Sunday 20 October 2019

Newcastle grab draw at Southampton to climb off foot of table

Rafael Benitez’s side are still without a Premier League win this season, however.

Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle are still winless this season (Mark Kerton/PA).
Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle are still winless this season (Mark Kerton/PA).

By Andy Sims, Press Association Sport

Newcastle’s winless start to the season was extended to 10 matches but at least they escaped with a point from a 0-0 draw at Southampton.

Rafael Benitez’s side continue to set unwanted club records for their poorest start to a campaign and they never looked likely to break their win duck on the south coast.

But they were able to pick up a third point of the season – and actually climb off the foot of the table – thanks to some dogged defending and wayward finishing from a Southampton team who are almost as poor.

Saints have now not scored in the league for over a month, yet it was not for the want of trying in a one-sided match desperately low on quality.

Ryan Bertrand’s early shot from the edge of the area cannoned into the path of Mohamed Elyounoussi, whose effort from an angle was kept out by a sharp save from Martin Dubravka.

Danny Ings then found Nathan Redmond on the corner of the area but the winger hurried his shot and the ball flew over.

Ings tried to flick Redmond’s low cross home but did not get a firm enough contact.

Danny Ings shows his frustration (Mark Kerton/PA)

The on-loan Liverpool striker claimed he was impeded as he went for the ball but referee Chris Kavanagh disagreed.

Moments later Bertrand’s cross was turned on to the outside of the post by Mario Lemina as Southampton began to build up a head of steam before half-time.

In a strong finish to the half from the hosts, Elyounoussi curled narrowly wide and Dubravka got down well to keep out a downward header from Jack Stephens in stoppage time.

Martin Dubravka, right, saves from Jack Stephens, not pictured (Mark Kerton/PA)

By contrast, all that Newcastle had mustered in attack was Yoshinori Muto’s shot on the turn from a corner which veered off target, and Kenedy’s drive from the edge of the box which was charged down.

As usual their fans had little to sing about, especially seeing as they had exhausted their repertoire of unpleasantries towards owner Mike Ashley after about 20 minutes.

After the break Jonjo Shelvey worked himself a shooting opportunity 20 yards out but skied his shot.

At the other end Charlie Austin had the ball in the net but only after fouling Dubravka in an aerial challenge.

Ings’ shot was bravely blocked by Federico Fernandez before Paul Dummett threw himself in front of Redmond’s drive with Newcastle just about clinging on again.

With two minutes to go substitute Shane Long should have scored the winner but sidefooted his shot wide to ensure Saints equalled an unwanted record of their own, having now gone five home games without a win from the beginning of a season.

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