, but the manager subbed me off.

“I’m okay. I’m just happy I could help the team win.”

Trippier was happy with the victory but disappointed with the way Newcastle played.

Asked about the club sitting in third place in the table, he said: “It sounds good, but we’re frustrated in the way we played.

“We played nowhere near our best, we all know that – the manager said that at half-time. But the most important thing is the win, and we move one step closer now.”

Howe: We were not at our best

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Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe says his team are not getting carried away despite moving into third place in the Premier League

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe told Sky Sports: “I’m very pleased with the result. The performance wasn’t our best, but I’m not going to pick it to pieces.

“It was a tough game for us. Southampton dropped into the bottom three on Saturday, so we knew they would show a reaction.

“We were not at our best but we scored four wonderful goals. It feels a little flat because we didn’t hit the heights which we have in other weeks, but we were clinical when we needed to be.”

Miguel Almiron celebrates after giving Newcastle the lead at Southampton
Image: Miguel Almiron gave Newcastle the lead against Southampton at St Mary’s

On Almiron’s performance, Howe said: “I think that was one of Almiron’s best performances. He stood out for us. His running and energy were evident.

“His finish was clinical. I was really pleased with him again and it adds to the high number of quality goals he’s scored for us.”

Hasenhuttl responds as pressure mounts

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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl admits his side ‘have not done enough’ so far this season

When asked in his post-match press conference if this was his final game in charge, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “I have made a lot of decisions in my time here. Thankfully, I don’t have to make that decision.

“I cannot say the effort wasn’t there, but at the moment we are not taking the reward for the effort on the pitch.

“I think being in the relegation zone is a reflection of what we’ve done so far. It has not been good enough.”

Souness: Serious problems for Saints

Former Southampton boss Graeme Souness delivered a withering assessment of the club’s prospects of retaining its Premier League status.

He told Sky Sports: “Newcastle are playing with their tail up, deserved to win, not a problem.

“Southampton are a team that are fighting for their lives. Unless they improve on being more aggressive and willing to take one for the cause, they’re going down.”

Fantasy Premier League stats

FPL stats: Southampton vs Newcastle

Goals Perraud | Almiron, Wood, Willock, Guimaraes
Assists Salisu | Murphy, Tripper, Saint-Maximin
Bonus points Trippier (3pts) | Wood (2pts) | Willock (1pt)

Opta stats: Newcastle’s rise continues

  • Newcastle have 27 points after 14 games this season, their most at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1996-97 (29), when they finished second.
  • Southampton are winless across their last 14 Premier League games against teams starting that day inside the top four of the table (D5 L9), conceding 43 goals (3.1 per game).
  • Newcastle have scored 4+ goals four times across their last seven games in the Premier League, as many times as they had done so in their previous 226 games in the competition.
  • Southampton have kept just one clean sheet across their last 13 Premier League matches at St Mary’s, conceding 26 goals across this stretch.
  • Miguel Almirón has scored seven goals in his last seven appearances for Newcastle in the Premier League, as many as he had scored in his previous 76 games in the competition.

What’s next?

Southampton welcome Sheffield Wednesday to St Mary’s in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday at 7.45pm. They then travel to Liverpool for their final match before the World Cup break on November 12 at 3pm.

Saturday 12th November 5:00pm Kick off 5:30pm

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Newcastle complete their pre-World Cup campaign with two home games. The Magpies host Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday at 7.45pm, before being visited by Chelsea on November 12 at 5.30pm – live on Sky Sports.

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