Rafa Benitez will need to pull off a Leicester City-style relegation battle if he wants to keep Newcastle United from making the dreaded drop. Unfortunately, Shane Long and Graziano Pelle have made that task only more difficult as the pair teamed up for a pair of goals for Southampton in the first half.
It took less than five minutes for Shane Long to end any hopes of Newcastle preserving a rare clean sheet with this devastating strike to kick things off quickly:
Not to be outdone by his teammate though, Pelle got in on the scoring as well, knocking through a score before the half to put victory very nearly out of reach.
Newcastle United have just 25 points – six behind Norwich City going into the weekend, but likely more if Norwich pull out the draw or win against Crystal Palace today.
As of writing, Victor Waynama added a third goal to make it 3-0 Southampton.
Even Nigel Pearson would be hard-pressed to save Newcastle now…
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