Mounting what was a stellar second-half comeback against Southampton on Sunday afternoon, Newcastle eventually romped their way to a 3-1 victory at St. James’ Park.
While the party atmosphere around the north east might have been left stunned as Stuart Armstrong opened the scoring just four minutes before the half-time break, Eddie Howe’s high-flying squad demonstrated just why they’re cruising towards a famous top-four finish.
Really enjoying a heavyweight flurry after returning from the interval, it was Callum Wilson’s introduction that certainly swung the momentum in Newcastle’s favour.
Watching the England international bag a second-half break and with a Theo Walcott own-goal sandwiched in-between, the Magpies have certainly taken another huge step towards a Champions League ticket.
Two sides who find themselves battling it out at opposite ends of the Premier League table, Southampton will now know following Sunday’s collapse that their top-flight status is hanging by a thread.
On an afternoon where Newcastle were once again at their free-scoring best, we have taken a look at the main talking points from St. James’ Park.
Can anyone stop Newcastle over the final few weeks?
While Newcastle’s sole attention last season might have been on painting their Premier League status, Howe’s side are in the midst of what has quickly become a history-making campaign at St. James’ Park.
Only continuing to gain a string of plaudits from across Europe and certainly cementing their spot as the Premier League’s surprise package this season, the former Bournemouth boss now finds his squad within touching distance to securing an iconic top-four finish.
With the mood around the north east at the highest it has been in recent memory, Sunday’s hosts are riding what has been a record-breaking wave of momentum and they now hold what is a fearsome reputation among England’s elite.
Laying down what was a stunning marker last weekend as they claimed a 6-1 romp at home against Tottenham, the Magpies have won eight of their previous nine Premier League appearances and are more than deserving of a top-four finish.
Although Newcastle might have seen Liverpool extend on their own European ambitions later in the day as they blew past Spurs at Anfield, Howe’s men hold a commanding nine-point buffer from slipping out of the Champions League spots.
Storming their way towards the finish line, there is no doubt that Sunday’s hosts will be relishing Arsenal’s arrival to the north east on May 7th for what could be another season-defining affair.
Newcastle’s attack is among the Premier League’s best
While Newcastle might have entered the World Cup’s winter break with a real reputation for their defensive resolve, it has been Howe’s free-scoring attack that has stolen most of the headlines over the past few weeks.
Although the Magpies might have remarkably recorded just a single Premier League clean sheet since a 0-0 stalemate against Crystal Palace on January 21st, the Champions League contenders have only continued on a stunning flurry in the final third.
Making that major statement last weekend as they hit Spurs for six at St. James’ Park, Howe’s men have now bagged 13 goals in just their last three consecutive Premier League victories.
Breezing past relegation scrappers Everton earlier in the week as they claimed a 4-1 win on Merseyside, Newcastle have also notched 22 goals since making their return from March’s international break.
With their clinical spell highlighted by a 5-1 victory away at Europa Conference League semi-finalists West Ham on April 5th, the ex-Bournemouth boss also has a pair of attacking talismen who are certainly spearheading their top-four charge.
Watching Wilson bag yet another top-flight brace here and with summer arrival Alexsander Isak making an immediate impact since arriving in the north east, there are few Premier League defences that will be looking forward to a meeting against Newcastle’s heavyweight attack.
Southampton’s Premier League nightmare is about to come to an end
While Southampton might have claimed what was a crucial 1-0 victory against Leicester way back on March 4th, the Saints have certainly proven that was nothing more than a minor positive in what has been a woeful campaign on the south coast.
Only showing a string of glaring issues on either side of the World Cup’s winter break, it is no secret that Southampton’s squad would have accepted their fate some time back.
Knowing that their relegation to the Championship was all but confirmed following their 1-0 loss at home against bitter local rivals Bournemouth in midweek, the Saints have failed to win any of their last nine straight Premier League appearances – a run that has seen them put just three points on the board.
Eventually completely blown out of the water when returning from the half-time break here, Southampton are now needing what would be a seismic great escape they’re to somehow keep hold of their Premier League status come May.
Although they might have witnessed both Leeds and Nottingham Forest suffer their own respective top-flight defeats over the week, Selles’ side still sit six points adrift of safety with just four Premier League matchups remaining this season.
Still needing to sign off their nightmare campaign with meetings against both Brighton and Liverpool, it does look like Sunday’s defeat at St. James’ will be the final nail in Southampton’s coffin.
Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Gordon, Guimaraes, Willock, Murphy, Isak, Joelinton
Subs: Wilson, Almiron, Anderson, Ritchie
Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Bella-Kotchap, Lynaco, S. Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Lavia, Sulemana, Alvarez, Djenepo
Subs: A. Armstrong, Adams, Elyounoussi, Maitland-Niles, Walcott
Goals: Newcastle: Wilson (55’, 81’) Walcott OG (79’) – Southampton: S. Armstrong (41’)
Yellow Cards: Newcastle: Joelinton – Southampton: Lavia, Elyounoussi, Walker-Peters, Bednarek
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Anthony Taylor
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