Newcastle have set the stage for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win at Southampton. It was far from pretty but The Magpies come through unscathed with a chance for a Wembley final if they take care of business next Tuesday at St. James’ Park.
Eddie Howe made no changes after the scoreless first half. Another shot was sent high in the opening minute with Almiron, after tearing by Mohammed Salisu, squaring a pass for Longstaff in the box. The Geordie’s shot was sent over the bar.
Yet another chance was squandered in the 53rd minute. Almiron played a one-two with Longstaff to get to the byline. The Paraguayan cut inside and crossed the ball across the 6-yard box finding Joelinton in front of an open goal. He somehow sent what should have been a tap-in over the bar.
After the miss, the Saints were much improved enjoying a lengthy spell of dominance for the next ten minutes. Nathan Jones made a tactical tweak with Southampton forcing Pope into a couple of timely saves on shots by substitute Che Adams.
Howe went to his bench in the 67th minute after Adams’s second shot. Wilson and Willock came off with Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin entering the fray. The move pushed Joelinton into the midfield with Saint-Maximin taking the mantle on the left and Isak spearheading the attack.
Newcastle found their breakthrough in the 73rd minute. It was some inspirational play from Isak as he got past a Southampton defender down the right and put a perfect ball into the box. This time Joelinton didn’t miss as he powered his tap-in into the net to make it 1-0.
The euphoria was almost snuffed out as the Saints appeared to equalize through Adam Armstrong just moments later. Armstrong did very well to win the ball and then get on the end of a cross into the box. However, the ball came off his arm before it dribbled into the net. Jacob Murphy came on for Almiron after the disallowed goal.
Southampton went down to ten men when Duje Caleta-Car picked up his second booking after taking down Saint-Maximin during a jaunt up the pitch. The match had grown tempestuous over the previous few minutes with multiple bookings.
Newcastle saw out the proceedings for the 1-0 win. While the result goes in the Magpies’ favor, a chance to make the second leg a more comfortable affair was squandered. The 1-0 win will suffice as yet another clean sheet is kept.