It was a good entertaining game today to kick off the Premier League season, when Newcastle drew 2-2 with Southampton at St. James’ Park after being ahead 2-1 with just 11 minutes to go.
Papiss Cisse chests home the equalizer just before half time
This is how we saw the game – as it happened.
The game kicked off and both sides played some good passing football with Mbemba’s first two touches looking good – the lad looks confident.
After 7 minutes Newcastle should have scored when Sissoko made a great run down the right wing and cut it back to Wijnaldum in the penalty area, but Gini’s shot was blocked by Davis – but the Dutchman should really have scored with such a great chance.
Newcastle were playing well and then after 12 minutes it was Wijnaldum who was streaking through on goal when he was brought down in full stride by Soarez.
Mbemba then put in a great tackle on Sadio Mane – this lad looks a very good player.
On 15 minutes Southampton had a chance, but a shot from Soarez from the right wing position was deflected by Krul for a corner – a good save from Tim – that was going in.
Then a good effort from Tadic was tipped around the post by Krul down to his left – a good save from the Newcastle goalkeeper.
On 17 minutes one minute’s applause for John Alder and Liam Sweeney.
On 21 minutes Coloccini had a chance in the penalty area, and it seemed like a Southampton player handled the ball, but the referee waved play on.
And then after 25 minutes it was the Saints who went ahead and it was against the run of play.
Pelle scores first goal of the game
A right wing cross into the box saw Pelle out jump the Newcastle defense and head it down just inside Tim Krul’s right hand post – Tim got to the ball but couldn’t stop it crossing the line.
The goal came form nothing and it showed the weakness in this game of Newcastle’s defense in defending high crosses into the box.
Then a good cress from Sissoko from the right found Cisse in the box, but he couldn’t control the ball and the chance was lost.
From a Newcastle corner it was another appeal for a penalty as Rodriguez seemed to handle the ball but again the referee was having none of it.
After 42 minutes Newcastle equalized and it was a great time to get the goal.
Cisse celebrates scoring equalizer
Haidara put in a high cross from the left wing and the goalkeeper misjudged and it went over him and Cisse was there to make sure it went over the line – he chested the ball home from two inches out – but it was a great cross from Haidara.
Half time came and both sides were applauded off the field, for what was a very good first 45 minutes of the season for both sides.
There were no changes at the break and Newcastle got off top a wonderful start in the second half with a fast breakaway that produced a wonderful goal.
Gini Wijnaldum celebrates after scoring great goal
Newcastle broke from the back and it was Gabby Obertan who hit a right wing cross on the run and it found Gini Wijnaldum in the box and he headed home brilliantly to put Newcastle 2-1 ahead and the crowd was going wild.
That was an excellent header from the Newcastle forward, and it would have been so easy to have missed the target.
Mbemba was having a good game and he intercepted a high through ball to head back to Tim Krul, and again on 58 minutes as Southampton were looking for the equalizer, it was Janmaat who headed the ball neatly back to Krul in the home goal.
Newcastle were playing some good football but it was the Saints who were looking dangerous especially from their crosses into the box.
After 64 minutes Mane worked his way through on the left wing but from a narrow angle it was Tim Krul who blocked the shot for a corner.
On 67 minutes Anita fell badly and he seemed to have hurt his hip, and after receiving treatment on the field he was stretchered off to great applause form the crowd – Anita had a solid workmanlike game today.
On came Check Tiote – again to good applause.
After 75 minutes Aleksandar Mitrovic came on for Papiss Cisse and both players got good applause form the crowd – this was Aleksandar’s Premier League debut,
Almost immediately Aleksandar put in just a terrible wild tackle and he picked up a yellow card for it – he needs to calm down – too much adrenaline.
Shane Long heads home late equalizer
But four minutes later after Southampton had been threatening they drew level, and again it was a right wing cross into the box that Shane Long headed home from close range.
It could be that with two 6ft center-backs we may be weak in defending high crosses into the box – maybe we need a 6’4″ center-back brought into the side.
After 81 minutes on came de Jong for Gini Wijnaldum, who got a great hand from the Newcastle crowd – what a player this lad is.
Southampton were attacking Newcastle, and the Newcastle players were giving the ball away too much, which didn’t help the cause.
If anybody was going to win this game it looked like it would be the Saints.
On 88 minutes another cross came over and it was Mbemba who this time got in a great headed clearance, sending the ball for a corner.
And in injury time Southampton almost nicked it when it was Mane who went right through the Newcastle defense – but he hit his shot just wide of Tim Krul’s left hand post.
The final whistle blew after 6 minutes of added time and it was a well-earned point for Newcastle.
But Steve McClaren will know that once again again our defense looked weak, especially with crosses into the box.
We still need to get another defender but the head coach will have been pleased with the overall performance of the side – they played very well.
Certainly Mbemba, Wijnaldum and Mitrovic will have an immediate positive impact on this side – they all look to be great buys for us.
Now we need three more players brought in over the next three weeks.
Newcastle: Krul, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Haidara; Colback, Anita (Tiote, 67); Sissoko, Wijnaldum (De Jong, 81), Obertan; Cisse (Mitrovic, 75). Subs not used: Darlow, Taylor, Aarons, Perez.
Southampton: Stekelenburg, Soares (Martina, 46), Fonte, Yoshida, Targett, Wanyama, S Davis, Tadic, Mane, Rodriguez (Long, 65), Pelle. Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Ward-Prowse, Reed, Juanmi, Caulker.