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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
29 March 2014
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 31360
J. Rodriguez 45'+, 89'
R. Lambert 49'
A. Lallana 70'
My name's Greg Taylor, thanks for being with us, have a great Saturday evening.
Then more poor Magpies' defending followed as no one closed down Lallana before he scored a brilliant third before Rodriguez added a fourth late on. Newcastle have been leapfrogged in the league by their opponents today, and you have to say, on today's evidence, it's hugely surprising they're so near one another in the league table.
Newcastle have been dreadful defensively all afternoon and Southampton capitalised on it. Rodriguez opened the scoring just before the break after Lambert sprung the offside trap to play him in. Then Lambert doubled the Saints' lead after a good ball from Lallana found him at the back post to fire past Elliot.
FULL TIME: There's the final whistle and Southampton are deserved winners. Pardew will be very disappointed with what he has seen from his side this afternoon. These two sides should be evenly matched, but it's been a mismatch since the first minute.
90' + 2'
The Southampton fans are chanting "we want five" and why not. Newcastle look incapable of defending and the home side look brilliant when coming forward. They'll be four minutes of added time.
Assist G. Ramírez
Goal Jay Rodriguez
GOAL! Two for Rodriguez, four for Southampton, it's been a very good afternoon for the home side. Again dreadful defending by Newcastle, a long ball is played over the top to Rodriguez who latches onto it. He looks to hold it up but instead swivels and hits a low shot under Elliot into the back of the net.
Three minutes to go and Southampton are still looking to add to their tally. Ramirez, Shaw and Lallana are all involved down the left hand side but can't quite create an opportunity and Newcastle have a throw.
Sissoko gets away and is bearing down on goal but Shaw shows all his pace and defensive qualities by catching him up and stopping him getting a shot away. He has been excellent this afternoon.
Lambert is taken off to a standing ovation, another goal and assist for the big man has done his World Cup chances no harm this afternoon. Gaston Ramirez is on for him. Rodriguez makes some space for himself in the middle and shoots from distance but Elliot easily gets down to it.
Great play by Lallana, he just checks back on the edge of the area and whips in a great ball into the back post but Rodriguez can't get a decisive touch. It goes out for a corner.
FACT: The Magpies have lost five of the last six matches they have played without on-loan striker Loic Remy. Make that six of the last seven. They really are missing their star striker, what will they do without him next season?
Rob Elliot has been brilliant this afternoon. Newcastle can thank their goalkeeper it's only 3-0. Newcastle do get forward but de Jong's effort is well wide. Goal kick for Boruc.
Yellow Card Massadio Haidara
OFF THE POST! Southampton should have another. Ward-Prowse drills a shot low and hard but Elliot pushes it away, Lambert keeps it alive and crosses to Rodriguez who headers it against the before Ward-Prowse is denied again by Elliot.
Southampton are home and dry and this scoreline doesn't flatter them at all. Schneiderlin replaces Davis for the Saints.
Goal Adam Lallana
GOAL! What a season this man is having, Lallana makes it three with a brilliant goal. Southampton are given an advantage and Lallana runs at the Newcastle defence before unleashing an unstoppable drive from 25 yards into the top hand corner. No chance for Elliot.
The game has gone a little flat the last ten minutes but de Jong does well down the left, he cuts inside and lays it off to Anita whose shot is charged down by Lovren. Newcastle players claim handball but that was definitely ball to hand.
Newcastle win a corner as Southampton are down to ten men. Shaw is down injured, nothing too serious, but it's another poor tackle missed by Andre Marriner. That again was late and high, I wonder if the referee is afraid to make another wrong decision after last weeks error.
Southampton look to counter with Rodriguez, the Englishman drives out from the back and almost picks out Cork but Tiote shows great strength to usher the striker off the ball.
Nasty challenge by Cisse on Chambers. He stamped down on the young right back and that could easily have been a red card. That's a really bad tackle, he's a lucky boy to still be on the pitch.
Lambert holds it up well and looks to open up the Newcastle defence with a ball out wide toward Chambers but his pass is over hit and Newcastle have a goal. Slight lull in the game at the moment, I'm sure both managers are thinking of making some changes.
