Eljero Elia opened his Premier League account with a brace either side of Yoan Gouffran's effort as Southampton won 2-1 at Newcastle United.
Eljero Elia opened his Premier League account with a brace as high-flying Southampton claimed a 2-1 win at Newcastle United.
Southampton had further strengthened their top-four credentials with victory at Manchester United last weekend and again looked impressive in typically tough surroundings at St James' Park.
Werder Bremen loanee Elia made his Southampton debut in that Old Trafford success and put them ahead on Saturday after 14 minutes following slick build-up play - his first goal since November 2013.
Newcastle more than matched Southampton's efforts during the first-half - ultimately meriting the huge slice of fortune which helped Yoan Gouffran equalise in the 29th minute.
Gouffran missed an excellent opportunity to put Newcastle ahead moments before Elia settled the contest, returning Southampton to third position following United's win at QPR earlier in the day.
Newcastle lie 11th and are winless in four matches under caretaker manager John Carver.
In the injury absence of influential midfield duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama, Southampton ceded plenty of the early play to Newcastle - Gouffran stinging Fraser Forster's palms with a rasping volley - but the visitors scored on their first attack of note.
Elia darted between the returning Massadio Haidara and makeshift centre-back Paul Dummett to collect James Ward-Prowse's pass and squeeze a shot through countryman Tim Krul, possibly caught out by Darryl Janmaat's sprawling challenge.
Ward-Prowse was the provider again in the 24th minute, this time with a perfectly flighted free-kick as Jose Fonte headed over before Newcastle levelled in fortuitous fashion.
Florin Grados slid to cut out Remy Cabella's deflected throughball, his interception cannoning into Gouffran and looping into the net.
The goal put Newcastle back in the ascendancy for the remainder of the half and a stretching Ayoze Perez almost put them ahead on the end of Cabella's lofted 43rd-minute pass.
Full-back Haidara whipped in a wonderful cross for Gouffran to head wastefully wide in the 61st-minute - a miss Newcastle would soon regret.
Shane Long, on for ineffective Old Trafford hero Dusan Tadic, won a flick-on that Elia was alert to collect and his shot deflected of Janmaat to leave Krul with no chance.
Dummett wasted a free header from Jack Colback's 75th-minute corner as it became clear Carver's quest for a maiden win in the St James' Park hotseat was set to continue
Southampton striker Graziano Pelle glanced a cross from the similarly impressive Nathaniel Clyne against the crossbar with 12 minutes remaining before Koeman's men closed their fifth win in six unbeaten league games.
Newcastle made them sweat in stoppage time, with Cabella missing his kick as Sammy Ameobi cut the ball back into the box, while fellow substitute Emmanuel Riviere clattered a shot into Southampton captain Fonte's outstretched arm but referee Robert Madley rejected desperate appeals for a penalty before whistling for full-time.comments