Newcastle United will take a one-goal lead in the second leg of their UEFA Cup semi-final with Southampton after a 1-0 win over St Mary’s.
Eddie Howe’s team have largely dominated the south coast, but will return to St James’ Park with a slight deficit after beating Nathan Jones’ 10-man team.
The visitors looked to get off to a fast start and had a good chance after just two minutes, with Miguel Almiron flicking Joe Willock to fire from the edge of the penalty area, but his effort was overruled.
Then Sean Longstaff crossed across the six-yard box as Newcastle’s strong opening continued, while Southampton’s new signing Fabian Schar denied Carlos Alcaraz converting a James Ward-Prowse delivery at the other end.
Another fantastic opportunity for Willock flew over the bar when he volleyed deep from Kieran Trippier, before Joelinton could find the back of the net after tapping in from close range in a scramble in the Southampton box. However, it was ruled that he had touched the ball and the goal was awarded.
Early in the second half, Almiron made a powerful run down the left and managed to cut the ball back to Longstaff, only for his shot to go over the top as Willock’s chance early in the game.
A speculative overhead kick from Sekou Mara flew wide before Joelinton denied the best chance of the game, somehow flying in from just yards after a clever low cross from Almiron.
In the next minutes, Gavin Bazunu received a glove to another cross from Almiron, but only volleyed the ball into the path of Sven Botman. The Dutchman’s instinctive first-time strike can only find the side netting.
Nick Pope stood tall to deny Che Adams after the Scots striker managed to get away with a quick counter-attack, before clearing the striker again after Newcastle failed to clear a free kick.
With less than 20 minutes remaining, Newcastle finally broke the deadlock. Alexander Isaacs was able to turn around and pull away from the Duje Caleta-Car, crossing into Joelinton to take advantage of the Magpies to the front.
But once the visitors took the lead, Southampton thought they had found the equaliser. A Samuel Idozi cross was fired past Adam Armstrong, but after a lengthy VAR check, the goal was disallowed for handball against the striker.
In the dying embers, Caleta Carr was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Alain Saint-Maximin and the Saints were reduced to ten men.
Isaacs and Jacob Murphy came close to adding another player for Newcastle in injury time, but they had to win by one goal before next week’s second leg.
A goal keeper: Gavin Bazuno (5); RB: Kyle Walker-Peters (6), CB: Linko (5), CB: Dodge Caleta Car (2), (), pound: Muhammed Salisu (6); cm: Ibrahima Diallo (4), cm: Carlos Alcaraz (7), RM: Musa Gneibo (5), Morning: James Ward Bruce (5), LM: Mislav Orsic (4); CF: Seiko Mara (5)
Branches: Adam Armstrong (5), Che Adams (5), Samuel Edouzi (6), Romeo Lafia (5), Jan Bednarek (NA)
A goal keeper: Nick Pope (7); RB: Kieran Trippier (6), CB: Fabian Schaar (7), CB: Sven Putman (6), pound: Dan Bern (6); cm: Bruno Guimarães (8), cm: Joe Willock (7), cm: Sean Longstaff (5); RW: Miguel Almiron (7), CF: Callum Wilson (4), LW: Joelinton (8)
Branches: Alexandre Issac (7), Alain Saint-Maximin (7), Jacob Murphy (5)