Pardew on his phone, probably texting his assistants to make a change. He'll be annoyed at his players lack of fight. They need to score next to have any chance of getting something out of this game.
Good play by Sissoko, he makes a strong run into the box and delivers a low cross into the six yard box but no one is there to meet it. Too many Newcastle players look disinterested this afternoon.
STAT ATTACK: 32 of the 47 league goals scored by the Saints this season have been scored by English players. 33 of the 48 league goals scored by the Magpies this season have been scored by Frenchman.
Newcastle look so sloppy today, defensively and going forward, but they do have a corner. Not the best delivery, de Jong brings it down but Boruc catches the shot with ease.
Assist Adam Lallana
Goal Rickie Lambert
GOAL! Brilliant goal, awful defending. For the second time, Newcastle try and play an offside trap but it doesn't work. Lallana runs across the edge of the box and floats a brilliant clipped pass into the path of Lambert who smashes it past Elliot for his 11th of the season.
Again Southampton are fast out the blocks, Chambers chips a cross into the back post towards Lambert but his header is tame and Williamson gets it away.
So Pardew has made two changes at half time, de Jong has replaced the very quiet Ben Arfa while Santon is on for Yanga-Mbiwa to tighten up the defence.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Luuk de Jong
We're back underway, with Newcastle kicking us off in their yellow away strip.
The players are back out on the pitch, we'll be back underway shortly.
The first half stats tell the story. The Saints have half 63 per cent possession to Newcastle's lowly 37, but amazingly Newcastle have yet to have an attempt on goal. Southampton meanwhile have had 14 attempts and four on target. Very one sided, but great to watch.
HALFTIME: It's been a really entertaining half of football, Southampton have looked brilliant going forward and despite Elliot making a number of great saves to keep them out, Rodriguez gives Southampton the lead just before the break with a simple goal.
45' + 1'
Assist Rickie Lambert
45' + 1'
Goal Jay Rodriguez
GOAL! They get the break through and Elliot is finally beaten. Lambert beats a poor offside trap by the Newcastle back four, he squares it to Rodriguez who buries it past Elliot. They deserve that. Elliot doesn't.
WHAT A SAVE! Great save by Elliot again. Lambert gets down the left and crosses for Rodriguez who meets the ball at pace but the Newcastle keeper somehow keeps it out. Rodriguez could have had four or five if it weren't for Elliot.
Shaw shows just how good he is as he skips past Yanga-Mbiwa and bullies his way past Williamson on the left hand side, he crosses low and hard but Elliot gets down low to cut it out. You can see why his manager thinks he could get into any side in the world.
Newcastle look a little more disciplined now in their shape. Southampton are struggling to break them down despite their earlier dominance.
FACT: Mauricio Pochettino's side have lost a league-high 18 points from winning positions this season. You can see why, they start so brightly but fade a little as the game goes on.
Southampton will want to score soon because Newcastle are starting to grow into this game. Somehow they're not behind and despite being half asleep for the first half hour, the Magpies are looking more in control now.
Lambert comes charging towards the Newcastle back four and has Lallana in acres of space on the right hand side but the striker opts to shoot from 30 yards much to the annoyance of his England colleague.
This is the best period of possession for Newcastle all game. Gouffran is fed by Tiote into the Southampton box the Frenchman tries to skip round Boruc but he's dispossessed and Southampton survive.
Pochettino is out in his technical area giving out some orders. Probably, along the lines of, "put it away". They could be well out of sight here if they'd taken their chances.
As we approach the half hour mark, Southampton players must wonder what they have to do to take the lead in this half. Haidara gets beyond Chambers down the left but his cross is blocked and out for a throw.
Lallana plays a long ball into the box, this time Elliot doesn't deal with it and it falls to Lambert who tries to loft the goalkeeper but it's too high and Newcastle have a goal kick.
Newcastle have a free kick, Elliot takes it from deep but it goes long and Boruc has a goal kick. All the Newcastle players look around shrugging their shoulders.
Newcastle finally get a breather and have some possession in the Southampton half. They look short of ideas though and turn and go backwards.
Lallana twists and turns on the edge of the box and hits a low hard shot but Elliot again keeps it out. He's had a very, very busy opening 22 minutes the Newcastle keeper.
