Joelinton controversially had a goal disallowed and missed a sitter before scoring the winner as Newcastle won their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against ten-man Southampton.
The Brazilian secured a 1-0 win for the Magpies by burying a low cross from substitute Alexander Isak with 17 minutes left on a breathless evening at St Mary’s.
The Saints thought they had leveled themselves quickly thanks to Newcastle Academy graduate Adam Armstrong, but his combined effort was ruled out for handball following VAR intervention.
Joelinton controversially had a first-half effort disallowed for a adjudicated handball, while wastefully dissolving with the door gaping early in the second period.
Southampton ended a frantic 10-man encounter after defender Duje Caleta-Car was sent off with four minutes remaining for a second bookable offence.
The hosts had enough chances to reach level north-east, but Nick Pope was in fine form to stop Che Adams, plus Armstrong’s disappointment against his boyhood team.
Newcastle arrived on the south coast with manager Eddie Howe urging his side to take it one step further as the club chase their first major domestic trophy since 1955.
The high-flying Magpies stayed with the squad as they started Saturday’s goalless Premier League draw at Crystal Palace, while the struggling Saints made four changes, including making full debuts in January signings Carlos Alcaraz and Mislav Orsic.
Howe’s men got the better of an uninspiring start, devoid of quality and opportunities but full of important talking points.
Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock has been at the heart of the most promising openings.
The former Arsenal player made regrettable shots twice when unmarked, before sparking the controversial incident in the 39th minute with a blast down the left and cutting inside Lyanco to force Saints goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu to stop.
Although Mohammed Salisu managed to block Callum Wilson’s initial attempt, Joelinton tapped home the resulting loose ball, only for referee Stuart Attwell to penalize him for handball.
VAR was introduced for this round of the competition but despite serious debate over where the ball hit Joelinton, the on-field decision was not overturned.
There were then worrying scenes when Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo was forced off after a heavy collision with visiting goalkeeper Pope, to be replaced by Armstrong.
Newcastle sensationally won 4-1 at this ground in the Premier League in November, leading to the sacking of former Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Miguel Almiron opened the scoring that day and created two golden chances early in the second half as the away side looked to eradicate that half-time frustration.
Joelinton somehow fired high in the 53rd minute after Almiron’s excellent one-two with Sean Longstaff down the right, before Sven Botman struck the side netting from a more difficult opening a minute later.
Pope made nine consecutive clean sheets after conceding here just under three months ago.
The England goalkeeper underlined his international credentials by denying Adams twice, the first time after the Saints substitute was sent off by Alcaraz, before Newcastle grabbed the lead.
Swedish striker Isak cleared away from Lyanco down the right and delivered a perfect low cross to Joelinton who finally put his name on the scoresheet.
Newcastle’s away sellout were still relishing the prospect of a first Wembley Cup final since 1999, when Southampton thought they had drawn.
Armstrong finished scruffy after Samuel Edozie turned the ball over on goal, but the glee was cut short by Stockley Park.
Tempers then threatened to boil over in the closing stages.
A meeting between Bruno Guimaraes and Lyanco sparked a mass brawl, before Caleta-Car, booked for mowing down Almiron in the first half, was sent off for upending Allan Saint-Maximin.
Isak came close to doubling the lead in added time, but hit the outside of the net after rounding Bazunu.
Newcastle now have a week without a fixture to prepare for the second leg, while Saints travel to St James’ Park following their FA Cup fourth round clash with Blackpool.
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