Newcastle United close in on signing, ‘brutal’ Bruno Guimaraes moment & key thing missing – moments missed
Newcastle United secured a narrow 1-0 win over Southampton in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday – here are some moments missed from the evening.
Anthony Gordon’s potential transfer from Everton to Newcastle United deal edges closer
Amid all the pre-match buzz and team-news which saw Eddie Howe name an unchanged side for a fourth consecutive match in all competitions, Newcastle appeared to be closing in on their first major signing of the January transfer window.
Everton winger Anthony Gordon is close to joining Newcastle after an approach was made to sign the 21-year-old. The managerless Toffees are understood to be considering accepting an offer from The Magpies and personal terms are not expected to be an issue.
But after the match, United head coach Eddie Howe was giving nothing away as he said: “Honestly, I’ve got no idea. I’ve been preparing for the game, so I’ve got no idea. But I wouldn’t comment on individual players anyway.
“I’ve got no idea if we’ve got any closer to anything, but we’re actively looking, I’ve said that. But, as of tonight, I have no update.”
Gordon was a ‘planned absence’ from Everton training on Tuesday amid interest from The Magpies.
VAR (almost) takes centre stage
For the first time in the Carabao Cup this season, VAR was in use for a match. The semi-final stage is the first in the competition to introduce the use of a video assistant referee.
Although both Newcastle and Southampton had progressed to the final four without the use of VAR in matches, it predictably became a key talking point.
In the build-up to half-time, Joelinton thought he’d given Newcastle the lead as he volleyed in a loose ball from close range. Referee Stewart Attwell quickly ruled the goal out for handball against the Brazilian though replays showed it was a very harsh call despite VAR Andre Marriner refraining from intervening.
Joelinton finally found the net in the second half as he turned in Alexander Isak’s low cross. But just a minute later Southampton thought they’d grabbed an immediate response as former United striker Adam Armstrong bundled the ball in.
The goal was initially given but this time VAR did intervene and penalise Armstrong for handball. Once again, it was a tough call but it was deemed a clear error had been made to award the goal.
Perhaps if the referee had awarded Joelinton’s first half goal initially, that goal would have stood.
Newcastle United’s brutal side comes out again
Eddie Howe’s ‘we’re not here to be popular, we’re here to compete’ mantra rang true once again on Tuesday night as Southampton were reduced to 10 men in the closing stages of the match.
A brilliant driving run from Allan Saint-Maximin ended when he was wiped out by Saints defender Duje Caleta-Car. The Croatian was promptly shown a second yellow card.
Before the referee could even pull out the red, Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes appeared to direct an impassioned battle cry right in Caleta-Car’s face, which he obviously didn’t take too kindly to. Guimaraes was booked as a result.
But Newcastle’s antics didn’t stop there, as you may have seen. With Caleta-Car making his way off the pitch, Jacob Murphy locked eyes with the defender and gave him a teasing deadpan wave as he headed down the tunnel.
The boyhood Newcastle fan’s recent antics have certainly endeared him to the fan base even more. Whether it be his passionate celebration with the Diriyah Season Cup while in Saudi Arabia, his awkward look to the camera against Fulham or his cheeky time-wasting attempts in recent matches, Murphy has certainly made his presence felt despite limited time on the pitch.
Newcastle United fans make their voices heard
Over 3,000 fans travelling down to Southampton on a Tuesday night just shows what this cup run means to Newcastle supporters as they witnessed the club’s first semi-final match in 18 years. It was also United’s first League Cup semi-final since 1976, the year they reached the final only to be beaten by Manchester City.
The travelling Toon Army were in fine voice throughout the evening, but what the live television broadcast perhaps didn’t show was just how long a large chunk of supporters remained inside the ground following the full-time whistle.
St Mary’s Stadium was empty except the away end as The Magpies fans continued singing almost 40 minutes after the full-time whistle was blown.
"Tell me ma, me ma, I won't be home for tea, we’re going to Wembley,” echoed around an otherwise empty stadium. Imagine just how loud those chants will be at St James’s Park should the Wembley dream be realised next week.
No team photo – and it’s obvious why
Every win since Eddie Howe has taken charge as Newcastle manager has been quickly followed by a dressing room team photo – until Tuesday night.
Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory at St Mary’s was met with muted celebrations from the United players as it’s only job half done. The win will mean nothing if Howe’s side can’t finish the job back at St James’s Park next Tuesday (8pm kick-off).
Though even if they manage a draw next week, a post-match team photo will surely follow as it would mean the club has progressed to its first major final in 24 years. But for now, it’s just a slender lead Newcastle take into the second leg and the hope they can see out the tie in front of an expectant sell-out crowd.