Elia 14′, 62′
FT 90 +6
Newcastle United 58%
Newcastle United 16
Newcastle United 3
Newcastle United 9
Newcastle United 9
Referee : Robert Madley
Attendance : 49,307
Eljero Elia - 14’, 62’
- Match Report
- Teams & Interviews
Newcastle v Saints
St.James’ Park, Saturday 17th January 2015
> Third away win this week, all on live TV
> Saints back to third place in the League
Match Report :
Have the Saints ever had a more productive road trip? Old Trafford, Portman Road and now St James’ Park have welcomed Ron’s lads in just 7 days. Every game was televised and every game was won – that is a heck of a lot of hoodoos put to bed in just a few days.
It seems the North-East football rivalry is alive and well. Despite humiliating them a few weeks back, Sunderland welcomed Saints on Friday. They made their training facilities available to us from 2pm onwards. No doubt their supporters enjoyed Saturday evening’s result as much as we did.
From what I could see both sides lined up as 4-2-3-1. Saints dropped Steve Davis back into the defensive pair and, with Cork not ready for 90 minutes, played Harry Reed alongside him. The front 4 were as expected with Dušan Tadić fit.
The early minutes saw the sides testing each other out but, from the off, Saints looked more comfortable in possession. Our pressing when Newcastle had the ball caused panicked long balls which Gardoş and Fonte gratefully lapped up. Newcastle enjoyed more of the ball but did little to trouble us in the final third.
On 14 minutes Saints went ahead. A long ball was chested down by Pellè. Ward-Prowse stepped forwards and slid a cute ball into the space vacated by Coloccini. Elia cut in with Janmaat in tow but the winger held off his marker and fired a cross shot under Krul. Whilst the keeper didn’t cover himself in glory, Elia had hit the ball firmly along the ground. He celebrated by running to Ron and giving him a big hug. 0-1.
Newcastle looked shaky for a while after that. Saints passing and moving saw them dominate possession for this part of the match. Indeed, Saints really should have doubled their lead. A foul on Clyne gave us a free-kick on the right. JWP drifted the ball towards the back post where Fonte beat his marker but the header flew just over.
Gradually Newcastle recovered their mojo and the middle part of the half saw them pressing with Saints content to hit them on the break. Tadić got a rough ride from Newcastle’s players and, in due course, their fans. In my experience, Newcastle’s supporters are the least knowledgeable of all – they even make Manchester United fans look well-informed!
On 29 minutes Newcastle drew level. A ball was fed into our box but there was no real danger with Gardoş, Forster and Clyne all in position to deal with it. The big Romanian decided he was going to hack the ball away but his firm clearance struck the thigh of Gouffran and the ball flew past Forster into our goal – a rank fluke but 1-1 all the same.
Newcastle fancied their chances for a while but did little to cause further alarm. In the dying seconds, Perez ran onto a pass dropping over his shoulder. His left foot volley bounced wide of Forster’s far post. Half time: 1-1.
In the second half Newcastle again enjoyed plenty of the ball but Saints coped adequately. Young Harry Reed seemed to be enjoying himself and Jack Colback will know he’d been in a game.
On the hour mark, Ron went for the win. He withdrew Tadić and JWP, bringing on Long and Cork. We briefly played 4-3-3 with Long and Elia supporting Pellè and Cork protecting the defence. However Newcastle went close to snatching the lead as Haidara for once out-flanked Clyne. His lovely cross was met by Gouffran but the Frenchman didn’t get enough on his header which dropped wide of the far post. With their next attack Saints scored.
Another ball forward to Pellè was played back into mid-field. The next pass was played beyond the Italian but Long got a run on Coloccini and out-jumped him. The ball fell into the path of Elia, again cutting in with Janmaat at his heels. Dummett tried to intervene but the Dutch winger showed great strength to hold off both defenders and get a shot away. Janmaat’s attempted block merely took the ball wide of Krul into the corner of the net. 1-2 and Elia was celebrating once more.
There was still a quarter of the game to go, but Saints decided 'what we have, we hold'. They effectively played the remainder of the game 4-1-4-1 with the wide men dropping back and Jack being Jack in front of the back four. I actually like watching Saints defend these days. We are good at it (at last) and now I’m surprised when we concede.
Newcastle also made a double substitution bringing on Riviere and Ameobi for Anita and Gouffran. Amoebi took up a position wide left and gave Clyne as much trouble as he’s had for a long time. Newcastle piled on the pressure, winning a string of corners. The one decent chance they created fell to Dummett but the centre-half planted his header wide.
Saints were always alive to the possibility of a break and one such saw Clyne escape down the right. His peach of a cross found Pellè but the big man’s header struck the woodwork. In the last 10 minutes both sides made final substitutions – Williamson replacing Dummett for Newcastle: Targett instead of Elia for Saints.
Newcastle continued to press forward but Saints coped with everything until injury time arrived. Then the ball broke to Riviere just outside the Saints box. He shot goal-wards and struck Fonte on the arm. Everyone looked at the referee but he did not blow and Fonte hacked the ball away. Saints survived the remaining minutes with no further scares and a further 3 points were secured.
Saints yellow 3rd strip looked excellent and in it our boys dug deep for another hard-earned win. There were several candidates for Man of the Match but the easy choice is often best. Elia’s 2 goals won the game and he gets my vote. However, I was impressed by his overall performance. When Saints were under the cosh he defended wisely. He showed great strength, brushing away challenges and bringing the ball out. I like this player very much.
Now to focus on our cup run…
19th January 2015
01 Krul, 22 Janmaat, 02 Coloccini, 36 Dummett (Williamson - 80’ ), 19 Haidara, 08 Anita (Riviere - 68’ ), 14 Colback, 20 Cabella, 07 Sissoko, 11 Gouffran (Ameobi - 68’ ), 17 Pérez
03 Santon, 06 Williamson, 28 Ameobi, 29 Riviere, 30 Abeid, 32 Armstrong, 41 Woodman
23 Forster, 02 Clyne, 06 Fonte, 05 Gardos, 21 Bertrand, 08 Davis Booked, 28 Reed, 16 Ward-Prowse (Cork - 60’ ), 11 Tadic (Long - 60’ Booked ), 22 Elia (Targett - 82’ ), 19 Pellè
01 Davis, 07 Long, 18 Cork, 27 Isgrove, 32 McCarthy, 33 Targett, 42 Hesketh
Post-Newcastle game interview with Ronald Koeman
Post match interview with Eljero Elia