Football: Clinical Shearer shakes Jones boys

Newcastle United 4 Shearer 8, pen 38, Marshall og 90, Ketsbaia 90 Southampton 0 Attendance: 36,454

SOUTHAMPTON suffered that sinking feeling again yesterday. A return to goalscoring form by that one-time Saint Alan Shearer left the South Coast club marooned at the foot of the table with Davy Jones's locker conspicuously bare of Premiership points. It may be premature to talk about a survival mission of Titanic proportions, but five defeats from five matches will have alarm bells ringing down at the Dell.

Southampton's cause yesterday was not helped by being short-handed after Jason Dodd's 37th-minute dismissal at St James' Park. But they were always second best to a Newcastle team relieved to rediscover a winning touch for the first time since last season. Defeat would have left the Tynesiders bottom of the top division for the first time in nine years. Instead, with the help of two Shearer goals, they showed the first signs of a reawakening under the guiding managerial hand of Ruud Gullit.

With 54 professionals on the staff he inherited from Kenny Dalglish, Gullit has scope for the kind of squad rotation he operated at Chelsea. He does not have the luxury of dipping into his reserves to pluck a Flo, a Zola, a Vialli - or a Hughes. But the one change he made to his starting line-up yesterday, replacing the Peruvian Nolberto Salano with the Georgian Temuri Ketsbaia, paid an early dividend.

Ketsbaia was already making his presence felt before he delivered the eighth-minute shot that led to Shearer's opening goal. It lacked power and pace, but Paul Jones failed to grasp it, presenting Shearer with a point-blank chance to show he still possesses the accuracy of a Navarone gunner, as his new boss referred to him in midweek. Shearer's shot duly hit the target, ending a spell of misfiring (nine blank Premiership matches) in which Newcastle's pounds 15m man has been more like a pop-gunner - or Poppins- gunner, perhaps - of Navarone.

With the hyperactive Ketsbaia deployed alongside Shearer and Andreas Andersson occupying his international position, wide on the right, Newcastle were a markedly more potent attacking force than they have been of late. Stephen Glass, wide on the left, helped to stretch the Southampton defence, showing some appropriately smashing first-half touches. The young Scot was denied his first goal for his new club when Ketsbaia squared the ball to him in the 39th minute, only for the hand of Dodd to block his shot on the line. The sinning Saint duly departed, and the sure-shot Shearer duly fired in the penalty.

Dave Jones turned to his bench in search of a lifeline, unleashing Matt Le Tissier and Egil Ostenstad after half-time. The former forced a fine diving save from Shay Given with a party-piece free-kick just before the hour-mark but Newcastle had the final words on the score-sheet. With a minute left, Rob Lee dispatched a right-wing free-kick and Scott Marshall, under pressure from Shearer, headed into the Gallowgate End goal that his father, Gordon, guarded for Newcastle in his goalkeeping days. Then, in injury time, Ketsbaia broke clear to shoot Newcastle's fourth.

"It was a pleasing performance," Gullit said. "But we haven't invented the wheel today." The Ruud boys, at least, did enough to get the Toon Army wagon rolling once again.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teachers Required in King's Lynn

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...

Primary Teachers needed in Ely

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...

Teaching Assistant to work with Autistic students

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: KS2 Teacher needed in Peterborough a...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain