Newcastle United lose Callum Wilson and Fabian Schar in costly win over Southampton
When it rains on Newcastle United, it invariably pours.
And Steve Bruce’s side put in a spirited performance to claim all three points at a sodden St James’s Park this afternoon – but the win came at a cost.
Newcastle beat Southampton 3-2 at St James’s Park thanks to two goals from Miguel Almiron, one of them deflected, and a strike from loan signing Joe Willock on his debut.
United, however, had Jeff Hendrick sent off, and also, worryingly, lost Callum Wilson, Fabian Schar and Emil Krafth to injuries.
Newcastle looked to be cruising at the break, and Jonjo Shelvey missed a chance to put them 4-1 up early in the second half. United would go on to spend the rest of the game camped in their own half.
Schar was stretchered off after Bruce had made his third change, and United doggedly saw the game out with two less players. Almiron and Isaac Hayden were superb all afternoon, while Paul Dummett came on and shored up the team.
The hard-fought win stretched the gap between the relegation-threatened club and the Premier League's bottom three to 11 points.
Bruce had recalled Allan Saint-Maximin to his starting XI and handed Willock, signed on loan from Arsenal, his full debut.
And the pair combined 16 minutes into the game to give Newcastle a deserved lead. Fabian Schar played a ball up the left to Saint-Maximin, who got ahead of his marker and delivered a low cross for Willock, who beat Alex McCarthy with a first-time shot to score 16 minutes into his first appearance for the club.
It was a great start, but things got better for Newcastle later in the half. Saint-Maximin again took the ball on the left, and he pulled it back for Almiron, whose shot went in off Jan Bednarek at the near post.
Still, United didn’t have it their own way before the break. Takumi Minamino, signed on loan from Liverpool, scored on his debut after Ryan Bertrand played a ball forward.
And things unravelled further later in the half when Callum Wilson – who had had an attempt ruled out for offside early in the game – limped off the field. The striker was replaced by Joelinton.
Newcastle needed another goal, and then got one thanks to Almiron, who seized on a bad pass from McCarthy and rolled the ball home.
Leading 3-1 at the break, things were looking good for United – and they would have been 4-1 ahead head Shelvey not missed an easy chance.
However, a superb free from James Ward-Prowse – and Hendrick’s needless dismissal for a second bookable offence – changed the complexion of the game.
Newcastle were left to cling on to their one-goal lead on a boggy and soaked pitch, and Danny Ings struck the post.
Bruce had made three changes by the time Schar went down injured. The defender was stretchered off, and United retreated further for the last 12 minutes.
Newcastle, somehow, saw the game out – and recorded only their second win in 14 games.