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Magpies edge six-goal thriller
Alan Pardew got the win he craved as Newcastle fought back to beat former club Southampton 4-2 and complete a good week.
The Magpies, who booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League in Ukraine on Thursday evening, added three priceless Barclays Premier League points to their haul to ease themselves six clear of the relegation zone.
Newcastle fell behind to Morgan Schneiderlin's third-minute strike, but Moussa Sissoko's third goal for the club and Papiss Cisse's volley gave them the advantage at the break. Rickie Lambert levelled five minutes into the second half, but Yohan Cabaye's 67th-minute penalty and a late Jos Hooiveld own goal ensured that the points stayed on Tyneside.
Newcastle were celebrating the seven-man Gallic influence within their squad, but it was an eighth compatriot who was first to make his mark on the game when Schneiderlin thumped home after Lambert had headed down Jack Cork's deep cross.
Cisse probably should have equalised three minutes later but sliced a close-range effort well wide. Newcastle eventually restored parity as Cabaye was starting to find more space and when he played a lovely ball down the line for Gouffran, the wide man twisted his way past Nathaniel Clyne to cross for Sissoko to apply the decisive touch.
With three minutes of the half remaining, keeper Rob Elliot became provider, as his clearance sailed over Sissoko as he challenged for it, but sat up nicely for Cisse. His dipping volley seared over the helpless Artur Boruc and went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Pardew lost skipper Fabricio Coloccini to injury in stoppage time and sent on Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in his place. The newcomer found himself in the firing line within two minutes of the restart as his foul on Lambert allowed the striker to take aim at goal from the resulting free-kick, and Elliot had to dive full-stretch to his left to save.
Adam Lallana was then given time and space down the right and cross for Lambert to steer home the equaliser. Pardew's men gradually began to impose themselves once again, and took the lead once again with 67 minutes played, although perhaps in controversial fashion.
Cabaye picked out Mathieu Debuchy with a fine ball over the top and the full-back's volleyed cross hit Danny Fox on the arm. Referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot as Southampton's protests counted for nothing, and Cabaye stepped up to send Boruc the wrong way to make it 3-2.
Things got worse for the visitors and Fox in particular with 11 minutes remaining when Fox blasted Davide Santon's cross against Hooiveld and saw the ball fly past the helpless Boruc and into the net.