Tell me ma me ma! Newcastle are cup finalists!
Updated: Feb 1
Tell me ma me ma, we won’t be for home tea, were going to Wembley, tell me ma me ma! Newcastle have beaten Southampton in the Semi Final of the Carabao Cup to reach the final at Wembley, their first final in 24 years!
Two first half goals from Sean Longstaff were enough to guide the Magpies to a 3-1 victory on aggregate over the Saints who were given a lifeline by Che Adams. In the end though Newcastle deserved the win despite some nervy moments.
Eddie Howe stuck with the same side that won a week ago which meant that Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin had to make do with spots on the bench. Nathan Jones made four changes to his side as they aimed to spoil the party and book their place in the final. James Bree made his first start after joining from Luton. Adam Armstrong, Che Adams and Jan Bednarek also returned to the starting eleven.
Newcastle had the better start between the two sides because after just four minutes, they took the lead through one of their own...Longstaff. Trippier asks for the ball out wide and cuts into the box before finding the lad from North Shields who smashed it beyond Bazunu and sent St James’ Park into the chorus of “He’s one of our own”. Longstaff almost made it 2-0 just a couple of minutes later, Guimaraes found Longstaff outside the box but his effort drifted just wide. Longstaff bagged his second goal as the clock reached twenty minutes played and it was just as good as the first! Willock blasted down the left hand side before leaving Bree for dead, he then played it off to Almiron on the overlap who then pulled it back across the box for Longstaff who was running in and made no mistake! A truly great team goal. Southampton pulled one back through Adams in the 28th minute, the Saints player was left in too much space on the edge of the box so he unleashed a low powerful effort towards goal which snuck past Pope despite his best diving efforts. Newcastle were denied a stonewall penalty a few minutes later when Wilson was brought down in the box but the referee wasn’t having any of it. VAR did check it but they found nothing intrusive. Schar unleashed an effort at goal as the first half reached it closing stages but it didn’t trouble the keeper. Half Time.
The start of the second half wasn’t as lively as the first. Newcastle had a free kick in dangerous territory few minutes after the restart when Wilson was brought down…Trippier and Schar both stood over it for a couple of minutes but in the end Schar drilled it straight at the wall and the ball went out of play for a throw in. Eddie Howe made three changes in the 60th minute, bringing on Isak, ASM and Murphy in an attempt to grab that extra goal and provide that buffer once more. Southampton had a chance to level things up with just under twenty minutes left to play, Lavia played in a lovely ball to former Magpie Armstrong who had to just beat the keeper but Pope rushed out and smartly saved with his legs. Bazunu had to fly through the air to deny Longstaff from getting his hat-trick in the 73rd minute, the ball landed to Longstaff just outside the box who caught it sweet on the volley, Isak followed up the rebound but it was blocked for a corner. Guimaraes was unlucky not to find himself on the scoresheet just minutes later, the Brazilian spins on the ball and fires from distance on his weaker foot but unfortunately for him it smashes off the outside of the post. Guimaraes was controversially given his marching orders just minutes later after tackling Edozie. A yellow card was originally given but VAR took a look at it and advised that useless twat Tierney to take a look at the monitor and it was inevitably upgraded to a red. The resulting free kick from Ward-Prowse came to nothing. Lavia blasted over from a low driven corner by Ward-Prowse as 96minutes lapsed. A sturdy effort from the Saints in the second half but the Magpies dug deep. Full Time.
Sutty’s Full Time Thoughts: They’ve done it! Newcastle United are in the final of the Carabao Cup and bloody hell don’t they deserve it! Sean Longstaff gave his best performance in a Newcastle shirt to date, his two goals in the first half were well taken and thoroughly deserved. The Magpies didn’t make it easy for themselves though. Some sloppy play led the Saints back into it but their never give up attitude seen them through it.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end….Nick Pope has finally been beaten after 10 consecutive clean sheets but there was not much he could do about it, Willock misplaced his pass which was intercepted by Adams who finished nicely. Pope did make a great save with just under twenty minutes left to play, he might not have had the busiest game but he was there when we needed him. What is going on with Callum Wilson though? he’s only a shadow of his former self and this dry spell can’t be doing his confidence any good. Once more the game has been overshadowed by some questionable officiating…Bruno was shown a red for a challenge on Edozie but Fabinho got away with one at the weekend for the exact same…shambles. If the match officials including the VAR team are going to gain any credibility then they need to be consistent…something which is alien to them. Anyway it’s a great time to be a Newcastle fan at the moment and lets hope at the end of February we are celebrating our first domestic trophy since 1955. Up the mags!
What’s Next? Newcastle host West Ham United on Saturday 4th February in a 5:30pm KO live on Sky Sports. Southampton host Brentford also on Saturday 4th February in a traditional 3pm KO.
Newcastle United Line Up: N Pope, K Trippier ©, S Botman, F Schar, D Burn, J Willock (60, A Saint-Maximin), B Guimaraes, S Longstaff, Joelinton, C Wilson (60, A Isak, Isak replaced by J Lascelles in the 94th min due to concussion protocols), M Almiron (60, J Murphy, Murphy replaced by E Anderson in the 96th minute).
Newcastle United Bench: K Darlow, P Dummett, J Lascelles, J Lewis, M Ritchie, E Anderson, J Murphy, A Saint-Maximin, A Isak.
Southampton Line Up: G Bazunu, J Bree, Lyanco (45 R Perraud), M Salisu (88, S Mara), J Bednarek, K Walker-Peters (37, S Edozie), I Diallo (76, J Aribo), C Alcaraz (45, R Lavia), J Ward-Prowse ©, A Armstrong, C Adams.
Southampton Bench: W Caballerro, R Perraud, D Caleta-Car, R Lavia, M Elyounoussi, M Orsic, J Aribo, S Edozie, S Mara.
Match Officials: Paul Tierney (Referee), Constantine Hatzidakis & Neil Davis (Assistant’s), Andrew Madley (Fourth Official), Darren England (VAR), Wade Smith (Assistant VAR).