An absorbing encounter on a cold night looked to be heading Southampton FC for a draw before Joelinton hit a winner in the 73rd minute to put Newcastle in order at the halfway point of the tie.

It perhaps a harsh result for Nathan Jones’s team, who ended the night with ten men after a late Duje Ćaleta-Car sending-off. The Saints gave as good as they got for much of the evening and missed their golden opportunity to take the information in the second half. Still, it does not alter the fact they must now see a way to win against a high-flying Magpies squad on Tyneside next Tuesday if they are to reach the final.

Jones made four differences from the team that faced Aston Villa at the weekend, as Roméo Lavia, Sam Edozie, Adam Armstrong, and Ché Adams declined to the court. In reached Moussa Djenepo and Sékou Mara, as well as January signings Mislav Oršić and Charly Alcaraz, who are both making their full debuts.
Jan Bednarek is also included in the squad, with the center-back named among the substitutes following his return from a loan spell at Aston Villa this week.

For Newcastle, Eddie Howe called the same side from the 0-0 pull at Crystal Palace over the weekend in the Premier League – a competition in which they created their ninth clean sheet in their past ten conflicts.

Sitting in third position in the Premier League, the visitors came into the tie as favorites, and they started as such, creating a big opening within two minutes. A cleverly-worked throw-in from inside their half resulted in Miguel Almirón being set free into space down the right, allowing him to break forward, draw the defense towards him and slip a pass across the pitch for the run of Joe Willock. However, with a clear sight of the goal from 18 yards, he ballooned his shot high into the Chapel Stand.

There was further danger for Saints shortly after when Newcastle performed it to Sean Longstaff inside the right edge of the area, and he sparked a low ball across the six-yard box, but fortunately, no Magpies actors were able to get on the end of it.

Saints’ first real sniff of goal arrived on 15 minutes when James Ward-Prowse bent a softball from a deep work on the request towards the perimeter of the area, but, although Alcaraz had produced a good run across his defender, he couldn’t get the correct contact on his shot, and the chance went begging.
Jones’s side defended well against their opponents, although Newcastle continued to have moments of threat. They came near to cutting via Saints in the 28th minute, just for Ćaleta-Car to end their difficult break when his slide tackle wiped out Almirón profound inside the hosts’ half – a challenge for which he unsurprisingly reached the first yellow card of the night.
Newcastle then squandered a decent possibility ten minutes from half-time when Kieran Trippier’s cross to the back post dropped to Willock, only for him to smash the ball way over again, this time from just outside the six-yard box.

Another caution followed for the Saints when Alcaraz blatantly hauled back Bruno Guimarães midway inside the guests’ half in what regards as an unnecessarily over-zealous intervention.

For a moment, Newcastle felt they had made a critical breakthrough in the 39th minute, as Joelinton struck home from close content after Gavin Bazunu had made an outstanding save to deny Willock. Still, referee Stuart Attwell judged that he had used his arm to hold the ball before finishing and ruled the strikeout.

Straight back up the different end, Alcaraz fired a fierce low shot from a length that almost got the better of Nick Pope. Still, the Newcastle keeper unconvincingly redirected it behind for a corner that came to nothing.

There was a blow for the Saints as the game rolled into added time, forcing them into a change. It was Moussa Djenepo whose night cuts short as Newcastle keeper Pope banged him just outside the box intersection after rushing out to head clear a ball over the top. There were no fouls given, but Djenepo was hurt and dazed behind the heavy collision, and he was supported off the pitch before being replaced by Adam Armstrong.

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Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


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