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?
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum