This Newcastle United player did 'nothing wrong' against Southampton
Karl Darlow kept Newcastle United in the game. Again.
Darlow, outstanding this season in the absence through injury of No.1 Martin Dubravka, could only do so much at the St Mary’s Stadium last night.
The ball kept on coming back, and Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong put the game beyond Steve Bruce's side in the 82nd minute, the strike condemning the visitors to a 2-0 defeat.
Darlow, the Premier League’s busiest goalkeeper this season by some distance, made eight saves on the South Coast, including a superb second-half fingertip effort to deny Oriol Romeu, to keep Newcastle, trailing to Che Adams’ early strike, in the game.
Those stops took the 29-year-old’s total for the campaign so far to 39, which is 11 more than the next goalkeeper on the list, West Bromwich Albion’s Sam Johnstone.
“He’s done nothing wrong,” said Bruce. “Certainly, his consistency levels have been excellent. After being solid, and playing so well (against Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers), it’s a big disappointment.”
Dubravka, meanwhile, is slowly recovering from heel surgery.
"We’re hoping to have some sort of improvement after the break,” said Bruce, United’s head coach. "That goes with Martin, and it also goes with Jonjo (Shelvey) as well. I’m not going to put a time on anything, but they’re getting the there – and that’s the case with (Matt) Ritchie too.”
When Dubravka, 31, does return to fitness, he may have to wait for an opportunity, such has been Darlow's form between the posts over the past few months.