Jay Rodriguez was a world-class striker in Southampton’s 4-0 demolition of Newcastle United at St. Mary’s on Saturday, as his brace paced the Saints to a big win and eighth place in the table.
It was no Krul, no Remy, no Debuchy, plenty of problems for Newcastle in an embarrassing, at times listless, 90 minutes on the road. The club had no answers all afternoon as Southampton threatened at will and asserted itself as a bigger threat to move up the table; Southampton surpassed the Magpies for eighth place with the win, earning a two-point lead with 48 points.
Rodriguez nearly opened the game’s scoring in the eighth minute, getting behind Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to collect a tremendous long ball. He fired off the side of the net behind Rob Elliot. A couple minutes later, Rodriguez rose over the same defender but headed wide left again.
Southampton was largely in control of the first half and looked dangerous for the duration. Elliot made a jaw-dropping save just before halftime, when Rodriguez looked to tap home but the fully-extended keeper got pushed it aside.
Moments later, Southampton found its way to a 2v0 — or 1, counting Elliot — which ended with Rodriguez collected a FIFA-style side pass from Rickie Lambert to tap home. It was 1-0 at the half, and Newcastle manager Alan Pardew likely counted his blessings from the stands as he serves a touchline ban; The scoreline probably should’ve read at least 3-0.
The Saints doubled their advantage right after the break when Lambert darted past the Newcastle back line to tap in a lofted ball from Adam Lallana. It was 2-0 in the 49th and, with the way Newcastle was attacking, it looked hopeless for the visitors.
Lallana turned scorer as the clock hit 69, moving at will through open field to try a bending ball that tricked Elliot to leave this one all but finished.
Then, it was a goal post and save from Elliot that denied Rodriguez and James Ward-Prowse within seconds, as 4-0 nearly arrived. Rodriguez found the fourth in the 90th minute, dancing around Mike Williamson in the six before firing home.
Southampton: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, S. Davis (Schneiderlin, 70′), Ward-Prowse, Lallana (Gallagher, 90′), Rodriguez, Lambert (Ramírez, 83′).
Goals: Rodriguez 2 (45, 90), Lambert (49), Lallana (70)
Newcastle United: Elliot; Yanga-Mbiwa (Santon, 46′), Williamson, Coloccini, Haïdara; Anita, Tioté; Sissoko (Dummett, 79′), Ben Arfa (de Jong, 46), Gouffran; Cissé