team 2012-13

Southampton 2-0 Newcastle (1-0 HT)

Barclays Premier League

St.Mary's - Sunday 25th November 2012

Lallana 34′
Ramirez 60′
Ref: Atkinson
Att: 31,410
Wow. That was good.

I haven't enjoyed a match so much for years. And that Gastón Ramírez, what a player! Not one single player in that side gets anything less than an 8 out of 10 from me.

I wonder how the Newcastle manager and ex-Saints manager, Alan Pardew, felt to be so comprehensively outplayed by a rampant Saints side.

It was a return to the feeling of the last two seasons when we turned up to find that there were no changes to the Saints team. In fact Nigel Adkins had gone further, stating in his customary pre-match press conference, that he was sticking with Gazzaniga in goal. It must have done the young goalkeeper a lot of good to know that his manager was going to stick by him, in spite of his errors in the last couple of games.

There wasn't much of a clue initially, exactly how dominant Saints were to be in the match, as they looked rather tentative in the initial exchanges. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there was a moment where Saints suddenly took a grip on the game and never really looked back.

Schneiderlin and Cork took control of the midfield and the defence looked solid in front of a goalkeeper whose confidence visibly grew as the match wore on. At the sharp end of the pitch Lallana and Puncheon out wide, Ramírez in the middle and Lambert up front were tearing the Newcastle defence to shreds.

The only surprise to me, was that it took just over half an hour for Saints to open the scoring. When it came, it was after a period of intense Saints pressure. The excellent Krul in the Newcastle goal came off his line to clear the ball. It fell for Clyne, who looked up, seeing Krul in no mans land and tried to chip the keeper. The ex-Saint Mike Williamson managed to prevent the goal, but only managed to clear as far as Ramírez on the edge of the area. He squared the ball for Lallana to tap into an empty net.
At this point it looked only a matter of time before the next Saints goal, as Newcastle were fining it very difficult to contain the Saints marauding forwards and their tactics seemed to consist of booting the ball long at every opportunity.

As half time came and went there was a brief improvement from Newcastle, but it soon faded and Saints were back in control. During this period Anita broke through the Saints lines but could only shoot straight at Gazzaniga.

The second goal for Saints took a while and it was about the hour mark when it arrived in style. Lallana did a lovely back heel to Puncheon on the edge of the Newcastle penalty area and he shot from almost the byline. Krul only managed to parry it and there was Ramírez pouncing on the ball. 2-0.

A combination of Krul's skills in the Newcastle goal and some very strange decisions by the officials managed to prevent any more Saints goals. On another day they would have scored another three, or four goals.

Saints were in sensational form and it was truly a team performance. Right from the back, where Gazzaniga pulled off two, or three very good saves, through the excellent defence, in which Shaw did not look in the slightest bit out of place, to the controlling midfield duo of Schneiderlin and Cork, right up to the very impressive forward line. Although all the attention seemed to be gained by an eye-catching display by Lallana, for me it was the tricks, flicks and all action display by Gastón Ramírez that will be remembered. This man is going to be pivotal to our season.

So, three point gained, the goal difference improved and out of the bottom three (for the moment). The next game is only three days away when Norwich come to St.Mary's and the team need to perform at least as well as this to overcome a good Norwich side.

Channonite 26.11.2012

Teams

Saints

12 Gazzaniga
02 Clyne
03 Yoshida
06 Fonte Booked
23 Shaw (Hooiveld - 90' )
04 Schneiderlin
10 Ramirez Booked (S Davis - 78' )
18 Cork
20 Lallana
42 Puncheon
07 Lambert (Rodriguez - 76' )

Substitutes
01 K Davis
05 Hooiveld
08 S Davis
16 Ward-Prowse
21 Guly
09 Rodriguez
24 Mayuka

Newcastle

01 Krul
03 Santon
05 Simpson
06 Williamson Booked
27 S Taylor (Perch - 90' )
31 Ferguson (Sa Ameobi - 46' )
08 Anita (Marveaux - 66' )
18 Gutierrez
24 Tiote Booked
09 Cisse
19 Ba

Substitutes
37 Harper
14 Perch
34 Tavernier
20 Bigirimana
22 Marveaux
28 Sa Ameobi
30 Ranger

Match Stats

Possession
Southampton 50%
Newcastle 50%

Shots
Southampton 17
Newcastle 8

On target
Southampton 10
Newcastle 3

Corners
Southampton 4
Newcastle 3

Fouls
Southampton 12
Newcastle 14