Newcastle United narrowly beat Southampton at their home in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal clash to continue their quest for their first domestic trophy since 1955.
Joelinton scored the only goal of the game late in the second half after another VAR controversy saw the Brazilian’s early strike ruled out for handball.
The visitors were the only side that threatened early on but failed to find a way past Gavin Bazunu in Southampton’s goal until Joelinton seemingly put his side ahead only for VAR to decree that the ball touched his hand before he turned it into the back of the net.
The pattern continued in the second half and Newcastle were justly rewarded for their efforts in the 73rd minute when Alexander Isak’s low cross fell to Joelinton who swept the ball home for the game’s only goal.
Southampton thought they had quickly levelled things up through Adam Armstrong, but the striker was also adjudged to have used his hand by the VAR.
The home side’s evening then went from bad to worse as Duje Caleta-Car was sent off for two bookable offences ruling him out of their reverse fixture.
Nick Pope also saved whatever else Southampton threw at Newcastle United’s goal taking their clean sheet record to 16 in all competitions this season, two more than any other side in Europe’s big five leagues.
Their impressive defensive record does not bode well for Southampton who will visit Newcastle for the second leg of their Carabao Cup tie next Wednesday.
The saints will be hoping they can pull off another miraculous win as they did over Manchester City to reach the semis in the first place.