Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Saints Almost Spoiled Our Party at the Park

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Saints Almost Spoiled Our Party at the Park

Article excerpt

Byline: John GIBSON

THE relief rolled down the terraces and spilled over the sweat-stained Magpie freedom fighters.

A 4-2 victory was all that mattered to Geordies needing to rid themselves of all thoughts of relegation.

That it came through a penalty and own goal after being pegged back to two all was not a matter for concern but gratitude.

Three points were secured by a battling, no surrender display and so United leap-frogged above not only Southampton but Sunderland, which tasted sweet on Geordie palates.

Two pulsating victories in 72 hours in the Europa League and Premier League have changed the landscape considerably.

Oh what a difference a little bit of investment last month has brought about, not only with the team but also the subs' bench.

Where once the dugout resembled a creche full of kids, it is now packed with quality and experience.

Southampton made life as difficult as Chelsea and Metalist Kharkiv, but all three were put to the buck.

That is the difference between yesterday and today.

Mind, the party could not have got off to a worse start on French fun day.

Rob Elliot on his Premier League debut was beaten at his near post in under three minutes. That constitutes a nightmare for a keeper.

The two marking defenders in front of him were both undone as Rickie Lambert nodded the ball down for Morgan Scheiderlin to swivel and lash past a stunned keeper.

Southampton, having beaten Manchester City last time out, needed no such encouragement and, well organised and willing to run blood to water, they made it tough before two pieces of class were their undoing.

First, Yoan Gouffran found space when played down the left by Yohan Cabaye and he twisted and turned his marker before his wicked low cross struck the right leg of keeper Artur Boruc and dropped invitingly for Moussa Sissoko. Thus encouraged, the Magpies got their head in front with a terrific power finish by Papiss Cisse.

An Elliot freekick flew over Jose Gutierrez and his marker for Cisse, who was running round the back. …

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