In a relegation battle six pointer, Newcastle were victorious in a 3-0 win over relegation rivals Southampton. Rafa Benitez gained the upper hand on former player Mauricio Pellegrino.
4 things learned from Newcastle’s win over Southampton
Kennedy brings pace and product to The Toon
Kennedy was the star as he grabbed a brace in Saturday afternoon’s relegation clash. His loan spell has been successful. He is comfortable on the ball and linked well with team-mates. Much to the despair of Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
Benitez appears to be bringing out the best of players, the second goal in the game was a great team passing move. Chelsea fans will be asking why they the Brazillian was out on loan, with players like Pedro are struggling for form.
Carrillo is not the answer for Pellegrino
When Mauricio Pellegrino spent £19m on Guido Carrillo in the January transfer window, the Saints were hoping he would quench the goal drought. Instead the Argentinian forward had no impact against Newcastle, making way for Jamaal Lascelles who now looks like captain. Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long also also seemingly goal-shy. Pellegrini will therefore be anxious for striker Charlie Austin to return.
Dubravka the upgrade
Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is one of the most assertive in the Premier League. He was a commanding presence throughout the match confidently coming out for crosses, easing the pressure on defence.
A January loan signing from Sparta Prague, Dubravka has been an astute acquisition, an upgrade on both Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow. Benitez will be hoping to make his temporary home permanent in the summer. The Toon boss is rumoured to be bargain hunting. His budget subject to restrictions chairman Mike Ashley put in place.
Southampton held possession well, but with little of it being penetrative or threatening on goal. Boos rang out from exasperated Saints each time the ball neared manager Pellegrino who stood on the touch-line.
Witht he threat of relegation looming, fans feel Pellegrino’s time at the club should end. The board may therefore be now regretting the hasty sacking of Claude Puel. An 8th position finish of last season thus seeming less of a crime.
With 8 games to go, Pellegrini will be praying the Saint’s goal tally will increase. If change isn’t imminent, it could be the job market he will be looking at in May, not the transfer one.
? GALLERY: Take a look at some terrific pictures from Saturday's 3-0 victory…
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 12, 2018