Joelinton sinks Southampton to put Newcastle in sight of League Cup final | Football News

SOUTHAMPTON: Eddie Howe has warned Newcastle not to get carried away after moving within contact distance of the Ligue’s cup final with a 1-0 victory against Southampton in the first leg of Tuesday’s semi-final.
Joelinton scored in the second half at St. Mary’s to put Howe’s side on the brink of their first National Cup final since 1999.
Southampton’s Duje Caleta-Car was sent off in the closing stages as a fiery clash boiled over.
Premier League bottom side Nathan Jones’ side felt battered after Adam Armstrong’s equalizer was disallowed by VAR for the handball.
But Newcastle can book their long-awaited trip to Wembley in the second leg at St. James’ Park on January 31, with the winner facing either Manchester United or Nottingham Forest in the final.
Forest host United in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.
However, Howe isn’t taking anything for granted right now.
“It was a good day, but there’s still a long way to go. Happy to win, that was our goal, but we know 1-0 is tricky,” Howe said.
“It was a tough game. I thought both teams had their moments. Nothing is decided. We are going back to St James with our fans behind us.”
Admitting Newcastle were lucky to avoid conceding Armstrong’s disallowed equalizer, Howe added: “I thought it was a goal. Very happy to see VAR step in.”
Newcastle are enjoying a renaissance this season thanks to shrewd leadership from Howe and financial investment from the club’s Saudi-backed ownership group.
The Magpies sit third in the Premier League and make their first domestic semi-final appearance since 2005.
Underlining Newcastle’s new confident attitude, Howe had said just reaching a semi-final was “not enough” as he aims to lift the club’s first major domestic trophy since the 1955 FA Cup.
The Magpies’ last domestic cup final ended in defeat to Manchester United in the 1999 FA Cup, with their last major silverware coming in the 1969 Intercity Fairs Cup.
For Newcastle, this is their most promising time since the Kevin Keegan era in the 1990s and they left the South Coast after taking another step on the road back to relevance.
Joe Willock should have given Newcastle the lead within two minutes when he fired wildly after Miguel Almiron’s pass found the midfielder unmarked in Southampton’s penalty area.
Willock inflated his lines again with a wayward volley after Kieran Trippier’s precise cross picked him out at the far post.
When Willock finally got a shot on target, the Saints keeper Gavin Bazunu made the save, with Joelinton’s close range finish of the rebound disallowed for handball.
Joelinton missed a keeper when Almiron presented her with a glorious chance, somehow shooting from six yards.
Che Adams nearly caught Newcastle with a punch, but the Southampton substitute fired a pointless shot at Nick Pope after breaking through on goal.
Pope came to Newcastle’s rescue with another important save by fending off Adams’ shot on the turn.
“Nick has been outstanding this year and whenever he’s needed him he’s been producing the merchandise for us,” Howe said.
Newcastle finally took the lead in the 73rd minute when substitute Alexander Isak sped away from Caleta-Car for a low cross which Joelinton crushed from close range to the delight of thousands of Newcastle fans behind goal.
Southampton thought they had equalized two minutes later, but Armstrong’s arrival from inside the penalty area was disallowed for his handball.
It was tough on the former Newcastle striker Armstrong as the ball inadvertently bounced off his Botman arm as the pair challenged each other for a cross.
Southampton’s frustration was clear and Caleta-Car received a second yellow card in the 86th minute for an unnecessary push on Bruno Guimaraes.


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