Match ends, Southampton 0, Newcastle United 1.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says Allan Saint-Maximin's ability is "scary" after the winger put in a match-winning performance at 10-man Southampton.
Saint-Maximin scored the only goal of the game in the closing stages, pressuring Yan Valery into a mistake before tucking home beyond Alex McCarthy.
The win moves Newcastle eight points clear of the relegation zone with nine games to go.
"I said when Saint-Maximin walked in he will excite people," said Bruce.
"His natural ability is scary. He has a bit to learn too, and if he does, if he sorts the other bits out, we have a hell of a player on our hands.
"He is always a threat, wants to get past you and that is a dying art. He has that natural ability in abundance."
Southampton had been reduced to 10 men midway through the first half when Moussa Djnepro's yellow card was upgraded to a red following a VAR review of his foul on Isaac Hayden.
But McCarthy had looked set to earn the Saints a battling point after making a stunning triple save to keep out efforts from Dwight Gayle and Miguel Almiron in the first half before then denying Matt Ritchie from the penalty spot.
However, Saint-Maximin had the final say to secure a win that moves Newcastle up to 13th in the table, eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Southampton, meanwhile, drop to 14th following a third defeat in their last four Premier League games.
Newcastle end goal drought at crucial time
The win could not have come at a better time for Newcastle after a run of five games without victory in the Premier League had fans glancing nervously over their shoulder.
They started the day five points above the relegation zone and in severe lack of form in front of goal after drawing blanks in their previous four league outings.
It looked like that scoreless run would stretch to five games, although arguably through no fault of their own as they found Saints keeper McCarthy in inspired form in front of goal in the first half.
He saved everything that was thrown at him, keeping out Gayle from close range and then two efforts in quick succession by Almiron on the follow up.
Gayle was denied again with a point-blank header and when McCarthy stretched superbly to keep out Ritchie's well-hit spot-kick, it appeared that it was not going to be Newcastle's day.
But in Saint-Maximin they have a player who is unpredictable but possesses explosive pace and strength and, in the closing stages, he stole the ball from Valery before placing a neat finish beyond McCarthy to ensure Newcastle escaped with three important points.
Saints' struggles continue
Southampton have struggled for consistency this season with long periods of losing often followed by excellent winning runs.
Four wins from five games in December and January had looked to have put them on course for a mid-table finish but Southampton have picked up just three points since the start of February.
Their good form in the middle of the season is likely to be enough to keep them out of trouble as they sit seven points above the bottom three but they will be keen to arrest their current slide soon just to be certain.
The home fans will feel aggrieved with some of the decisions that went against them in this game, although there can be few complaints about the red card for Djnepro. While his challenge was not malicious, his foot did land on Hayden's ankle and the outcome could have been much worse for the Newcastle man.
Saints can take heart from how they battled for so long with 10 men and they will need to show those battling qualities once again with tough trips to relegation-threatened Norwich and Watford on the horizon.
Man of the match - Alex McCarthy (Southampton)
'A tough one to take' - what they said
Southampton goalkeeper McCarthy: "It's definitely a tough one to take. In the second half Newcastle didn't have many clear chances but it's a little error that has cost us a point.
"After the way the first half panned out, I thought we could stay in this. It's very disappointing to come away with nothing. It's frustrating.
"I've not had much luck with penalties but I ended up guessing. We haven't had a few results go our way lately. We have played well but it's a hard one to take."
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, speaking to Match of the Day: "We have a had a tough time, but it's been a good week. There is a marked improvement.
"The three players brought in in January have helped us. It has been difficult, but 35 points with eight to go is good. It's another one off, we are back running and again and it's decent."
Not so saintly Saints see red again - the stats
- Newcastle have won three consecutive league games against Southampton for the first time in their history.
- Southampton have lost both matches against Newcastle in a single Premier League season for only the second time, also doing so in 2004-05.
- Newcastle were awarded their first penalty in 37 Premier League games (March 2019 v Everton), while the Magpies have now missed four of their last five penalties in the Premier League.
- Alex McCarthy is the first Southampton goalkeeper to save a penalty at St Mary's in the Premier League since Kelvin Davis vs Manchester United in September 2012 - 2,743 days ago.
- All three of Allan Saint-Maximin's goals for Newcastle in all competitions have come away from home, also netting vs Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the Premier League.
- No Premier League side has received more red cards in 2019-20 than Southampton (three), following Moussa Djenepo's 28th minute sending off.
Southampton travel to Norwich on Saturday, 14 March (15:00 GMT) while Newcastle host Sheffield United at the same time.
- 19BoufalSubstituted forObafemiat 85'minutes
- 12DjenepoBooked at 28mins
- 7LongSubstituted forAdamsat 77'minutes
- 19ManquilloBooked at 45minsSubstituted forLazaroat 72'minutes
- 11RitchieBooked at 56minsSubstituted forJoelintonat 61'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 14HaydenSubstituted forS Longstaffat 79'minutes
- 36S Longstaff
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Southampton 0, Newcastle United 1.
Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Yan Valery (Southampton).
Hand ball by Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United).
Joelinton (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card.
Offside, Newcastle United. Jamaal Lascelles tries a through ball, but Joelinton is caught offside.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Jan Bednarek.
Attempt blocked. Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Allan Saint-Maximin.
Substitution, Southampton. Michael Obafemi replaces Sofiane Boufal.
Attempt saved. Sofiane Boufal (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Foul by Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United).
Yan Valery (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Jonjo Shelvey.
Goal! Southampton 0, Newcastle United 1. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Sean Longstaff replaces Isaac Hayden.
Substitution, Southampton. Che Adams replaces Shane Long.
Martin Dubravka (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).
Attempt saved. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex McCarthy.