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Newcastle United 3-1 Southampton: Ayoze Perez hat-trick gives Newcastle victory

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Benitez pleased with 'important' Magpies win

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez said he "wants to compete" after watching his team beat Southampton in the Premier League at St James's Park.

Ayoze Perez scored a hat-trick as they saw off a spirited second-half performance from the Saints.

Benitez, who is out of contract in the summer, said nothing had changed in regard to his job situation and suggested he still needs assurances before deciding his future.

"We are in the same position as we were before," he said. "When I came here, I could see the potential of the club to be challenging, certainly for seventh to 10th in the table but looking higher.

"But when you analyse the transfer fees and wage bills of other teams, we're not competing.

"I am the manager until 30 June. We can see the potential. When you see the teams between seventh and 15th, we have to compete with them."

Benitez suggested earlier in the week that he wanted to manage in the Champions League again.

This win propelled Newcastle into 12th place in the Premier League table, 10 points above the relegation zone and almost certainly safe for another season.

"Mathematically, we will have to wait and see what happens," Benitez said. "But I think we will be safe."

For Southampton, an improved second-half performance yielded only substitute Mario Lemina's goal and they sit just five points above Cardiff in 18th with four games to play.

Battle to stay up
DateCardiff fixturesBrighton fixturesSouthampton fixtures
21 AprilLiverpool (H)
23 AprilTottenham (A)Watford (A)
27 AprilFulham (A)Newcastle (H)Bournemouth (H)
4 MayCrystal Palace (H)West Ham (A)
5 MayArsenal (A)
12 MayMan Utd (A)Man City (H)Huddersfield (H)

Clinical Perez on fire for Newcastle

Perez had scored four in his last seven homes games as well as the winner at Leicester last weekend and he continued his fine run of form with a superbly taken hat-trick.

His first was a perfectly placed clipped shot, kissing the inside of the far post after Isaac Hayden had won the ball back in midfield.

He followed that up two minutes later as his determination to meet Salomon Rondon's low cross ahead of Ryan Bertrand bought him and his team a second goal.

After Newcastle had toiled in the second half, he completed his hat-trick with just four minutes left, poaching a close range header after Matt Ritchie had bravely dived in to win a rushed Southampton clearance.

Perez has now got 10 Premier League goals this season, the first Newcastle player to do so since Georginio Wijnaldum in 2015-16.

Perez's burgeoning confidence crowned a strong performance from Newcastle who, after a 10th place finish last season, are chasing down the top half of the table once again.

Benitez has done a remarkable job on limited resources but, with Premier League survival almost certainly secured, it is surely imperative that they keep hold of him and back him significantly if this club is going to return to where it feel it belongs, challenging at the higher end of the table.

Saints fail to take their chances

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Saints didn't deserve a point - Hasenhuttl

Southampton had won four of their previous six games in the Premier League but it took time for them to warm up in the Easter sunshine at St James' Park.

In a disappointing first-half performance, they were barely involved as Newcastle's full-pitch pressing game squeezed the life out of Ralph Hasenhuttl's side.

Indeed, it could have been worse for the Saints, had referee Anthony Taylor not showed leniency when last-man James Ward-Prowse cynically took out Miguel Almiron.

Tactical changes at half-time however gave them a boost and substitute Mario Lemina took his opening superbly, slotting home after fellow sub Stuart Armstrong's lay-off.

Maya Yoshida ought to have levelled matters but he somehow volleyed over with the goal at his mercy midway through the second half. The Japanese defender should also have scored in injury time but his header was brilliantly turned aside by Martin Dubravka.

Maya Yoshida misses
Maya Yoshida has not scored since December 2017 and missed some great chances for Southampton

Despite the improvement, it's a reality check for Hasenhuttl's team who are not mathematically safe and may require points from their remaining games to ensure Premier League survival.

Man of the match: Ayoze Perez (Newcastle)

Ayoze Perez scores
Perez scored all three of his shots and is the first Newcastle player to get a hat-trick since Dwight Gayle in December 2016

'We're still far away' - what they said:

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez: "The main thing was to win. I'm really proud of this group of players for working so hard.

"Ayoze has to be consistent but he is capable of doing this kind of thing [scoring hat-tricks] and has the quality."

On his own future: "Today, we will enjoy it. In an ideal world I want to compete for something. That's the main thing. If you analyse the transfer fee and wage bill, it's far away.

"We'll keep preparing the team and see."

Newcastle's hat-trick hero Ayoze Perez: "It's an unbelievable feeling to get three goals and get three important points. I need to thank my team-mates for the way we are playing and I am very proud of myself for the hat-trick.

"It's been a couple of months that are very important for us. We've done very well, We've got great results and now that we're safe we're going to start looking forward and up and finish even better."

