Eriksson took the opportunity to have a close look at James Beattie, the powerful Saints striker who had thrust himself into the England frame after scoring 11 goals in his previous eight matches.
While Beattie did not add to his tally, he was still a key figure in a tremendous match of chances galore at both ends.
Newcastle showed they had recovered from their beating in Barcelona in midweek with Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy restored after suspension.
Bellamy's pace and Shearer's experience unsettled the Southampton defence and they needed four outstanding saves from goalkeeper Paul Jones to keep the scores level at half time.
Bellamy broke the deadlock in the 49th minute with a superb right-foot shot from the edge of the area which gave fellow Welsh international Jones no chance.
Chris Marsden equalised three minutes later, turning in a centre from Fabrice Fernandes for his first league goal of the season.
Marsden twice missed clear opportunities to head a Southampton winner, while Newcastle defender Andy O'Brien headed against his own bar under no pressure near the end of an amazing Premiership encounter.
In contrast to Jones, Newcastle's Shay Given was not often pressed into action, but he reserved his best for the 32nd minute when he twisted backwards to keep out a deflected shot from Brett Ormerod.