Callum Wilson injury caps miserable night for Newcastle United

Two steps forward, one step back.
Andy Carroll is replaced by Callum Wilson.Andy Carroll is replaced by Callum Wilson.
Andy Carroll is replaced by Callum Wilson.

Newcastle United’s mini-revival was brought to an end with a bang at the St Mary’s Stadium tonight, where a goals from Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong gave Southampton a 2-0 win – and a place at the top of the Premier League.

There were no fireworks from Steve Bruce's side – and certainly not from Allan Saint-Maximin.

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Saint-Maximin, again, wasn’t a threat, while it emerged before the game that Ryan Fraser, not involved on the South Coast, had suffered a hamstring injury.

Fabian Schar tackles Che Adams.Fabian Schar tackles Che Adams.
Fabian Schar tackles Che Adams.

The injury news was compounded by the sight of Callum Wilson limping out of the behind-closed-doors game with a hamstring problem.

Wilson had been overlooked by England manager Gareth Southgate before the game despite the loss of Southampton’s Danny Ings, who missed the game after suffering a knee injury last weekend.

That decision baffled Newcastle fans – and, presumably, Wilson, who couldn’t have done much more in his first seven games for the club.

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“He certainly must (have been) in with a shout, because of the amount of goals he’s scored and the season he’s having,” said Bruce.

Wilson, however, never had a chance to add to his six-goal tally – and, worryingly, he limped off the field with 10 minutes left on the clock.

The other pre-match talking point concerned Saint-Maximin and his new role through the middle.

Saint-Maximin had scored the club’s last game before the first lockdown at St Mary’s Stadium, and the winger was given the opportunity to kick off the latest month-long coronavirus shutdown. However, this time the winger himself was locked down.

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Bruce – whose side had beaten Everton 2-1 last weekend – had named an unchanged starting XI for the behind-closed-doors game, which kicked off after a minute’s silence ahead of Remembrance Sunday, but it was a changed performance in the first 45 minutes.

There was a din from fireworks being set off around the stadium, and the home side took the lead with a seventh-minute rocket from Adams, who had forced a save from Karl Darlow seconds earlier. Miguel Almiron, caught in possession by Theo Walcott to the left United’s box, was at fault for the goal.

Newcastle – who spent the first 15 minutes on the back foot – threatened briefly midway through the half. Saint-Maximin drifted around the pitch looking for openings, but space was hard to come by in a congested midfield.

There was a let-off for United before the break when Theo Walcott, played in by a superb piece of skill from Moussa Djenepo, put a chance wide.

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Southampton marched on after the break, and United had Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow to thank for a header off the line and a fingertip save respectively early in the second half.

Darlow also denied Jan Bednarek, and Bruce sent on Andy Carroll and Joelinton for the last 10 minutes.

Armstrong netted a second after Sean Longstaff was caught in possession late in the game, and United finally tested Alex McCarthy in the 86th minute with a Joelinton header.

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