League Cup semifinal: Newcastle score first-leg win away to Southampton

Newcastle are 90 minutes away from the League Cup final after securing a 1-0 victory away to Southampton in leg 1 of the sides’ semifinal at St. Mary’s Stadium on Tuesday.

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The second leg at St. James’ Park is in one week’s time, next Tuesday, Jan. 31. Southampton will face Blackpool in the 4th round of the FA Cup on Saturday, while Newcastle rest after going out to Sheffield Wednesday in the 3rd round.

The first leg of the second semifinal, with Nottingham Forest hosting Manchester United, is set for Wednesday (HOW TO WATCH). The semifinal winners will face off at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 26.

But, Newcastle finally broke through in the 73rd minute after Alexander Isak turned and raced away from Duje Caleta-Car, who was later sent off in the 86th, before cutting the ball back toward the top of the six-yard box for the late-arriving Joelinton. The Brazilian hammered the ball past Gavin Bazunu to send the Geordie faithful behind the goal into rapturous celebrations, as they dream of a first major cup final appearance since the 1998-99 FA Cup (first League Cup final appearance since 1976), when they were beaten by treble-winning Manchester United.

Southampton were briefly level barely a minute after the restart, when Adam Armstrong got the final touch in a goal-mouth scramble, until video review showed the ball come off Armstrong’s hand and then his leg before going into the goal.

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Kick off: 3pm ET, Tuesday
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Key storylines & in-form players to watch

Nathan Jones has Southampton just two points from safety and all is not lost in their quest to stay in the Premier League. But time is running out. Saints are less fun to watch right now as they’re working on being defensively solid. They have improved in that area but continue to concede goals from set-piece situations. They have to stop doing that. James Ward-Prowse continues to deliver goals at key moments but they really need new signings Carlos Alcaraz and Mislav Orsic to step up and deliver more quality in the final third. Saints will try to keep things tight ahead of the return game at Newcastle next Tuesday.

Newcastle continue to be very solid defensively but Eddie Howe has admitted he is concerned by their lack of goals. The Magpies have scored just once in their last four Premier League games and have drawn three of their last four 0-0. With Chris Wood allowed to leave for Nottingham Forest last week, it seems like Newcastle are hoping Alexander Isak hits top form after his injury or they may dip into the transfer market for a new striker. Everyone expects Newcastle to advance from this semifinal and they will be looking to take a healthy lead back to St James’ Park for the second leg.

Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options

Theo Walcott is back, while Armel Bella-Kotchap is close to a return and Jan Bednarek has been recalled from his loan at Aston Villa to add experience to Saints’ center back ranks. Jones will rotate his squad heavily in the next few days amid these League Cup semifinals, an FA Cup fourth round tie against Blackpool sandwiched in-between and then a game away at Brentford. Saints badly need Che Adams to regain his scoring touch, while the likes of Moussa Djenepo, Sekou Mara and Orsic are all likely to start this game.

Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options

Bruno Guimares returned after his ankle injury and played in Newcastle’s draw at Palace. He didn’t look quite as dynamic as usual so maybe he will be rested for this one? Aside from that, Jonjo Shelvey, Emil Krafth and Matt Targett remain out injured. Eddie Howe will go with his strongest possible starting lineup and Allan Saint-Maximin usually loves playing against Southampton.

League Cup semifinal: Newcastle score first-leg win away to Southampton originally appeared on NBCSports.com