Manolo Gabbiadini’s brace helped Saints to a two-all draw at St Marys this afternoon.
Saints battled back to earn a draw after being behind twice in the game, with both Mauricio Pellegrino taking a point off his former mentor, Rafael Benitez.
Isaac Hayden’s ranged effort gave the visitors a first half lead, before Italian Gabbiadini levelled the scores just after half time.
Newcastle were ahead again just moments later, Ayoze Perez sneaking his rebounded effort in at Fraser Forster’s near post - with the English goalkeeper having a horrid afternoon.
Gabbiadini’s penalty brought Saints a deserved draw in the 75th minute, after Shane Long was brought down by Florian Lejeune in a needless challenge.
While Saints will be pleased to have twice come from behind to earn a point, most pleasing will be the fact that they scored twice at home - something of a rarity in the last few months.
The opener arrived in the 19th minute after Dusan Tadic wasted a golden chance to take the lead. The Serbian met Ryan Bertrand’s cross unmarked at the back post, but the winger headed over when he had two men to aim for in the box, minutes later, the Magpies were ahead.
Sloppy Saints defending resulted in Hayden lashing home following Christian Atsu’s blocked effort. Forster had dived to keep out the Ghanaian’s shot, and couldn’t get his feet right to keep out Hayden’s 25 yard follow up.
Saints came back into the tie, with Gabbiadini twice going close, sneaking in at the front post to meet a searching cross on one occasion with one of many good runs made throughout the afternoon.
The Italian showed sublime skill in controlling Nathan Redmond’s long pass in the box for his first equaliser in the 49th minute, before drifting inside a couple of defenders and sneaking the ball inside Rob Elliot’s near post.
Despite the jubilation surrounding a rare St Mary’s goal, Newcastle were again ahead just moments later following more poor goalkeeping from Forster. Matt Ritchie picked out Perez, whose first effort was parried back to him by the Saints goalie. Compounding his error, Forster was then beat at his near post, continuing to demonstrate a severe lack of confidence between the sticks.
DeAndre Yedlin was lucky to not have been sent off for a second booking, with referee Kevin Friend failing to punish a certain yellow card after the defender caught Redmond with his studs in the 54th minute.
Saints chased the game, with Long and Gabbiadini combining well up top and Newcastle relying on their goalie to keep them ahead.
The hosts would not be denied though, with Long earning a silly penalty off of Lejeune with 15 minutes remaining. Gabbiadini smashed his spot kick into the top right hand corner, and Saints sensed that they could get the win, bringing on Charlie Austin woth ten minutes remaining.
Substitute Steven Davis cleared a late Lejeune header off of the line, with Elliot parrying Ryan Bertrand’s dangerous cross with the clock winding down. Despite both teams going for the win, the resulting draw was a fair reflection of an entertaining game.
Saints host West Brom at home next on Saturday, and will need to build on this draw if they are to improve on their stuttering start to the season. Manager Pellegrino will hope that Gabbiadini and Long’s promising partnership deliver’s more goals, with the pair looking bright for spells throughout the game.
Saints: Forster; Cedric, van Dijk, Yoshida (c), Bertrand; Romeu (Davis 67), Lemina; Tadic, Redmond (Boufal 57); Gabbiadini, Long (Austin 82).
Subs: McCarthy, Hoedt, Davis, Ward-Prowse, Austin, McQueen, Boufal.
Newcastle: Elliot; Yedlin, Lascelles (c), Lejeune, Manquillo; Shelvey, Hayden; Ritchie, Pérez (Merino 63), Atsu (Murphy 82), Joselu (Gayle 68).
Subs: Darlow, Clark, Gamez, Merino, Diame,Murphy, Gayle.