Saints earn draw at Newcastle
Newcastle’s Vernon Gouffran and Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin (AFP)
Newcastle - Jay Rodriguez scored his sixth goal of the season to secure a 1-1 draw for Southampton with in-form Newcastle in their Premier League clash on Saturday.
Yoann Gouffran had given Newcastle the lead in the first-half only for Rodriguez to reply in the second to leave Newcastle in sixth spot - having taken 16 points from the last 21 - and the Saints in eighth.
The hosts took a deserved lead in the 27th minute as Gouffran slotted home his sixth of the season - the 10th successive goal scored by a Frenchman for the Magpies - although it stemmed from a dreadful error by Jos Hooiveld.
Southampton had almost gifted an opener to Newcastle in the opening minutes as Gouffran stole the ball off Argentinian 'keeper Paulo Gazzaniga and teed up Loic Remy but the Frenchman's goalbound shot was cleared before it crossed the line by Calum Chambers.
The visitors, though, came out fired up in the second-half with Steven Davis hitting the bar with a fine effort before he set up Rodriguez playing a neat one-two with the England international who fired past Tim Krul.
Newcastle, though, almost retook the lead immediately with another of their legion of French players, Mathieu Debuchy, seeing his shot well saved by Gazzaniga.
However, the Argentinian had Remy to thank for the sides staying level as a minute later he made a mess of his clearance kick with the ball going to the former Marseille striker, but he just shot high over the bar.
Play had to be held up while referee Mike Jones received attention after he was accidentally hit by Moussa Sissokho which gave the hosts some time to gather themselves under incessant Southampton wave of attacks.
The match ended with an unseemly free for all between the two sides after the hosts reacted angrily to a Morgan Schneiderlein challenge on Massadio Haidara - Jones bringing proceedings to an end shortly afterwards.