Southampton moved top of the Premier League table by beating Newcastle 2-0 thanks to goals from Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong.
Saints went into the game on the back of a five-game unbeaten run which had propelled them into the top four. They have now reached new heights, temporarily at least, by drawing level on points with league leaders Liverpool.
Given that they have a superior goal difference to the current champions, Southampton will end Friday in top spot – although a number of teams could overtake them once the weekend’s fixtures are complete.
Southampton took the lead through Che Adams in the seventh minute. Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow parried away a long-range effort from the striker, but Miguel Almiron was then dispossessed on the right-hand side of the box.
Kyle Walker-Peters won it back, before Theo Walcott crossed to give Adams a chance from in the box. He needed no invitation, firing home on the volley to make it 1-0.
Walcott went the closest to doubling Southampton’s lead before half-time, cutting onto his right foot after receiving the ball from Moussa Djenepo, before shooting wide from outside the box.
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Saints in control
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men went in at the break only one goal up, but firmly in control. And they started the second half just as strongly.
Jan Bednarek saw his shot after a corner cleared off the line by Jamaal Lascelles. Southampton came back at them straight away, with Oriol Romeu hitting the crossbar.
Saints had a shout for a penalty with 15 minutes left when Walcott went down under a challenge from Lascelles. However, VAR did not intervene with the referee’s decision to not award a spot kick.
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Southampton’s pressure eventually paid off to get a second goal in the 82nd minute. Stuart Armstrong dispossessed Sean Longstaff on the edge of the box before showing dazzling dribbling to get past the defence.
The Scottish midfielder then finished with his left foot into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.
Alex McCarthy produced a fine save to deny Joelinton with a header at the other end, keeping their clean sheet intact.
The win ensures Southampton move top of the Premier League table for the first time ever. They will stay there until Sunday at least, unless Everton beat Manchester United on Saturday.
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