Newcastle have been very poor so far, especially at the back. The Saints are cutting them to pieces. This time Chambers gets in behind and delivers a lethal ball into the six yard box but Williamson heads it out for a corner. From that corner, Lovren gets a free header but nods it over, another huge miss.
CHANCE! Incredible stuff. How are Southampton not ahead? Shaw picks out Lambert at the back post who nods it back across goal for the on rushing Lallana but the England international heads his chance wide from four yards out. It is coming.
GREAT SAVE! Another glorious chance for the home side. Lallana slips Lambert in one on one with Elliot, he looks to lift the ball over the Newcastle keeper but it's brilliantly saved to keep it 0-0.
Rodriguez has has another good effort saved from distance by Elliot, the rebound comes out to Ward-Prowse but his shot hits the side netting. The home side are playing very well and look like they'll break the deadlock soon.
STAT ATTACK: Southampton have won just two of their last nine Premier League home matches (W2, D3, L4).
Very patient by Southampton in possession. They bring it forward but if nothing is on they're happy to play it backwards and start again. Ben Arfa receives it on the right again, but Shaw nicks it off him and Newcastle have a throw. That could be a key battle this afternoon.
CHANCE! Southampton should lead. A hopeful ball by Lovren is played forward towards Rodriguez, the striker beats Yanga-Mbiwa to the ball and is one on one with Elliot but he fluffs his lines and drags his shot wide.
Good pressing as usual by the Saints, no Newcastle player is getting any time on the ball. Tiote finally finds some space and feeds Ben Arfa on the right hand side but the attack breaks down a she's dispossessed by Shaw.
Brilliant build up play by Southampton, lovely reverse pass by Lambert on the edge of the box into Lallana who tries to cut it back for Rodriguez but Coloccini heads it out of play for a corner. Bright start by the home side.
Newcastle begin the day one point ahead of Southampton. I'm sure if you offered either manager eighth or ninth at the beginning of the season, they would have taken it. Goal kick to Southampton.
So as Pardew takes his seat in the stands, Southampton in their red home strip get us underway.
The players are out on the pitch, we'll be underway shortly.
STAT ATTACK: Newcastle have failed to score in nine of their last 13 league matches. Let's hope this isn't the case this afternoon.
Southampton meanwhile have scored seven in the last three games, with Jay Rodriguez bagging a goal in each game. The young English striker has notched up 15 goals so far this season and surely now, will be heading to Brazil in the summer.
The Magpies have found scoring goals difficult all season without Loic Remy in the side. Papiss Cisse's last minute goal against Crystal Palace last weekend was the first time they'd scored without Remy starting. They'll have to keep that run going if they're defeat Southampton today.
Pardew has made three chnages to his side which lost 3-0 to Everton in midweek. Hatem Ben Arfa and Massadio Haidara return in place of Luuk de Jong and Paul Dummett while the injured Tim Krul misses out and is replaced by Rob Elliot between the sticks.
Maurico Pochettino makes just one change to his side due to an injury to Nathaniel Clyne, meaning Calum Chambers is recalled to fill in at right-back.
NEWCASTLE SUBSTITUTES: Alnwick, Santon, Dummett, S.Taylor, Gosling, Shola Ameobi, De Jong.
NEWCASTLE: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Coloccini, Haïdara; Anita, Tioté, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Gouffran, Cisse.
SOUTHAMPTON SUBSTITUTES: Gazzaniga, Schneiderlin, Ramírez, Guly, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher.
SOUTHAMPTON: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert.
Before we go any further, let's have a look at how both sides are lining up, starting with the home side.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has completed his three-match stadium ban after his headbutting of David Meyler. While referee Andre Marriner hasn't been dropped this weekend despite his glaring error at Stamford Bridge last week when he sent off the wrong player.
With neither of these sides in danger of relegation or pushing for a place in Europe much of the attention ahead of this match will be on two men who made very public mistakes.
Hello and welcome to this evening's LIVE play-by-play commentary of the Premier League as mid table sides Southampton and Newcastle go at it here at St. Mary's. My name is Greg Taylor and I'll be guiding you through all the action.
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