So’ton 0 – 1 Newcastle

Newcastle took one step closer to their first domestic cup final since 1999 with an edgy 1-0 win over struggling Southampton, whose woes were compounded by the fact they had yet another goal chalked off by VAR and were reduced to 10 men late on.

Joelinton was guilty of spurning what looked to be the best chance of a cagey game when found by Miguel Almiron at the back post, firing aimlessly over the bar with the goal gaping (53), before then atoning for his earlier error by tapping home substitute Alexander Isak’s cross (73).

Che Adams wasted Southampton’s most presentable opportunity before the game’s opener, coming off second best in a one-on-one with Nick Pope (65), before Adam Armstrong was then denied after fumbling the ball over the line, only for VAR to spot a handball in the build up – the second time in three days Saints have seen goals disallowed after VAR review.

Magpies goalkeeper Pope has made 10 appearances and faced 19 shots since last conceding a goal, which has led to Newcastle keeping more clean sheets in all competitions than any other side in Europe’s big five leagues.

“Nick made some big saves today. Especially the one against [Che] Adams – it was a big moment in the match. He stood up tall for us like he has all season. I can’t rate him highly enough,” manager Eddie Howe regaled post-match.

The two sides will meet again on January 31 to decide who will earn the prize of a Wembley final in late February against either Nottingham Forest or Manchester United.

How Newcastle put one foot in the final

Joelinton celebrates scoring the winner at Southampton in the first leg of the sides' Carabao Cup semi-final
Joelinton celebrates scoring the winner at Southampton

Cup progression had provided some respite for under-fire boss Nathan Jones after three wins in the space of a week in January saw Saints progress in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and edge out Everton in Premier League action.

Since then, Southampton have come crashing back down to earth with a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa – their fourth consecutive loss at home in the league – and a semi-final setback at the hands of Newcastle.

“The 1-0 scoreline is delicate, nothing’s decided,” Howe told Sky Sports afterwards, but Newcastle will nevertheless be pleased to take a lead back to St James’ Park after Joelinton notched his third goal in eight games.

Saints, who had what they thought was an equaliser from Armstrong disallowed for handball by VAR, saw their night of frustration complete when Duje Caleta-Car was sent off in the closing stages – their first dismissal in any competition in over 12 months, since Yan Valery saw red against Swansea in January 2022. The defender will be ruled out of the return leg in seven days time.

Joelinton also had a first-half goal ruled out by VAR, in a similar manner to Armstrong’s, before missing a sitter but then applying the telling touch to Isak’s teasing delivery. The substitute rounded Caleta-Car, laying the ball on the plate for the Brazilian at the back post, who poked into the net with Gavin Bazunu stranded.

“The goal was naive,” Jones said, disappointingly. “We’ve been the victim of four VAR calls against us,” he added.

What’s next?

Southampton return to action in the FA Cup on Saturday with the visit of Blackpool; kick-off 3pm.

The Saints then face Newcastle in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at St James’ Park on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 8pm.

Tuesday 31st January 7:00pm

Kick off 8:00pm

Newcastle are already out of the FA Cup, meaning they have a free weekend. As a result, their next game is the visit of Southampton on Tuesday, when a place in the Carabao Cup final will be on the line.

The Magpies then return to Premier League action with the visit of West Ham on Saturday February 4, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.

Saturday 4th February 5:00pm

Kick off 5:30pm

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