By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At St. Mary's Stadium
Southampton 3 (Rodriguez 45, 89, Lambert 49, Lallana 70)
Newcastle United 0
Newcastle United suffered a 4-0 defeat away at Southampton in the Barclays Premier League.
Goals from England trio Jay Rodriguez - twice - Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana handed the Saints all three points at St. Mary's, and it was no more than the hosts deserved for an utterly dominant performance.
Only heroic goalkeeping from Rob Elliot and some wasteful finishing kept the scoreline down on an afternoon to forget for the Magpies.
Rodriguez got the ball rolling on the stroke of half-time, tapping home Lambert's cross from the right. Then, early in the second half, Lambert turned goalscorer with a powerful close-range finish.
Lallana bagged number three with a stunning effort from distance, before Rodriguez completed the scoring late on.
Newcastle will look to bounce back next weekend as Manchester United come to Tyneside.
Saints were bright in the opening exchanges and forward Rodriguez had three good chances to break the deadlock inside the opening 13 minutes.
First, he beat Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa to a long ball over the top, chested down into his own path and raced in on goal. With just Elliot to beat, the England international opted for a near post effort and found the side netting instead of the back of it.
Next, Rodriguez rose highest at the far post to meet Calum Chambers' deep cross but could only head wide, before he sent a diving header on target, only to see Elliot make a fine save to claw it out of the bottom corner.
If that stop was good, then Elliot's next one - in the 15th minute - was even better; racing off his line to spread his body and block Rickie Lambert's attempted chip.
Southampton were utterly dominant but could not find an opener, with Lallana the next man to spurn a good chance, heading wide from six yards out after Chambers nodded intelligently back across the face of goal.
Elliot then saved well from a Lambert strike before the ex-Bristol Rovers man lobbed an ambitious effort onto the roof of the net.
Newcastle had seemingly weathered the hosts' storm and began to be able to venture out of their own half.
On 33 minutes, a tidy move down the left ended with Saints stopper Atur Boruc blocking a Yoan Gouffran prod at his near post, but that was as much as the Magpies offered from an attacking perspective in the first half.
Southampton were soon back on the front foot, and Elliot pulled off another outstanding save two minutes before the break.
When Rodriguez sidefooted Lambert's headed lay-off goalwards from the edge of the six-yard box, there looked to only be one outcome. But Elliot had other ideas, however, springing to his left to somehow scramble the ball clear.
It looked as though the sides would go in goalless at half-time but, with seconds remaining, Rodriguez finally found the back of the net. Lambert broke the offside trap and unselfishly squared across to his fellow forward, who applied a simple finish.
But it failed to stem the tide and the Saints doubled their advantage four minutes into the second period.
Lallana twisted and turned on the right flank before delivering an inch-perfect cross to Lambert at the far post, who took a touch before hammering a strike into the roof of the net.
United tried to respond and Moussa Sissoko beat two challenges before flashing a drive right across the heart of the six-yard box that was crying out for a touch.
But Southampton were soon back on the front foot and scored their third goal of the afternoon in the 70th minute.
Jack Cork made his way through a couple of challenges in the middle of the park before the ball ran kindly into the path of Lallana.
The England playmaker was some way from goal but was allowed to run unchallenged before unleashing a left-footed effort from 25 yards which flew past the helpless Elliot and into the top corner.
Immediately, Cisse almost reduced the arrears when he latched on to Anita's through ball, but Boruc stood firm to divert his shot behind for a corner.
However, the home side weren't content with their three-goal haul and went in search of number four.
Elliot blocked a low Ward-Prowse strike, then as the loose ball was swung back in, Rodriguez headed against the woodwork. And when it broke to Ward-Prowse again, he was only denied by another fine stop from Newcastle's goalkeeper.
A fourth goal arrived with time running out via the excellent Rodriguez. Having broken the offside trap, the pacy front man cut back inside Mike Williamson before drilling a low shot under Elliot to complete the scoring.
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Artur Boruc; Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte, Luke Shaw; James Ward-Prowse, Jack Cork; Steven Davis (Morgan Schneiderlin 73), Adam Lallana (Sam Gallagher 90), Jay Rodriguez; Rickie Lambert (Gaston Ramirez 83)
Subs not used: Paulo Gazzaniga, Jos Hooiveld, Harrison Reed, Guly do Prado
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Davide Santon 46), Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Massadio Haidara; Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita; Moussa Sissoko (Paul Dummett 78), Hatem Ben Arfa (Luuk de Jong 46), Yoan Gouffran; Papiss Cisse
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Bookings: Southampton - none; Newcastle - Haidara (76)
Attendance: 31,360 (2,187 Newcastle)