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Southampton vs Newcastle United

Southampton robbed by VAR? Joelinton goal gives Newcastle vital first-leg lead in feisty Carabao Cup semi-final tie

00:15 SAST 2023/01/25
Southampton Newcastle split
Newcastle edged past Southampton in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final with Joelinton finding the winner late on in the game.
  • Joelinton's first half opener chalked off
  • End-to-end affair continued after break
  • Brazilian came good when it mattered

TELL ME MORE: Tensions ran high from the off at St. Mary's with both sides clearly aware of just how big an occasion and opportunity this was in their respective seasons. A cagey opening 45 minutes lacked any real cutting edge, but should've seen Newcastle lead at the break. Joelinton bundled the ball into the back of the net after 39 minutes following a goalmouth scramble, only for referee Stuart Attwell to rule out the goal for a handball which VAR couldn't find the evidence to overturn.

The Brazilian then spurned a glorious opportunity to give Newcastle the lead eight minutes into the second half, smashing a square ball over the bar when he should have converted. As the game opened up, both sides had chances, with the hosts forcing a string of saves out of Nick Pope in the Newcastle goal. However, it was Joelinton who finally made it count, rifling in from close range after 73 minutes. Southampton thought they'd replied swiftly after, but VAR again intervened for handball and chalked off Adam Armstrong's equaliser, ensuring the game finished 1-0 to Newcastle. Late on, Saints had Duje Caleta-Car sent off for second bookable offence, as things threatened to boil over.

THE MVP: It was a tough night at the office for Joelinton, but on an evening where it was time for heroes, he stood with his head held high, kept knocking on the door and reaped the rewards. The Brazilian was bitterly unfortunate to see a goal ruled out in the first half that undoubtedly would've changed the flow of the game, and then smashed a ball over that was begging to be gently tucked into an open net. However, the best players keep on going and his run for the eventual opener embodied the confidence flowing through him thanks to his recent resurgence. From zero to hero, Joelinton just keeps getting better.

THE BIG LOSER: Former Magpie Adam Armstrong thought he had provided an instant response to Newcastle going ahead late on, scoring with a goal that captured the scratchy quality of the match well. After misjudging the cross in, he collided with Dan Burn and sent the ball ricocheting into the back of the net in clumsy fashion - only for VAR to rule the goal out as it hit his hand on the way in. It seemed a harsh decision and typified the sort of misfortune that Armstrong - who has netted just four times for Saints - has encountered since arriving from Blackburn last summer.

MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? It's now advantage Newcastle heading into the second leg, due to be played on January 31, with the Magpies 90 minutes away from a long-awaited trip to Wembley.

MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE):