Manolo Gabbiadini earned Southampton a point by scoring both goals in a 2-2 Premier League draw with Newcastle United at St Mary’s on Sunday. The Italian striker equalised twice for the hosts, first with a fine solo effort in the 49th minute to cancel out Isaac Hayden’s first-half opener.
Newcastle regained the lead two minutes later through Ayoze Perez but Gabbiadini replied from the penalty spot in the 75th minute after Shane Long had been brought down by Florian Lejeune.
Gabbiadini’s double saved Southampton from a third successive home defeat and lifted them two places to 10th in the table, while Newcastle remain ninth.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino said: “It was a chaotic game. We conceded a couple of soft goals. In the last 20 minutes we could win the game but we could also lose it.
“As a manager I don’t like this sort of game. We scored two goals but we didn’t always control the game.”
Hayden opened the scoring with a drilled shot on the rebound after Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster had parried Christian Atsu’s effort into his path.
Virgil van Dijk almost equalised when he headed just wide two minutes later but Southampton otherwise struggled to create chances despite dominating possession and territory.
Gabbiadini eased the growing tension inside St Mary’s by drawing Southampton level with a moment of brilliance and his first goal since August. After skilfully pulling down a deep ball into the box, he held off Javier Manquillo and drilled a low, left-foot shot past Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot at the near post.
But Southampton then switched off and allowed Matt Ritchie to play in Perez, who saw his first effort saved but then dispatched the rebound from a tight angle.
Newcastle looked to be on course for victory until Dejeune needlessly tripped Long and gave Gabbiadini the chance to level from the penalty spot.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez said: “I have to be happy because we have drawn (but) at the same disappointed because we could have won.
“We created chances to score goals. In the end I thought it was a good performance from the team.”