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: "The first half was too bad so we didn't deserve to get anything. If you start like that and are 2-0 down at half-time, it's hard to come back.

"Changing shape caused more problems for Newcastle. They didn't have a lot of chances in the second half, apart from hitting the post, which was lucky.

"We have to be sharper and more aggressive. We know we are not safe - 40 points is the reason why it's a crucial game on Tuesday. We need to be concentrated and hard working."

Saints join City and Spurs in goal record - the stats

  • This was Newcastle's sixth home Premier League win of 2019 - only Man City (8) and Arsenal (7) have won more.
  • Southampton have lost three of their last four away Premier League games (W1 D0 L3), having lost just one of their first four away matches under Ralph Hasenhuttl (W2 D2 L1).
  • Ayoze Perez's hat-trick was Newcastle's first in the Premier League since October 2015, when Georginio Wijnaldum scored four times against Norwich City.
  • Ayoze Perez has scored 10 Premier League goals this season - his best tally in a single top-flight season for Newcastle United.
  • Newcastle's Ayoze Perez has scored seven goals in his last seven Premier League appearances at St James' Park.
  • Salomon Rondon has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other Newcastle player this season (15: 9 goals, 6 assists).
  • Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn conceded a Premier League hat-trick 25 years and 11 days after his father Bryan Gunn conceded one in the Premier League against Southampton in April 1994, with Matt Le Tissier scoring a treble for the Saints that day.
  • Southampton have scored 12 Premier League goals from outside the box this season, a joint high along with Man City and Spurs.

What's next?

Southampton face Watford on Tuesday, 23 April at Vicarage Road (19:45 BST) while Newcastle travel to Brighton on Saturday, 27 April (17:30 BST).

Line-ups

Newcastle

  • 12Dubravka
  • 19Manquillo
  • 5SchärSubstituted forFernandezat 69'minutes
  • 6Lascelles
  • 3Dummett
  • 11Ritchie
  • 17Pérez
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 14HaydenSubstituted forDiaméat 78'minutes
  • 24AlmirónSubstituted forAtsuat 64'minutes
  • 9Rondón

Substitutes

  • 8Shelvey
  • 10Diamé
  • 13Muto
  • 18Fernandez
  • 22Yedlin
  • 26Darlow
  • 30Atsu

Southampton

  • 28Gunn
  • 5StephensSubstituted forLeminaat 45'minutes
  • 3Yoshida
  • 35Bednarek
  • 16Ward-ProwseBooked at 23mins
  • 14RomeuBooked at 62mins
  • 23Højbjerg
  • 21Bertrand
  • 39SimsSubstituted forArmstrongat 45'minutes
  • 22Redmond
  • 9IngsSubstituted forLongat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Long
  • 10Austin
  • 17Armstrong
  • 18Lemina
  • 44Forster
  • 55Slattery
  • 66Ramsay
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
52,191

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home15
Away15
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away11
Fouls
Home5
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Newcastle United 3, Southampton 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Newcastle United 3, Southampton 1.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Ki Sung-yueng.

Attempt blocked. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Matt Ritchie.

Attempt blocked. Jan Bednarek (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Martin Dubravka.

Attempt saved. Maya Yoshida (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Paul Dummett.

Offside, Southampton. Ryan Bertrand tries a through ball, but Stuart Armstrong is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Newcastle United 3, Southampton 1. Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

Attempt blocked. Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by James Ward-Prowse.

Attempt blocked. Salomón Rondón (Newcastle United) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Federico Fernández with a headed pass.

Attempt blocked. Mohamed Diamé (Newcastle United) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Ki Sung-yueng with a cross.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Maya Yoshida.

Foul by Mario Lemina (Southampton).

Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Paul Dummett.

Attempt blocked. Salomón Rondón (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Mario Lemina (Southampton).

Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Nathan Redmond (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Mohamed Diamé replaces Isaac Hayden.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Shane Long replaces Danny Ings.

Attempt missed. Danny Ings (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong following a fast break.

Attempt missed. Danny Ings (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Mario Lemina.

Attempt missed. Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mario Lemina.

Attempt saved. Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Federico Fernández replaces Fabian Schär because of an injury.

Delay in match Fabian Schär (Newcastle United) because of an injury.

Hand ball by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton).

Attempt missed. Maya Yoshida (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Nathan Redmond following a corner.

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Paul Dummett.

Attempt missed. Fabian Schär (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Christian Atsu replaces Miguel Almirón because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) because of an injury.

Booking

Oriol Romeu (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Man Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester35146154847148
9Wolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff3494213063-3331
19Fulham3565243376-4323
20Huddersfield3535272069-4914
View full Premier League table

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