Joelinton’s goal was the decisive factor in Newcastle’s 1-0 victory over Southampton in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
The Brazilian forward scored by converting a low cross from substitute Alexander Isak with 17 minutes remaining in an action-packed match at St Mary’s.
Despite a disallowed goal and a missed opportunity from Joelinton, the Magpies were able to secure the lead. Southampton believed they had equalized through Adam Armstrong, a Newcastle academy graduate, but his goal was disallowed due to handball as per VAR intervention.
Joelinton also had a goal disallowed in the first half due to an alleged handball, and later missed an open goal opportunity early in the second half.
The match ended with Southampton playing with 10 men after defender Caleta-Car was dismissed for receiving his second yellow card.
The Saints were unable to score despite having created several chances, with goalkeeper Nick Pope making key saves to keep the score at 1-0.
Newcastle’s manager Eddie Howe, had urged his team to make progress in the competition as the club aims to win its first major domestic trophy since 1955.
Both teams made changes to their starting lineup, with Newcastle sticking with the same team that drew 0-0 in the Premier League match against Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Southampton made 4 changes, including debut starts for a new January signings Carlos Alcaraz and Mislav Orsic.
Despite a lack of quality and opportunities in the first half, the match featured a key moment when Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock twice fired over the goal when unmarked, before sparking the controversial 39th-minute incident by bursting clear on the left and cutting inside Lyanco to force a low save out of Saints keeper Gavin Bazunu.
The match was marked by a controversial moment in the first half when Joelinton’s goal was disallowed due to an alleged handball. VAR was in use during this round of the competition, but despite debate over the placement of the ball on Joelinton, the on-field decision was not overturned.
There were also some worrying scenes when Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo was forced to leave the field after a collision with the Newcastle goalkeeper, Nick Pope. He was replaced by Adam Armstrong.
The Magpies had previously defeated Southampton 4-1 on this ground in the Premier League in November, leading to the dismissal of former Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The second half of the match saw Newcastle create several opportunities to score, with Almiron, Joelinton and Botman all missing chances.
Joelinton was finally able to score in the 73rd minute with a low cross from Alexander Isal. Few minutes later, Southampton thought they had equalized through Adam Armstrong, but the goal was disallowed by VAR.
The match ended with some tensions on the field as the referee was trying to control the game.
Towards the end of the match, a confrontation between Bruno Guimaraes and Lyanco led to a mass altercation. Things then got worse for Southampton when Caleta-Car, who had received a yellow card for fouling Almiron in the first half, was sent off for a foul on Allan Saint-Maximin.
Isak nearly scored in the added time at the end of the match, but hit the side netting after going past Bazunu.
The Magpies have a week without fixtures to prepare for the second leg of the semi-final, while Southampton will play Blackpool in the FA Cup fourth round before facing Newcastle again.