English Premiership

The Saints go marching on

2015-01-17 22:03
Eljero Elia (AP)

Newcastle - Eljero Elia repaid Ronald Koeman's faith in bringing him to the Premier League with a brace in a 2-1 win at Newcastle on Saturday which lifted Southampton to third in the table.

The 27-year-old Elia, making his second appearance since moving on loan from Werder Bremen this month, scored in each half at St James' Park to keep the Saints on course for a Champions League spot.

Elia made the most of hesitancy in the home defence with goals in the 14th and 62nd minutes to frustrate the Magpies, who had levelled with a fortuitous Yoan Gouffran effort just before the half-hour mark.

Koeman's success on Tyneside left Newcastle's caretaker boss John Carver still searching for his first win after four attempts since former manager Alan Pardew quit to take charge of Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.

Manchester United's 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers earlier on Saturday had meant Southampton dropped down a place before kick-off and being without Morgan Schneiderlin, Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama made the task of regaining third place that much more difficult.

Newcastle, who only made one change to the side which lost to Chelsea a week ago, must have sensed that too, so quickly got on top of the visitors and made quick progress towards the Southampton penalty box.

Remy Cabella looked dangerous early on, while Gouffran's shot on the half-volley was comfortably held by former Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

But Southampton scored with their first attack. Jose Fonte's hopeful long ball was chested down by striker Graziano Pelle. It was perfect for the onrushing James Ward-Prowse to roll behind the defence for Elia to run on to and fire a finish low beyond Tim Krul.

The Dutch keeper should really have prevented the opener, but Netherlands international Elia was more than happy to see his effort beat his compatriot and he then ran jumped straight in to the arms of Southampton manager Koeman, another fellow countryman, on the touchline in celebration.

Southampton could have gone 2-0 up when defender Fonte headed a Ward-Prowse free-kick over the bar when it looked easier to score.

Newcastle seemed to have lost their way, but good fortune earned them a 29th-minute equaliser.

When Cabella slotted a hopeful pass behind the Southampton defence, Forster charged out to try to gather. Florin Gardos made the mistake of trying to deal with it and his attempted sliding clearance bounced off Gouffran before deflecting into the empty net.

After that, Newcastle found their feet again during what was a decent first half of football.

Ayoze Perez, the young Spanish forward, went close to putting the home side ahead too, but he was wide with a first time volley from Cabella's lovely floated pass.

After half-time neither side took control before Elia's second goal just after the hour.

After Gouffran had glanced a header wide from Massadio Haidara's cross at one end, Southampton attacked and found the net at the other -- moments after introducing substitutes Shane Long and Jack Cork.

A routine clearance forward was flicked on by Pelle. Newcastle right-back Daryl Janmaat should have dealt with it, but he allowed Elia to nip in, gain control and shoot beyond Krul with the help of a deflection off the defender.

Pelle then headed against the bar soon afterwards but Newcastle finished the stronger, even though they could not find a way to create a late equalising goal.

And when a claim for a handball was waved away in the dying stages after Emmanuel Riviere's goal-bound drive was stopped by Fonte's arm, Newcastle's last chance had gone.


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