Southampton twice came from behind as a brace from Manolo Gabbiadini clinched a 2-2 draw with Newcastle at St Mary’s on Sunday.
Southampton 2 Newcastle United 2
Hayden fires Toon in front
Gabbiadini pulls Saints level
Perez quickly restores visitors’ lead
Gabbiadini penalty secures a point
Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have been struggling for goals this season and the situation looked grim when Isaac Hayden fired the Magpies ahead 20 minutes in.
But Gabbiadini scored a fine individual goal early in the second half to level matters, only for the visitors to go back in front moments later through Ayoze Perez.
Florian Lejeune let the Saints back in with a clumsy challenge to give away a penalty that was lashed home by Gabbiadini to earn a share of the spoils.
Both teams were evenly matched in a quiet start to proceedings, with the Tynesiders creating the first chance on nine minutes when Christian Atsu fired into the side-netting from 17 yards out after a corner was cleared into his path.
The hosts then threatened twice in the space of two minutes through Dusan Tadic, who collected a pass from Maya Yoshida on the right and turned his marker to make room for a shot from 22 yards out that flew over the crossbar on 14 minutes.
The Serbia international was unable to keep his header down at the back post two minutes later from Nathan Redmond’s cross on the left, while at the other end Jamal Lascelles connected with a 19th-minute corner, but his looping header was easily gathered by Fraser Forster.
The opener arrived moments later, though, courtesy of a stunning strike from Hayden, who hit a first-time volley into the bottom-left corner of the net from 20 yards out after Atsu’s initial effort had been blocked.
The Saints looked to respond and Virgil van Dijk went close with a glancing header at the near post on 22 minutes after Rob Elliot came out for a corner but got nowhere near the ball.
They grew in confidence as the first half progressed, with Mario Lemina volleying wide of the right post on 29 minutes after picking up a clearance outside the box, while Tadic saw his effort deflected behind by Lejeune from Ryan Bertrand’s cutback in the 40th minute.
Rafael Benitez’s men took their one-goal lead into the break and they almost struck again two minutes into the second half when Perez did well to get in a low cross from the right that was flicked onto the bar by Joselu at the near post.
However, the south coast club were back on level terms two minutes later through Gabbiadini, who collected a deep cross from Redmond inside the area on the right and cut inside on his left foot before drilling a low shot inside the right post from 18 yards out.
Parity would last a mere 86 seconds, though, as Jonjo Shelvey sprung a counter that led to Perez being played in on the right and the Spaniard drew a save out of Forster before slotting home on the rebound from a tight angle.
The Saints hit back with 15 minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty for Lejeune’s silly foul on Shane Long, which was dispatched into the right corner of the net by Gabbiadini.
Lejeune looked to make immediate amends for his mistake after getting on the end of a deep cross from the right on 77 minutes, but steered his header into the ground at the back post.
The French defender was denied a late winner when Steven Davis cleared his header off the line from a corner in the final minute.