Newcastle denied three points once again as Southampton bring it back for a draw. Newcastle United travelled to St Marys Stadium in their attempt to extend their lead above the Saints in the top half of the table. Rafa Benitez’ newly promoted men have seen relative success since they won the Championship last season.
Isaac Hayden, 22 years old, opened the scoring in the game on the 20th minute. Until this point the chances had been few and far between, Tadic had put one over from range for the red and white side and Gabbiadini headed over from a close chance. Hayden struck a volley from outside the box and put it past goalkeeper Fraser Forster with pace, putting them one-nil up.
Not long after this the Saints had a corner which was swung in by Ryan Bertrand, Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot came out to snatch the in-swinging cross however Southampton centre back, Virgil Van Dyke got his head to it beforehand and narrowly missed a chance to draw the game level.
Not long into the second half, Joselu almost put the magpies two in front when he hit a high curling shot that was only kept out by the bar and left Forster left looking on. Southampton kicked themselves into gear after this and knew something needed to change. Gabbiadini received the ball on the right-hand side of the box, began to run around the edge of the box and hit a shot on the run sending it into the right corner and past Elliot to bring them back into the game.
This bit of momentum that Southampton mustered was very short lived however, as less than 90 seconds later Newcastle sent themselves in front when Ayoze Perez found the net from a very narrow angle after Forster spilled the initial shot from the same man on the 51st minute of the game. The Spaniard received the ball on the right-hand side of the box and hit a shot with venom, he then scrambled to the rebound and smashed it in.
Fifteen minutes from time, Newcastles dreams of advancing further up the table were crushed when Shane Long got the ball from a one-two taking him into the left side of the box and was met by Florian Lejeune and a clumsy tackle. The referee didn’t hesitate as he pointed to the spot, and Gabbiadini who was playing his first game since the 9th September slotted the penalty in to bring his side back into the game and to earn them a point.
This brace from Gabbiadini was a breath of fresh air for Mauricio Pellegrino and his sides fans as they hadn’t scored in eight of the last nine home games in St Marys stadium. From this game alone it was apparent that they had been struggling as they went without a shot in target in the first half, as well as this Ireland international, Shane Long, has also been going without his shooting boots this past while, all major concerns for the manager.