The Warm Down: Defensive errors cost Newcastle against Southampton
Photo by Getty Images/Robin Jones. 

Newcastle United were no match for the fierce pressing of Southampton F.C as The Saints eventually cruised to a 2-0 victory. 

Defensive errors from Miguel Almiron and Sean Longstaff gifted the home side the opportunities for the two goals; Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong capitalising with two fiercely struck finishes. 

The result takes Southampton to the top of the Premier League, with Steve Bruce's side missing out on the opportunity of spending Friday night in the top four. 

Southampton's intense pressing forced Newcastle into making errors 

Ralph Hasenhüttl has received deserved praise for the way in which his Southampton team press and tonight was clear evidence as to why their system is so successful. 

On the contrary, Newcastle's tactical approach was ineffective throughout and they were completely dominated by Southampton as a result. 

Both goals came as a result of Newcastle players making errors that were forced by the host's constant pressure. 

Kyle Walker-Peters hounded Miguel Almiron on the edge of the Newcastle box, stealing the ball from the Paraguayan in the events leading up to the first goal. 

The case was much the same for Southampton's second. Sean Longstaff's hesitation was immediately punished by Stuart Armstrong, who won the ball and excellently dispatched it into Darlow's net. 

But these weren't isolated incidents, Southampton forced Newcastle into losing possession by dispossessing them on numerous occasions;  a direct result of the constant pressure.

Ultimately, the difference in tactical approaches between the sides won Southampton the game and Newcastle look somewhat lost. 

Embed from Getty Images

 

It could've - and probably should've - been more than two 

The heroics of Newcastle's stand-in number one again spared the away side of complete embarrassment in this one. Karl Darlow made some crucial saves -  including a sublime finger tip save to tip Oriol Romeu's long range effort onto the crossbar. He also denied Jan Bednarek a goal, stopping the defender's powerful header with strong hands. 

Theo Walcott came close on numerous occasions and he really should have scored after Moussa Djenepo set him up with a moment of inspiration, but he curled his effort just wide of the far post. 

Walcott could have won his side a penalty after Jamaal Lascelles hacked him down just outside Newcastle's six yard box, but the skipper somehow escaped punishment after a VAR check. 

Newcastle keep relying on their goalkeeper and good fortune to keep them in games, and it will inevitably cost them in the long run. 

Allan Saint-Maximin looks lost in new central role

Allan Saint-Maximin is often Newcastle's best player. The mercurial winger creates a large proportion of their chances and almost single-handedly led them to a 3-1 win against Burnley.

However, he looks almost completely lost in his role behind Callum Wilson in Newcastle's new system. 

He was a shade of the player that usually mystifies defenders: failing to penetrate the Southampton defence throughout and his fragmented success throughout the game came when he drifted towards the left-hand side. 

He was a-typically careless in possession, kicking the ball completely out of play on more than one occasion, spending the second-half as a figure of frustration. 

Steve Bruce won't drop his star man, but he certainly needs to play him in a more comfortable role if he wants to get the best out of him. 

VAVEL Logo