MANOLO GABBIADINI’S penalty saved the Saints from home defeat.
Newcastle were heading for a another happy day beside the seaside when Ayoze Perez needed only 90 seconds to cancel out Gabbiadini’s first equaliser at the start of the second half.
But a stupid challenge by Toon defender Florian Lejuene on Shane Long gave Gabbiadini the chance to snatch a point for Mauricio Pellegrino’s unconvincing team.
Newcastle’s three previous trips to St Marys had produced three defeats and 10 goals conceded but they were on course to match the three points they had taken home from Swansea earlier in the season.
Southampton should have opened the scoring in the 16th minute, only for Dusan Tadic to head a Nathan Redmond cross tamely on to the roof of the Newcastle net.
Soon afterwards Hayden defied the doom-mongers predicting a nil-nil, although the goal had an element of fortune about it.
Former Newcastle trainee Fraser Forster had already dived to save a Christian Atsu shot when Maya Yoshida blocked it, and the Saints goalkeeper could not recover in time to deal with Hayden’s rifled follow-up from 25 yards.
Southampton had two decent chances to equalise before half-time but almost went two-down barely a minute into the second half when Joselu’s effort looped on to the bar and Jonjo Shelvey’s shot was pawed away unconvincingly by Forster.
Then came the crazy 90 seconds. Gabbiadini collected Nathan Redmond’s long crossfield pass and seemed to have wasted the chance.
But the Italian shook off the attentions of Javier Manquillo and beat a slow-to-dive Elliot with a low left-footed shot.
The Saints fans were still celebrating the equaliser when some suspect defending at the other end cost them dearly.
Forster’s parry of Perez’s initial shot was weak but his defenders were slow to react as the Spaniard followed up to put in the rebound from a tight angle.
Southampton had not threatened to score until Lejeune, recalled to the Newcastle team at the expense of Ciaran Clark, mistimed his challenge on Long horribly. Gabbiadini did the business from the spot to rescue a point.
Lejeune almost redeemed himself in the 89th minute but his header from a corner was cleared off the line by Steven Davis.
Hayden and Ritchie clashed heads to add to four minutes of stoppage time but neither side could find the winner which neither probably deserved.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS– CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
FACTS, STATS, GOALS AND LOLS
- Newcastle have won just once in 17 Premier League away games versus Southampton
- The Magpies have won just six points from their last 45 available on the road in the Premier League
- Southampton have failed to score in eight of their last ten league matches at home, so Gabbiadini’s double was a small comfort to their fans
- Newcastle have averaged the youngest starting line-up in the league this season
- Charlie Austin is Southampton’s top scorer at home in the league since the start of last season, but was named on the bench
- Despite losing, Southampton have won more league games in total (15) and at home (12) against Newcastle than any other side in the competition
WHAT THEY SAID
Southampton’s Dusan Tadic: “Second half we played more direct. We scored a quick goal, but conceded and showed character to come back.
“We need to win these kinds of games. We can play in different ways, in the last couple of games we have
created lots of chances.
“To come back is good for character, but I think we can play better.”
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Southampton: Forster 5, Soares 6, Yoshida 6, Van Dijk 7, Bertrand 6, Tadic 6, Romeu 6 (Davis 6), Lemina 8, Redmond 7 (Boufal 6), Gabbiadini 7, Long 6 (Austin 5)
Subs not used: Hoedt, McCarthy, Ward-Prowse, McQueen
Goal: Gabbiadini 50’, 75’ (pen)
Newcastle: Elliot 6, Yedlin 7, Lascelles 6, Lejeune 6, Manquillo 6, Shelvey 6, Hayden 7, Ritchie 6, Perez 7 (Merino 6), Atsu 6 (Murphy 5), Joselu 7 (Gayle 6)
Subs not used: Clark, Diame, Darlow, Gamez
Goal: Hayden 20’, Perez 51’
Booked: Yedlin, Hayden
Star Man: Mario Lemina