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Joelinton gives Newcastle semi-final first leg win at 10-man Southampton

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If at first you don’t succeed. Or even on the second attempt. It looked set to be one of those nights for Newcastle striker Joelinton, who saw a first-half goal disallowed for handball and then advanced his candidate for the season’s miss at the start of the second period.

The mercurial Miguel Almirón had crossed and, after a double deflection, the ball sat up for the onrushing Joelinton inside the six-yard box, the goal gaping. When he lifted himself high, he could have been forgiven for wanting to be very far away – back at Newcastle, for example.

Related: Southampton v Newcastle: Carabao Cup semi-final first leg – live

Joelinton refused to hide. He continued to push. And when substitute Alexander Isak blasted away from Duje Calata-Car, Joelinton made another run. This time he really couldn’t miss from close range and Newcastle were in control of their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg – a step closer to a first cup final since 1999.

Southampton, the Premier League’s bottom club, tried to fight back. They thought they had equalized when substitute Adam Armstrong bundled home only for VAR to see he had used one hand to do so. Caleta-Car would receive a second yellow card late on for a foul on Newcastle substitute Allan Saint-Maximin and the evening would be one of frustration for his side.

The number for Newcastle fans to take in was 644 – miles by road to complete the round trip, a mission of around 11 hours. That would never stand in the way of them taking part in a first semi-final since 2005.

The traveling support proclaimed at kick-off time that they were going to Wembley – they were clearly in the mood to make the most of the occasion – and their side were all the brighter in the first half.

The hosts were initially loose with their passing and when Nathan Jones was caught in an animated conversation with Moussa Djenepo after 17 minutes, it seemed to capture the mood at the time.

Newcastle could have taken an early lead when Miguel Almirón burst clear up the right and onto Joe Willock, who had sprinted up the inside left. Willock’s finish was wild, lifted high over the bar, but it was a concern from a Southampton point of view how Almirón was able to eat up so much open space.

Newcastle’s Jacob Brown looks on as Southampton’s Duje Caleta-Car walks off the pitch after being sent off. Photo: David Klein/Reuters

Carlos Alcaraz, on his full debut, had a few good moments on the ball in midfield while he was Southampton’s most likely goalscorer before the break. He almost latched on to a James Ward-Prowse pass – Fabian Schär displaced him – as he hit a low cracker from distance that swung and almost caught Pope.

Newcastle were balanced and threatening with Bruno Guimarães sharp in possession; Almirón and Willock enter dangerous areas up the sides. Willock knocked high again from a Kieran Trippier cross before controversy flared in the 39th minute.

It was Willock up the left who cut inside and forced Gavin Bazunu to parry and from there it always felt like Newcastle would get the ball in the net. Callum Wilson was thwarted by Mohammed Salisu and when the ball broke to Joelinton he slotted home. And yet the referee, Stuart Attwell, blew the whistle immediately – for handball against Joelinton. It felt hard in the moment and it was hard to remove it in the reps.

There were some delicious challenges, Caleta-Car went into the book for a late one on Almirón, who had touched the ball past him and was gone, while Pope was lucky to escape criticism for cleaning Djenepo at the end of the first half. . A dazed Djenepo was forced out.

It was all about the transitions, with Newcastle hitting particularly hard through Almirón; Southampton couldn’t handle his pace and directness. Three times he was cleared at the start of the second half to cross and three times Southampton were put off, most obviously when Joelinton suffered his moment of horror from close range.

Back came Southampton, with substitute Adam Armstrong and Ward-Prowse having half chances. It was another substitute, Ché Adams, who was to score. Sent clean through by the excellent Alcaraz, he couldn’t beat Pope. As was the case moments later when he spun inside the area. Pope was too sharp.

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