Chris Wood's funny gesture and Dan Burn's 'supersonic' contribution – Newcastle United moments missed from Southampton win
Joelinton shows his support
Bruno Guimaraes was finally handed his first start for Newcastle, almost six weeks after his £33.3million arrival from Lyon.
But the 24-year-old's full debut came at a cost as his compatriot Joelinton was ruled out with a hamstring problem.
Newcastle’s transformed forward-come-midfielder was in attendance at St Mary's. He will remain down south with the squad with the hope of being back in contention for Sunday’s match at Chelsea (2pm kick-off).
Another notable absentee was Allan Saint-Maximin, who missed the game due to illness. It is not Covid-19 related but prevented him from attending the match. Unless he subsequently joins up with the squad, he is unlikely to feature at Chelsea.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl wasn't shy in expressing his disappointment in the fact the originally scheduled fixture on January 2 was postponed due to Covid and injuries on Newcastle’s part. He even stated that it wouldn’t really be fair for Newcastle to play any new signings in the rescheduled match.
Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson were both ruled out on the original date and, as it happened, missed out again.
As for Southampton, Kyle Walker-Peters and Mohammed Salisu started the match despite being suspended for the original fixture.
But four new signings who weren’t at Newcastle on January 2 did start the match with Chris Wood, Dan Burn and Matt Targett joining Guimaraes.
And all four would play a key role in the victory.
Southampton’s dig at Newcastle
A glaring pre-match light show and band attempted to create some atmosphere at St Mary’s ahead of kick-off – but it was still the 3,300 Geordies who had made the 650-mile round trip on a Thursday night that stood out.
And Southampton – who have recently been subject to a takeover themselves – provided a matchday playlist suggesting United’s takeover is still living rent free in their heads.
After Stuart Armstrong’s header was cancelled out by Chris Wood’s first goal for Newcastle – ‘Money Talks’, ‘Dirty Cash’, ‘Loaded’, ‘Price Tag’, ‘Can't Buy Me Love’ and ‘Money, Money, Money' were played over the PA at half-time. No points for guessing the theme or why The Saints’ stadium DJ opted to go with it.
It’s the type of ‘banter’ Newcastle will have to get used to following a takeover which was strongly opposed by rival Premier League clubs.
But when you combine it with Hasenhuttl’s comments around the originally postponed fixture and Newcastle’s new signings – it seems Southampton had put a lot of effort into doing their talking off the pitch, but not enough on it.
Chris touches Wood
Wood finally broke his Newcastle duck and in turn ended his longest goal drought in the Premier League as he coolly headed in Jonjo Shelvey’s sublime cross to make it 1-1.
Although he had to wait for his first goal, the New Zealand striker has been something of a good luck charm following his £25million arrival from Burnley.
On the eight occasions Wood has been in the side, Newcastle have won six and drawn two. The run has seen the club climb from 19th to 14th in the table.
The fact Wood is yet to lose a match for Newcastle was brought up during an interview with NUFC TV after the game – and his response was a classic.
The 30-year-old’s instinctive reaction was to swear before superstitiously saying “touch wood” and patting himself on the chest. It was a charmingly human moment from the forward, who will be looking to help Newcastle continue their fine form with him in the side at Chelsea.
Magpies target shows his support
It has been a fine couple of days for Guimaraes and his former teammate Lucas Paqueta.
The Lyon midfielder scored the winner against Porto in the Europa League on Wednesday night, just 24-hours before Guimaraes did the same thing at Southampton.
It was some way for the 24-year-old to announce himself on the Premier League stage. Matt Targett’s corner was headed back across goal by Dan Burn only for Guimaraes to instinctively flick the ball into the back of the net on the volley with his heel.
It was some finish, and one that meant all of Newcastle’s January signings that featured were involved in the goals.
Ahead of Thursday’s match, Paqueta tweeted Guimaraes: “Te amoooo irmão! Amanhã tô na torcida,” which translates to “I love you brother! Tomorrow I'm in the crowd.”
Although Paqueta wasn’t literally in the crowd at St Mary’s, he reciprocated the Newcastle midfielder’s support by simply tweeting: “Brunoooo Guimaraessssss” following the goal.
Guimaraes responded (in Portuguese): “I love you! You are my best friend for life, I miss you.”
A reunion for the two Brazilian’s at Newcastle has been touted with Paqueta valued at around £40million.
Dan Burn’s supersonic header
Burn continued his faultless form since returning to Tyneside with another monumental display in defence.
While his assist for Guimaraes at one end and crucial blocks at the other will deservedly gain plaudits, there was a brief moment in the second half which epitomised why the Geordie defender has quickly endeared himself to supporters.
As Southampton lofted the ball forward, the 6ft 7in centre-back attacked it with a strong header from inside his own half. Burn got so much power behind the header it looped over the majority of the outfield players before landing in the Southampton penalty area to be claimed by Fraser Forster.
Burn’s passion for Newcastle was on full display, particularly when the impressive Joe Willock made a late block to deny the hosts. The 29-year-old celebrated the intervention almost as much as he did for Guimaraes’ winner, such was its importance.
The win was only Newcastle’s third in their last 28 league visits to Southampton but crucially takes them 10 points clear of the relegation zone.