Southampton moved to the top of the Premier League table for the first time ever by storming to a comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle on Friday evening.
The Saints wanted simply seven minutes to open the scoring by way of Che Adams, who fired home an spectacular volley from a Theo Walcott cross. The south coast side remained on top for the rest of the first half and doubtless ought to have doubled their lead shortly before the break, just for Walcott to drag his effort extensive of the post.
The one-way visitors continued within the second half as Southampton pushed for a second goal. Jan Bednarek had an effort cleared off the road and Oriol Romeu saw a long-range effort crash over through the bar, and so they lastly got their second within the 81st minute as Stuart Armstrong fired home after some surprising defending from Newcastle.
The Magpies nearly grabbed a goal back late on by way of Joelinton, but the Brazilian’s header was expertly kept out by Alex McCarthy, making certain Southampton’s victory was about as excellent as may very well be.
Alex McCarthy (GK) – 7/10 – Did nicely to stay alert all through and made an excellent save to deny Joelinton late on.
Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) – 7/10 – Did all of the defending he wanted to but spent most of his time within the attacking third, wreaking havoc down the right side of the pitch.
Jan Bednarek (CB) – 6/10 – Callum Wilson’s motion prompted him a few issues but nothing too extreme. Stood his floor and ensured the Newcastle forwards could not get of their grove.
Jannik Vestergaard (CB) – 8/10 – Vestergaard’s passing was one of the highlights for Southampton. The Dane fired forward passes with ease all evening look and looked relaxed doing it.
Jack Stephens (LB) – 5/10 – Looked uncomfortable taking part in out of position and misplaced a few passes. Caught on camera reminding us all he’s ‘not a f**king ball boy’.
Stuart Armstrong (RM) – 9/10 – Pulled the strings for Southampton out extensive but usually drifted inside to take benefit of Newcastle’s awkward midfield. Seemed to be in every single place and took his goal with actual class.
Oriol Romeu (CM) – 8/10 – Outstanding work charge from Romeu, who was a one-man wrecking crew as he charged back and forth to recuperate possession. Looked comfortable on the ball too and struck the bar with an glorious strike.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) – 9/10 – Did completely every little thing in each space of the pitch. Typically good in possession but equally spectacular doing the soiled work on the back. Playing out of his pores and skin right now.
Moussa Djenepo (LM) – 6/10 – Struggled to match the excellent affect from his teammates. Managed to get on the ball sufficient but found it laborious to get into the field and sometimes had to resort to rushed shots or crosses.
Theo Walcott (ST) – 9/10 – An absolute animal. Deployed centrally but was given the liberty to roam round an exploit space. Tormented Newcastle along with his pressing, so we’ll let him off about his less-than-ideal cross to Adams.
Che Adams (ST) – 8/10 – Was more of a focal point than Walcott but nonetheless blissful to move round in search of the ball. Could have scored an glorious long-range effort simply seconds before volleying Southampton ahead.
Nathan Redmond – 6/10
Shane Long – N/A
Karl Darlow (GK) – 6/10 – Made some respectable saves but might be dissatisfied to have seen Adams’ strike go over his head.
Jacob Murphy (RB) – 5/10 – Threatened to make one thing occur in attack but his legs looked to be working sooner than his mind within the final third.
Fabian Schar (CB) – 4/10 – Did not look up for the combat with Walcott and Adams. Regularly ripped apart by Southampton’s tempo and looked lost at sea at instances.
Jamaal Lascelles (CB) – 5/10 – Just as poor as Schar but made a goal-line clearance shortly after the break to stop Bednarek from scoring.
Federico Fernandez (CB) – 4/10 – Looked far too gradual to deal with Southampton’s dynamic attack, but admittedly was given no support from his midfielders. Passing was far too boring.
Jamal Lewis (LB) – 3/10 – Caught in possession far too usually and put his side at risk frequently. Given the run-around by Armstrong and Walker-Peters.
Miguel Almiron (CM) – 2/10 – Seemed to overlook Southampton existed when he was caught on the ball for Adams’ goal. Not a pure deep midfielder and looked uncomfortable, but that does not excuse some of his errors.
Sean Longstaff (CM) – 1/10 – Barely touched the ball and spent most of the game charging round attempting to keep up. Couldn’t get anyplace close to Southampton’s forwards and was inexplicably caught in possession for Armstrong’s goal.
Jeff Hendrick (CM) – 2/10 – An nameless efficiency from Hendrick. Chasing shadows for many of the game and by no means actually looked like serving to out. Lucky to be introduced off on the hour mark before issues got worse.
Callum Wilson (ST) – 3/10 – Tried to cause issues along with his motion but was so remoted in attack. Managed simply 9 touches in first half and may’t have had many more after the break before he went off injured.
Allan Saint-Maximin (ST) – 3/10 – Seemed starved in a central position, which means Steve Bruce’s tactic of ‘give it Saint-Maximin and hope for the best’ did not pay off.
Matty Longstaff – 4/10
Andy Carroll – 5/10
Joelinton – 5/10
For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!