The Magpies came up empty in the first half at Southampton. In a game of little quality, Newcastle edged the opening 45 minutes but squandered a few promising chances. However Joelinton had a goal disallowed under questionable circumstances.
Newcastle were set up in a 4-3-3 with Pope in goal behind a back four of Trippier, Schar, Botman, and Burn. The midfield three were Guimaraes, Longstaff, and Willock. Joelinton was on the left with Almiron on the right. Wilson led the line.
Newcastle had a couple chances in the opening minutes. From a break, Almiron rolled the ball to a charging Willock just outside the area. With his weaker left foot, Willock shanked his shot into the stands. A minute later another opportunity went wanting with Longstaff’s low cross along the 6-yard box finding no takers.
Twenty minutes in and Newcastle were the more threatening team. Most of the opening stages were been spent in the Saints’ end though Newcastle did not fashion anything to threaten Gavin Bazunu.
Willock again skied a shot from a promising position in the 35th minute. Newcastle did well on a break with excellent one-two passing between Almiron, Longstaff, and Trippier, who launched a cross from the right to Willock in the box. The midfielder’s volley was sent high into the stands.
In the 39th minute, Newcastle had another break with Willock surging down the left. He crossed the ball into the box with Bazunu making an initial save. The ball then rebounded off Joelinton who put it into the net. The goal was disallowed with Joelinton judged to have handled the ball. Replays were inconclusive as VAR did not intervene.
Southampton were forced into a change in added time after Pope barreled over Moussa Djenepo to clear a through ball. Djenepo had to be replaced as he looked unsteady on his feet with Adam Armstrong making his entrance just before the half-time whistle.