Newcastle United managed to steal three points at St. Mary’s Stadium, but who were the top performers for the Magpies this afternoon?
Newcastle United fought hard to break down a defensive, ten-man Southampton side and they did just that in the 79th minute when Allan Saint-Maximin found the back of the net. Newcastle United missed some golden chances to go up by two or three goals in the first half, which includes a missed penalty from Matt Ritchie. Jamaal Lascelles managed to score during a set piece, but his shoulder was ruled offside.
The Magpies claimed three points this afternoon, but only a handful of players performed well for the team. Instead of analyzing the entire lineup, I will provide my assessment of the best and worst players on the pitch for Newcastle United today.
Man of the Match
The Frenchman actually had one of his worst performances of the season today against Southampton, but the way he hustled defensively to steal the ball and score the winning goal in the 79th minute is enough for me give him this label. His goal now puts Newcastle United in a position where one more win should be enough to stay up.
The Spaniard was one of the best players for Newcastle United today as he provided a meaningful contribution on both ends of the pitch. Defensively, Manquillo did not make any major mistakes, stayed in front of his man, and did well send the ball forward quickly. Offensively, the wing-back timed his runs to perfection and did well not to lose possession in the final third.
Isaac Hayden proved that he is one of the most underrated defensive midfielders in England with his performance today. Hayden enabled Shelvey to play higher up and spread the ball around, while he stayed back and intercepted countless passes to take the pressure off the back-line.
Dwight Gayle should have celebrated a hat-trick in the first 30 minutes of today’s game, instead he wasted multiple opportunities from close range. Gayle’s wasted chances forced the Magpies to work extra hard to find the winning goal late in the second half.
Like Gayle, Matt Ritchie had an amazing opportunity to put Newcastle United up 1-0 from the penalty spot, but his shot was predictable and saved with ease. In addition to the missed penalty, Ritchie did not provide a spark on the wing. The Scottish winger committed more cheap fouls than he delivered crosses into the box.
It was a tale of two halves for Jonjo Shelvey today. In the first half, Shelvey played with composure and was spot on with most of his passes and long balls. In the final 45 minutes, however, the mercurial midfielder saw several of his passes get intercepted or curl away from his intended target. His long balls in the second half were also off target as they flew well over his attacking targets.