Callum Wilson increased his season total in Premier League goals to 15 as Newcastle rallied to defeat Southampton at St. James’ Park and solidify their position in the top four.
Stuart Armstrong converted Kamaldeen Sulemana’s low ball after a quick counter for Saints, who entered the game six points outside of safety.
Wilson, who scored twice in Newcastle’s 4-1 victory against Everton last Thursday, was introduced at halftime. Nine minutes after the interval, he almost immediately had an effect by poking in from close range from a free kick.
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Wilson then had a header deflected over before the video assistant referee judged an additional goal offside.
Wilson finally scored his second goal when he displayed excellent poise to beat the goalkeeper and tap in after Theo Walcott diverted a corner into his own net for Newcastle to complete the comeback.
With only five games left, Newcastle sits third, 11 points ahead of Tottenham, despite Wilson’s close call on a third goal in the dying seconds.
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Meanwhile, Southampton is still six points behind at the bottom of the standings and is in danger of being demoted to the Championship.
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Wilson’s long-term future at Newcastle was in some doubt following the £60 million arrival of Alexander Isak in August as Eddie Howe’s team made significant investments to give them the talent to challenge at the top of the table.
Although a start for Wilson this season is never guaranteed, he has risen to the challenge of having his position threatened and has performed well whether in the starting lineup or at first sitting on the bench.
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He was one of the substitutes in this game because Isak was preferred in the attack during the humiliating loss to Everton at Goodison Park.
Howe went to Wilson after Newcastle put on a rather subpar performance in the first half, and his entry onto the field significantly altered the home team’s attack.
He easily could have scored a hat-trick for the second game in a row, but instead, his two goals extended an extraordinary run of goal scoring where he has now scored eight goals in his previous seven outings.
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Saints are defeated after fighting
As a result of their 22nd loss of the year, Southampton now needs two victories to even with Nottingham Forest, who hold the final spot above the relegation zone, in order to avoid being relegated.
The Saints’ recent results have provided some encouragement in a season that hasn’t been particularly upbeat, which may offer the supporters hope for the team’s future, which right now appears to be in the Championship.
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They were denied a historic victory three weeks ago by a late Bukayo Saka goal at then-league leaders Arsenal, and despite last week’s poor 1-0 home loss to Bournemouth, they showed grit in this match, at least until the threat of the in-form Wilson overpowered them.