Newcastle 2-2 Southampton: Long’s late equalizer spoils strong Wijnaldum debut

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  • Graziano Pelle opened the scoring 25 minutes in
  • Newcastle levels before halftime via Papiss Cisse
  • Wijnaldum scores on debut just after the break
  • Substitute Long equalizes with 11 minutes to go

After a promising preseason, new signing Georginio Wijnaldum gave Newcastle a home lead early in the second half, but the Magpies couldn’t hold on as Shane Long came off the bench to equalize 11 minutes from the final whistle.

Saints took an early lead through frontman Graziano Pelle, but Papiss Cisse leveled for the home side just before the break, and just minutes after it Wijnaldum bagged the difference-maker.

Wijnaldum had a big chance six minutes in with space in the middle of the box but his shot cannoned off the chest of Steven Davis. Newcastle continued to push forward well early, and Wijnaldum was pulled down by Cedric Soares earning the Portuguese defender an early yellow. By the 20-minute mark Southampton had committed eight fouls to Newcastle’s one.

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Southampton got its first chance when Dusan Tadic got space above the top of the box and curled a bending effort just wide with Tim Krul making a diving attempt. Down the other end Fabricio Coloccini’s volleyed effort made contact with Maya Yoshida’s arm in the box from point-blank range but the referee waved the shout off.

25 minutes gone the first breakthrough came. A meaty cross from Soares found the head of Pelle and his powerful header snuck inside the far post just out of Krul’s reach. Newcaslte had another handball shout on the half-hour mark as a corner seemed to strike Jay Rodriguez with his arm very stretched out, but again the referee stood unmoved.

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But just two minutes before halftime, Newcastle worked themselves back level. A short corner cut back to Massadio Haidara whose cross took a huge deflection to the far post where Papiss Cisse was waiting for an easy goal, chesting the ball into the net.

Following halftime, Southampton made a good start but Krul made a beautiful kick-save to keep out a close range header from Yoshida. Then down the other end, Newcastle completed a scything counter-attack for a second goal. Gabriel Obertan latched onto a ball down the right flank and sent in a perfect cross to Wijnaldum who rose above a Cuco Martina for a powerful header and a Newcastle lead.

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Unfortunately, the Magpies couldn’t hold on. Southampton grabbed the ascendency past the hour mark and began to press forward as the Koeman brother brought on Shane Long for more attacking prowess. It proved prophetic as a cross from Dusan Tadic on the right found Long’s head with 11 minutes to go and Southampton found themselves level.

Saido Mane had a pair of brilliant chances to bring Southampton ahead in stoppage time, but Jack Colback blocked the first effort and Mane sent his second one wide.