Newcastle turned in another dismal performance as they were soundly beaten by Southampton at St. Mary’s. Jay Rodriguez scored twice and fellow England hopefuls Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana grabbed one each as Saints outclassed a poor Newcastle.

Just one point separated the teams before kick-off but the two sides were leagues apart on the pitch, as the home side ran riot against a Magpies team that were once again totally out of ideas in an attacking sense.

The trio of England internationals were at the heart of everything for Southampton and Newcastle had no answer. Lallana in particular tormented endlessy and had Rodriguez’s finishing been better, Saints could have had more.

Rodriguez troubled the side netting twice in the first half an hour, first with a shot and then a header as Southampton overran their opponents.

The breakthrough came seconds from the break though, as the former Burnley striker’s shot was repelled by stand-in goalkeeper Rob Elliot. However, the rebound fell to Lambert who unselfishly squared for Rodriguez to score.

Alan Pardew – back in the stands after his stadium ban – responded to going a goal down by making a double change at half-time, replacing Hatem Ben Arfa with Luuk de Jong and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa with Davide Santon.

But in truth it made no difference, as Southampton found their killer instinct to go with their excellent creativity.

Just four minutes into the second half, Lambert doubled the hosts’ lead and effectively killed Newcastle off. Lallana clipped a cross into the box and the former Bristol Rovers striker finished nicely.

Lallana then got in on the act himself with 20 minutes to go, finding more space behind Newcastle’s midfield and powering a shot past Elliot.

Two minutes later, Papiss Cisse had his first shot on goal all afternoon. That rather sums up how poor Newcastle were.

James Ward-Prowse was then denied by Elliot – who, in fairness, had a good game in goal for Newcastle – twice, before Rodriguez finished off the scoring in the final minute.

The win moves Southampton back above Newcastle into eighth place in the Premier League table and in fairness they deserve to finish above the Geordies, given the ease at which they dispatched their opponents.