English Premiership

Saints add to Magpies' woes

Rafa Benitez (AFP)
Rafa Benitez (AFP)

Cape Town - Newcastle United were once again let down by some very poor defending as they succumbed to a 3-1 loss to Southampton at St Mary's Stadium in the Premier League.

The Saints began the game brightly and it took just four minutes for them to grab the lead through Shane Long. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Graziano Pelle made it 2-0 seven minutes before half time.

Victor Wanyama effectively killed the match as a contest when he score the home side's third in the 55th minute, but there was one bright moment for the Magpies as Andros Townsend scored a typical long-range effort. It was scant consolation on another tough day for Newcastle fans as they went down 3-1.

Southampton were on the front foot from the opening whistle and Pelle forced a save out of Ryan Bertrand from a corner less than two minutes after the opening whistle.

Newcastle did not heed the early warning signs and found themselves a goal behind two minutes later as Pelle and Long played a neat one-two around a disappointingly stationary Steven Taylor, allowing the latter through on goal and he slotted home past Karl Darlow.

Jordy Clasie went inches away from doubling their lead from a needless free kick given away by Daryl Janmaat and the theme of poor decision making at the back would continue to be a theme for Newcastle throughout the game.

Some more atrocious defending led to the Saints second goal in the 38th minute as Janmaat failed to intercept a throughball from Sadio Mane, allowing Tadic to deliver the ball into the box. Long's touch in receiving the pass was poor, but somehow Pelle was able to get to the lose ball first and blast home to make it 2-0.

Once again, Newcastle only had themselves to blame as they found themselves 3-0 down in the 55th minute. The defence did nothing to clear a seemingly innocuous corner from Mane, which fell to Jose Fonte who saw his shot blocked on the line. However, it rebounded out to Wanyama, who was able to take a touch before sliding the ball into the bottom corner almost uncontested.

The visitors started to come back into the game after the third goal, but it was too little too late as Townsend test Fraser Forster with a fierce drive from 25 yards out in the 58th minute.

The winger would score a trademark goal seven minutes later as he cut in off the right wing onto his left foot before curling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box, but it was nothing more than a consolation for the beleaguered Magpies.

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