Newcastle United overcame Southampton to pull themselves clear of the relegation zone.
Newcastle edged relegation rivals Southampton 4-2 in a topsy-turvy game at St James’ Park that took Alan Pardew’s side six points clear of the bottom three.
In honour of their growing French contingent, Newcastle had dubbed the day ‘French Day’, handing out berets to their supporters and playing the French national anthem prior to kick-off.
However, it was a Frenchman in a red shirt who broke the deadlock, as midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin converted a Rickie Lambert knockdown to give Southampton a third-minute lead.
Newcastle’s reaction was swift and in the 32nd minute they went ahead thanks to two French players of their own.
Yoan Gouffran forced a save from Artur Boruc after darting into the box from the left and when the ball ran across goal, Moussa Sissoko sped in to touch it over the line.
The hosts’ momentum did not abate and in the 42nd minute they went ahead with a stunning goal, as Papiss Cisse cracked home a looping half-volley from 25 yards.
Newcastle lost captain Fabricio Coloccini to injury just before half-time and saw Southampton equalise five minutes into the second half when Lambert swept home a low cross from Adam Lallana.
However, Newcastle hit back once again and took the lead for the second time in the game when Yohan Cabaye converted a 67th-minute penalty awarded for a handball by Danny Fox.
The suspense in a taut game finally dissipated in the 79th minute, when an own goal by Jos Hooiveld put Newcastle 4-2 ahead and confirmed the hosts’ success.