On Tuesday, in the first leg of their League Cup semifinal matchup, Newcastle United defeated Southampton 1-0 thanks to a second-half goal from Brazilian midfielder Joelinton. The hosts were furious that VAR had prevented them from scoring an equalizer. Joelinton and Newcastle thought they had scored in the first half, but referee Stuart Attwell ruled that he handled the ball before scoring. Before Joelinton converted Alexander Isak’s low cross in the 73rd minute and scored the goal that proved to be the winner, the visitors continued to miss chances in the second half.
Adam Armstrong, the Southampton striker, was also found to have used his hand, this time after a video assistant referee (VAR) review, despite Southampton’s initial belief that they had quickly leveled the score. Duje Caleta-Car was sent off late on for two bookable offenses, ending Saints’ evening on a sour note. This put Newcastle in a prime position to reach the final as they try to win their first domestic trophy since 1955.
Newcastle has kept 16 clean sheets in all competitions this season, two more than any other team in Europe’s big five leagues, including 10 in their last 11 games thanks to the VAR intervention and several excellent saves from goalkeeper Nick Pope. Bruno Guimaraes, a Newcastle midfielder, stated to Sky Sports, “We controlled the game, but we missed big chances.” Since this is only the first game, we need to plan for the next one.
Today’s group makes me happy. We could have scored more, but being one goal ahead of Southampton was more important. I’d like to express my gratitude to Nick Pope, who I consider to be the world’s best goalkeeper. Let’s continue it.” Given that Southampton was denied another goal in their 1-0 Premier League loss to Aston Villa over the weekend because a foul was observed before James Ward-Prowse’s deflected strike, VAR is not popular on the south coast.