Newcastle United 3-1 Southampton: Callum Wilson nets twice

Newcastle United 3-1 Southampton: Callum Wilson nets twice, either side of Theo Walcott’s own goal, as Eddie Howe’s side storm back after the break to stay in third spot… after Stuart Armstrong gave basement boys shock lead

  • Newcastle moved another step closer to securing Champions League football
  • Callum Wilson came off the bench to score twice during the second-half
  • Stuart Armstrong had given relegation-threatened Southampton the lead 

When you are fighting for your lives, a trip to Newcastle must feel like an appointment with the undertaker.

This is certainly starting to feel terminal for Southampton, who left Tyneside with another nail in their coffin, chief mourner Callum Wilson the man doing the drilling. 

The Newcastle striker showed no mercy after coming from the bench at half-time to inspire a home comeback with two goals.

The only terminal of concern to Eddie Howe’s team right now is the one from which they will be departing for Champions League football next season. 

‘We won’t be home tea, we’re going to Italy,’ sang the black-and-white masses. Southampton’s fans could be missing their supper, too. They’re going to Swansea on this evidence.

Callum Wilson scored twice as Newcastle United came from behind to beat Southampton

Callum Wilson rounds the Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to score the third goal

Joelinton jumps for joy after Newcastle moved ahead for the first time thanks to an own goal

Sven Botman was at the centre of Newcastle’s second goal, which went in off Theo Walcott

Ruben Selles’ side had done well in the first half and led thanks to Stuart Armstrong’s close-range finish at the break. It was then that Howe replaced Anthony Gordon with Wilson and, in doing so, changed the course of the contest.

But Southampton were complicit in their own demise. Selles threw on Theo Walcott in pursuit of a goal at 1-1 and he obliged, albeit at the wrong end. 

Walcott was caught flat footed when Sven Botman headed Kieran Trippier’s corner through the goalmouth and the ball clipped the forward’s static heel before being diverted into the net 11 minutes from time.

Wilson had needed just nine minutes of the second half to level when he hooked in from an Alexander Isak cross, the connection perhaps proving that the pair can play in the same team. 

And the substitute made the result safe on 81 minutes as Kyle Walker-Peters got himself into all sorts of trouble from a long ball into the area and Wilson pounced to round Alex McCarthy and slot home.

It felt like another convincing Newcastle victory come the end, keeping them in third position and potentially only two wins away from confirming a top-four finish.

The opening 45 minutes was not nearly so impressive. Gordon, if anything, saw too much of the ball at times. He has arrived from Everton, so it is understandable that he is not up to speed.

But it was obvious inside 20 minutes that, while his mind was willing, his body was lacking the power to impact. 

Callum Wilson celebrates his equaliser just nine minutes after being introduced at half-time

Stuart Armstrong celebrates after giving Southampton the lead shortly before the interval

Armstrong was on hand to finish after Kamaldeen Sulemana chipped in a 42nd-minute cross

Basement club Southampton celebrate after Armstrong gave them a shock lead on Tyneside

He had just been sent clear by Isak at that point, only for his first touch to take him away from goal and onto his weaker left foot, rather than across the defender and onto his right. 

With his odds on scoring diminished, he duly struck the outside of the post.

Gordon’s fate was perhaps sealed when, one on one with Lyanco inside the area, he tried to nick the ball one side and run the other. He had neither the strength nor speed to execute the dribble and the ball ran away for a goal-kick.

The winger needs a full summer of exposure to Howe before he is judged, of course. But the decision to start with him here did not work out as the head coach had wished.

Armstrong fires off another effort at goal as Southampton pile on the opening half pressure

Anthony Gordon rues a missed opportunity during the opening 45 minutes at St James’ Park

Match facts 

Newcastle United (4-3-3): Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Joelinton, Guimaraes, Willock (Ritchie 90+2); Murphy (Almiron 69), Isak (Anderson 90+2), Gordon (Wilson 46)

Substitutes not used: Dubravka (GK); Dummett, Lewis, Targett, Manquillo

Manager: Eddie Howe

Scorers: Wilson 55, 81; Walcott own goal 79 Booked: Joelinton

Southampton (4-4-2): McCarthy; Lyanco (Maitland-Niles 70), Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Walker-Peters; Djenepo (Walcott 64), Ward-Prowse, Lavia, S. Armstrong (Elyounoussi 71); Sulemana (A. Armstrong 70), Alcaraz

Substitutes not used: Bazunu (GK); Caleta-Car, Diallo, Mara

Manager: Ruben Selles

Scorer: S. Armstrong 41

Booked: Bednarek, Walker-Peters, S. Armstrong, Lavia

Referee: Anthony Taylor Attendance: 52,234

Saints led on 41 minutes. Bruno Guimaraes dwelt in possession and claimed a foul when Romeo Lavia slid to challenge. 

It was an excellent tackle and set his team on the break. Carlos Alcaraz did the heavy lifting with a driving run through the middle, but it was the light touch of Stuart Armstrong that applied the finish from Kamaldeen Sulemana’s cross.

It was a lifeline in rock-bottom Southampton’s bid to beat the drop. Come full-time, however, it felt more like a flatline.

Joelinton takes on Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap during the first-half 

Southampton’s Sulemana plays a ball past Joelinton as the Newcastle man tries to block him

Newcastle’s Alexander Isak tries to shield the ball from a challenge by James Ward-Prowse

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