Ayoze Perez scores his first hat-trick as Newcastle beat Southampton

Newcastle 3-1 Southampton

Newcastle United moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone and up into 12th place in the Premier League after an entertaining win over Southampton thanks to Ayoze Perez’s first hat-trick for the Magpies.

Rafael Benitez’s side have been in fine form at home recently and striker Perez‘s quickfire first-half double put them in charge at the break.

However, Southampton have also been playing well and they were transformed after half-time, substitute Mario Lemina coolly slotting home shortly after coming on to halve the Magpies’ lead.

Maya Yoshida should then have levelled the scores but somehow volleyed over from six yards.

After Ki Sung-yueng hit the post and Angus Gunn pulled off an outstanding save from Isaac Hayden, Perez finally wrapped up the points for Benitez’s side when he headed home from close range with five minutes left.

This victory leaves Newcastle almost certainly safe but Southampton remain five points above the drop zone with four games left to play.

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