Match Analysis: Southampton 4-0 Newcastle United

Match Analysis: Southampton 4-0 Newcastle
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Sports Mole analyses Southampton's comfortable 4-0 win over Newcastle United in their Premier League clash at St Mary's Stadium.

Southampton cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win over Newcastle United in their Premier League clash at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday.

Graziano Pelle got the home side off to the perfect start when he headed home after six minutes, and he doubled his tally with a simple finish 14 minutes later.

Jack Cork and Morgan Schneiderlin scored a goal apiece in the second half to fire the Saints to victory over Alan Pardew's side.

Here, Sports Mole analyses the game to see how Ronald Koeman's men ran out easy victors.

Match statistics

Southampton
Shots: 10
On target: 7
Possession: 48%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 15

Newcastle
Shots: 9
On target: 4
Possession: 52%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 7

Was the result fair?

Southampton dominated the game from the kickoff and were always in control. They set the tempo in the first 30 seconds when Shane Long nearly opened the scoring when chasing down a backpass and were ruthless from then on against a poor Newcastle back line. The Saints were clinical in the final third and seemed to take all of the clear-cut chances that came their way, while the Magpies were disjointed at the back and paid the price four times.

Southampton's performance

Koeman's side were up for this game from the first whistle and, as mentioned, Long was unlucky not to give his side the lead in the first 30 seconds. That passion stayed with the team for the first 20 minutes and they capitalised on poor defending while displaying some slick attacking play themselves to quickly go into a 2-0 lead. In the second half, they found their tempo again and got the third goal that they needed, and from then on it was a simple task to see out the victory. Defensively they were rarely tested, but were solid enough when the sporadic threats came.

Newcastle's performance

The Magpies put in a woeful display and one which could see the end of Pardew's tenure at the club. They were second best all over the pitch and were very error prone at the back, contributing to at least two of the Southampton goals. The players looked nervy in the first 20 minutes and the Saints seized on that by edging into a two-goal lead, and from then on it was too much of a task for the visitors to respond. Newcastle look disjointed all over the pitch and did not have a target or a player to build around like the home side did with Pelle up front, as the ball kept coming back at their defence. It could be a big week for Mike Ashley as the supporters let their feelings known about the current manager at St James' Park.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Graziano Pelle: Showed predatory instincts in and around the box with two well-taken goals. He was a handful for the Newcastle defenders all afternoon and his hold-up play allowed the Saints to break forward in numbers. His touch was spectacular and one of the reasons for his and Southampton's second goal. The 29-year-old could have had a hat-trick, but the ball just didn't fall for him in the second half. However, it was still an excellent performance from the Italian.

Biggest gaffe

Mike Williamson had a poor afternoon and he won't want to watch the highlights of Southampton's second goal as he headed a long ball straight into the path of Pelle, who subsequently found the net following a neat one-two with Dusan Tadic.

Referee performance

It was an easy afternoon for Chris Foy as they were not many flash points. One incident that he may have got wrong was a penalty decision involving Long and Tim Krul, as the keeper felled the striker as he attempted to chase a long ball. It would not have been a red card for the Dutchman, but he certainly clipped Long inside the box.

What next?

Southampton: The Saints take on Swansea City next week in the Premier League at the Liberty Stadium.

Newcastle: Pardew's men host Hull City at St James' Park in their next top-flight outing.

Jack Cork of Southampton celebrates as he scores their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium on September 13, 2014
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