Southampton managed to battle back from behind to earn an unlikely point as they held Newcastle to a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Yoan Gouffran opened the scoring for the Magpies after 27 minutes, although the Saints managed to find a way back as Jay Rodriguez slotted home a second-half equaliser to ensure a share of the spoils.
The result left Newcastle sixth in the standings, just four points behind the top four, while Southampton are in eighth, three points further back.
The Tynesiders dominated possession in the opening quarter of the game, although they were unable to translate that into an attacking threat as the Saints Paulo Gazzaniga went largely untroubled in the visiting goal.
However, shortly before the half-hour mark the hosts’ pressure took its toll as Jos Hooiveld’s fresh-air swipe allowed Gouffran to win possession before rounding the keeper and slotting his effort home.
Southampton produced almost nothing in terms of attacking intent during the opening 45 minutes, with Rickie Lambert’s woeful shot that flew out for a throw-in shortly before the break highlighting the team’s lack of a killer instinct in the final third.
The visitors finally came to life in the second period and Steve Davis was desperately unlucky not to draw his side level after unleashing a thumping volley which beat Tim Krul all ends up, but he couldn’t beat the post as the frame of the goal came to Newcastle’s rescue.
With 65 minutes gone, though, Southampton did get their goal, a sweeping counter-attack ending with Rodriguez coolly slotting a low shot past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Alan Pardew’s men almost found an instant response as Mathieu Debuchy’s low drive was denied by Paulo Gazzaniga, while moments later Loic Remy looked destined to score after going clean through on goal, but the QPR loanee completely fluffed his effort, ballooning a shot into the stands when it had looked easier to score.
In an eventful end to the match referee Mike Jones was floored accidentally by Moussa Sissoko and both benches became embroiled in an argument, but on the field neither side could force a winner and the points were shared.