Newcastle United will take a one-goal lead into the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final with Southampton following a 1-0 victory at St Mary’s.
Eddie Howe’s side largely dominated on the south coast but will return to St James’ Park with a minor deficit after beating Nathan Jones’ 10-man Saints.
The visitors looked to make a fast start and had a decent chance just two minutes in, with Miguel Almiron teeing up Joe Willock to fire from the edge of the penalty area, but his effort sailed over.
Sean Longstaff then flashed a cross through the six yard box as Newcastle’s aggressive opening continued, while Fabian Schar denied new Southampton signing Carlos Alcaraz from converting a James Ward-Prowse delivery at the other end.
Another great chance for Willock flew over the bar when he volleyed over a deep ball from Kieran Trippier, before Joelinton managed to find the back of the net after tapping in from close range amid a scramble in the Southampton box. However, he was judged to have handled the ball and the goal was chalked off.
At the start of the second half, Almiron made a surging run down the left and managed to cut the ball back for Longstaff, only for his shot to fly over the top much like Willock’s opportunity early in the game.
A speculative overhead kick from Sekou Mara flew wide before the best chance of the game was spurned by Joelinton, somehow skying from mere yards out following a clever low cross from Almiron.
In the following minutes, Gavin Bazunu got a glove to another cross from Almiron, but only directed the ball into the path of Sven Botman. The Dutchman’s instinctive first-time strike could only find the side-netting.
Nick Pope stood tall to deny Che Adams after the Scottish striker managed to break away on a quick counter attack, before again keeping out the striker after Newcastle failed to clear a free-kick.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, Newcastle finally broke the deadlock. Alexander Isak managed to turn and burst away from Duje Caleta-Car, crossing for Joelinton to tap the Magpies ahead.
But just as soon as the visitors went in front, Southampton thought they’d found an equaliser. A hooked cross from Samuel Edozie was bundled in off of Adam Armstrong, but after a lengthy VAR check, the goal was ruled out for a handball against the forward.
In the dying embers, Caleta-Car was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Allan Saint-Maximin and the Saints were reduced to ten men.
Isak and Jacob Murphy went close to adding another for Newcastle in stoppage time, but they had to settle for a one-goal win ahead of next week’s return leg.
GK: Gavin Bazunu (5); RB: Kyle Walker-Peters (6), CB: Lyanco (5), CB: Duje Caleta-Car (2), (), LB: Mohammed Salisu (6); CM: Ibrahima Diallo (4), CM: Carlos Alcaraz (7), RM: Moussa Djenepo (5), AM: James Ward-Prowse (5), LM: Mislav Orsic (4); CF: Sekou Mara (5)
SUBS: Adam Armstrong (5), Che Adams (5), Samuel Edozie (6), Romeo Lavia (5), Jan Bednarek (N/A)
GK: Nick Pope (7); RB: Kieran Trippier (6), CB: Fabian Schar (7), CB: Sven Botman (6), LB: Dan Burn (6); CM: Bruno Guimaraes (8), CM: Joe Willock (7), CM: Sean Longstaff (5); RW: Miguel Almiron (7), CF: Callum Wilson (4), LW: Joelinton (8)
SUBS: Alexander Isak (7), Allan Saint-Maximin (7), Jacob Murphy (5)