Newcastle beat Southampton in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. It was a heated game that saw eight yellow cards, including a player being sent off. In the end, Magpies midfielder Joelinton scored the winner to take the lead in a two-legged draw.
The matchup was between two storied English clubs heading in drastically different directions. Newcastle have only lost two of their 26 total games so far this season. The Magpies currently sit third in the Premier League, ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Southampton, however, are bottom of the league table. The south coast club have lost seven of their last eight games in the top flight and will have to fight to stay in the Premier League beyond this season. Despite their league woes, the Saints had not actually lost any of their five non-league games this season prior to Tuesday.
Newcastle goal disallowed for handball
Joelinton thought he had put the visitors ahead late in the first half. The versatile Brazilian took advantage of a bounced shot and calmly put the ball into the back of the net. However, the match referee Stuart Attwell quickly disallowed the goal because Joelinton controlled the ball with his arm. Replays showed that it was probably the right call. The ball apparently struck the Newcastle player’s arm and chest.
Minutes later there was a strong clash between Nick Pope and Moussa Djenepo. The Newcastle goalkeeper flew out of his penalty area to win with a header from outside the box. Although he won headfirst, he also crushed Djenepo in the process. However, Attwell decided that there was no foul. The Southampton winger had to be substituted before the break because of the incident.
Joelinton brings difference in Carabao Cup to Newcastle
Joelinton finally put Newcastle ahead in the 73rd minute thanks to a perfect pass from substitute Alexander Isak. The Swede made a beautiful run into the Southampton box and sent the ball past Joelinton. The goal came exactly 20 minutes after the Brazilian missed a shot just in front of the goal.
Southampton thought they had leveled the score just two minutes later. Adam Armstrong, who came on for the injured Djenepo, sent the ball into the back of the net after some chaos inside the box. While the goal initially stood, it was eventually ruled out by VAR due to a hand ball by the goal scorer.
The hosts’ chances of mounting a comeback were essentially crushed when centre-back Duje Caleta-Car was sent off for a second late-game yellow card.
Both offenses came from dribbles by Magpies players trying to advance towards goal. Newcastle eventually won the game and took a 1-0 lead at St. James’ Park. The reverse encounter will take place on January 31.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Sportimage