Newcastle storm back to beat Southampton, Bournemouth trounce Leeds
Newcastle United took another big step towards Champions League football with a 3-1 comeback victory over Southampton at St James’ Park.
Southampton took the lead in the 41st minute, gang-tackling Joelinton in midfield and breaking forward in numbers. Stuart Armstrong finished the move, lifting them temporarily within three points of Premier League safety.
But Eddie Howe’s side regathered at half-time and patiently built their way back into the game.
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In the 54th minute, Alexander Isak carried the ball down the left and rolled an innocuous pass into the box but Callum Wilson found himself inexplicably free and gratefully took the chance to bring his side level.
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It was a shockingly poor piece of defending on the part of Southampton’s entire backline.
A shade over 15 minutes later Theo Walcott had the misfortune of getting the final touch on a Newcastle header at a corner, turning the ball into his own net to give the home side the lead.
Southampton’s humiliation was complete two minutes later when a long Nick Pope punt was poorly dealt with by the Southampton defence, allowing Wilson to complete his brace with consummate ease.
Victory sees Newcastle strengthen their grip on the top four, while Southampton remain six points from safety after another promising but ultimately fruitless display.
On the South Coast, Southampton’s fellow relegation candidates Leeds United were receiving a battering at the hands of Bournemouth.
Jefferson Lerma piloted home a clever finish from the edge of the box in the 21st minute. Lerma smashed home a second just three minutes later from a corner.
Patrick Bamford snuck into space in the box to pull one back for the visitors with a header in the 32nd minute, but that was the highlight of their day.
Leeds lost captain Liam Cooper to a groin injury before Dominic Solanke added a third for the hosts.
Comical Leeds defending handed the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker a free hit in the box and he sliced his shot into the far corner.
The 23-year-old Ghana striker Antoine Semenyo got his first Premier League goal in stoppage time to add polish to Bournemouth’s victory.
Leeds could have been just three points off The Cherries with a win, but slipped dangerously close to the drop zone.
Only six points now divide Leeds and Leicester City in 18th, while Bournemouth sit happily in mid-table.
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