English Premiership

Newcastle's gloom deepens

2014-09-13 18:30
Alan Pardew (AFP)

Southampton - Italian striker Graziano Pelle scored twice as Southampton increased the pressure on Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew with a 4-0 English Premiership victory at St Mary's on Saturday.

An £8 million signing from Feyenoord, Pelle scored twice in the first 19 minutes to put Southampton in control before Jack Cork and Morgan Schneiderlin found the net in the second half.

It sent Newcastle - beaten 4-0 at Southampton last season - to the foot of the table and means they have failed to win any of their first four league games for the first time since 2005.

While Sadio Mane was unable to make his Southampton debut after returning late from international duty with Senegal, the hosts had fellow new signing Toby Alderweireld in their line-up and started strongly.

Shane Long was quick to put the visiting defence under pressure, charging down a clearance from Tim Krul and then seeing a penalty appeal turned down after appearing to be felled by the Newcastle goalkeeper.

The breakthrough came in the sixth minute, with Pelle heading home a Ryan Bertrand cross after neat build-up on the Southampton left.

Calamitous Newcastle defending allowed the home side to double their lead 13 minutes later.

Mike Williamson's weak back header fell straight to Pelle and although he shanked his attempted volley, it found Dusan Tadic, who drew Krul from his line before teeing up the Italian to roll the ball into an empty net.

To cries of "You're getting sacked in the morning!" directed at former Southampton manager Pardew by the home fans, Newcastle pushed for an equaliser.

Fraser Forster saved twice in quick succession to thwart Moussa Sissoko and the fit-again Jack Colback, while Yoan Gouffran saw a shot hit Bertrand and bounce agonisingly wide.

Long's collision with Krul obliged the Irishman to leave the fray at half-time, with Victor Wanyama coming on, but it did not curb the hosts' momentum and in the 54th minute they added a third goal.

In attempting to shepherd a pass from Steven Davis back to Krul, Williamson enabled Cork to nip in and the former England Under-21 international rounded the goalkeeper before tucking the ball home.

Schneiderlin completed Newcastle's misery in stoppage time with a fine curling shot.

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