REPORT: Southampton 4-0 Newcastle United
A first half double from Graziano Pellè secured Saints’ third successive win in all competitions with a 4-0 success at St Mary’s.
Pellè’s third and fourth strikes of the season arrived inside the opening 20 minutes of play on what transpired as a relatively easy victory for Ronald Koeman’s side who were on top for much of the contest against a lacklustre Newcastle team.
For all their dominance, Saints had to wait until the second half to confirm the win, with the third strike arriving on 54 minutes through Jack Cork’s confident finish at the Chapel end from a Steven Davis assist.
Morgan Schneiderlin curled home a delicious strike to add gloss to the success, as Saints repeated their hammering of the Geordies at St Mary's from last season.
Southampton had only lost one of their previous 21 home matches against Newcastle in the league, and this one went to form, leaving the Geordies still awaiting their first win of the season.
Koeman made two changes to the Saints team that started in the win at West Ham. New signing Toby Alderweireld partnered team captain Jose Fonte at the back in place of Maya Yoshida, while Jack Cork took James Ward-Prowse’s slot in midfield.
Another recent recruit, Sadio Mané was not yet able to feature for the hosts.
Newcastle were boosted by the return of fitness of midfield pair Jack Colback and Cheick Tiote, though only the former was ready to start for the visitors, who despite a 3-3 draw last time out in the league were targeting goals, having failed to score in seven of their previous nine matches.
And they would quickly learn in this game how important it would be to find the back of the net, as Saints made a blistering start to this contest.
The tone was set after just 23 seconds when Shane Long chased down a short backpass from Fabricio Coloccini to goalkeeper Tim Krul, with the Irishman getting a block in on the shot stopper’s clearance, which fortunately for Krul, bounced just wode of the post rather than into the empty net.
The hosts were lively from the off, and Long was involved in a duel again with Krul soon after when the frontman was brought down inside the area by the Magpies custodian, but referee Chris Foy wasn’t interested.
Saints broke the deadlock in the 6th minute. After sustained pressure, Ryan Bertrand helped the ball back into the area from the left side of the area, and Graziano Pellè snapped up the chance of a free header into the top left corner for 1-0.
Buoyed by his third goal in as many games, the Italian striker instantly looked for a second effort when he received Long’s header in his stride before smashing a low shot at Krul, and Pellè tested the keeper again when he hit a strike on the turn which had to be turned past the post.
Pellè wouldn’t be denied a third time though, when on 18 he profited from Mike Williamson’s weak header before playing an all too easy set of passes with Tadić inside Newcastle’s area to tap home for 2-0.
It largely remained one-way traffic from there, though Saints were grateful to Fraser Forster on 25 minutes with the keeper called into action to deny Moussa Sissoko’s powerful drive at goal, and then he was on hand to block Jack Colback’s low strike before the half hour.
Both teams made a substitution each at half-time with Victor Wanyama replacing Long for the hosts, while Cheick Tiote came on for Anita, with both moves appearing to be tactical.
Saints continued to look assured in possession and have the game under their control. Tadić had seen a high shot held by Krul, before the hosts popped up with goal number three on 54 minutes.
The move started from deep midfield and ended with Davis rolling the ball forward to the edge of the area where Jack Cork got the better of Williamson to calmly round Krul and slot home his first ever competitive goal at home for Saints.
Newcastle’s best chance of the second half came in the 78th minute when Forster missed a cross, but a combination of misses from Sissoko, Riviere and Colback from close range, seemed to sum up the Magpies’ day. Yoan Gouffran’s far post header was pushed over by Forster moments later, but the Saints stopper’s clean sheet would be confirmed at the final whistle.
But before then, Saints found the net for a fourth time, when substitute James Ward-Prowse laid the ball into the path of Morgan Schneiderlin on the edge of the area, and the Frenchman added to his double at West Ham with a wonderful arching effort into the top corner for 4-0.
Southampton team: Fraser Forster, Nathaniel Clyne, José Fonte (c), Toby Alderweireld, Ryan Bertrand, Jack Cork (Florin Gardos 88), Morgan Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Shane Long (Victor Wanyama 46), Dušan Tadić (James Ward-Prowse 67), Graziano Pellè
Unused substitutes: Kelvin Davis, Maya Yoshida, Emmanuel Mayuka, Sam McQueen
Goals: Pellè (6) & (18), Cork (54), Schneiderlin (90)
Newcastle team: Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Michael Williamson, Daryl Janmaat, Massadio Haidara, Vurnon Anita (Cheick Tiote 46), Moussa Sissoko (Sammy Ameobi 88), Jack Colback, Yoan Gouffran, Remy Cabella (Ayoze Perez 69), Emmanuel Riviere
Unused substitutes: Rob Elliot, Gabriel Obertan, Steven Taylor, Adam Armstrong
Referee: Chris Foy
Attendance: 29,678 (including 2,474 away)