The wait has been long, frustrating and at times downright painful, but Newcastle have reached their first major cup semi-final in 18 years.
As an exultant and boisterous crowd, energetically waving the black and white flag, celebrated goals from Dan Burn and Joelinton which deservedly carried Eddie Howe’s side into the last four of the Carabao Cup, Brendan Rodgers was a study in the abatement of the technical area.
The Leicester manager has warned the club’s increasingly mischievous fans that he is “no magician” and his injured side have been made very ordinary by a Newcastle side for whom almost anything seems possible this season. Maybe Howe is really taking Gallowgate Enders on a magic carpet to Wembley.
Sometimes Newcastle were so good that an unstable and completely unsettled Leicester looked like a mountaineer tackling Everest in trainers. “It’s been too long to wait for success here,” Howe said. “We have a big test ahead of us but we are delighted to be in the semi-finals. The players were excellent from start to finish.
Miguel Almirón set the tone with a blistering, zigzagging run from the opening minute that left Leicester defenders rocking on their heels. When Almirón played in the impressive Joe Willock, his left wing center spotted Sean Longstaff, but to Danny Ward’s relief he side-footed into the ground before watching the ball go harmlessly high and wide.
As a litany of chances came and went and Rodgers’ side fell further and further back, it became all too easy to see how Newcastle won 3-0 at Leicester in the Premier League on Boxing Day. Not to mention precisely why the visitors are currently in danger of relegation as Howe’s players chase a Champions League spot.
Almirón’s enthusiasm to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals was evident as, scorching chaser Wout Faes, the Paraguayan created a decent chance for Callum Wilson. This one found himself blocked during a first half during which Ward twice saved Bruno Guimarães.
No matter; the closest Leicester came to threatening in the first half involved their former Newcastle striker Ayoze Pérez shooting straight at Nick Pope, and Patson Daka allowing Sven Botman to step up to Newcastle’s rescue by dithering in a rare moment when he had the goal at his mercy. Still, by dropping an initially ferociously high tempo and starting to snatch the last few balls a bit desperately, Howe’s team at least offered Rodgers a glimmer of hope. Without ever really testing Pope – although anything could have happened if Youri Tielemans’ long shot hadn’t been deflected for a corner – his side briefly gained a foothold in the game.
Normal serve resumed when, early in the second half, Joelinton fired a shot which, aided by a helpful deflection from Marc Albrighton, Ward did well to deflect, the ball brushing a post on its way.
Although Tielemans – a midfielder on Howe’s shopping list in January – saw another deflected shot, by Fabian Schär this time, Newcastle got a second wind and Burn looked extremely bored with himself afterwards. failing to make the most of a chance created by Kieran Trippier. free kick.
It took a diving save from the excellent Ward to deny Longstaff’s subsequent shot, but a goal was coming and even the keeper had no answer as Burn made up for that earlier miss by threatening to lift the roof off St. James’ Park.
It all started with Willock stealing possession from Timothy Castagne and, after Joelinton’s neat layoff, ended with Burn holding off three defenders before directing an angled shot through Ward and into the bottom corner. As Howe leapt into the arms of his assistant Jason Tindall, the floor echoed with the first strains of, “We’re going to Wem-ber-lee.”
A year after joining his boyhood heroes from Brighton for £13m, the towering Northumberland-born defender had picked the perfect time to score his first goal for Newcastle. As a child growing up in Blyth, Burn dreamed of wearing black and white stripes at Wembley and was heartbroken when Graeme Souness’ Newcastle lost to Manchester United in the 2005 FA Cup semi-final. personal, I’m just thrilled for Dan,” Howe said. “It was an incredible moment for him.”
Joelinton ensured the class of 2022-23 remain with a chance of lifting Newcastle’s first major trophy since the Fairs Cup in 1969, with the Brazilian sealing the tie with the second goal after encountering Almirón’s exquisite diagonal pass , taking some stabilizing touches and shooting low past Ward.
Although substitute Jamie Vardy missed an inviting late chance, Leicester were well beaten. “The best team won,” Rodgers confirmed. “No complaints. We didn’t pass the ball fast enough but Newcastle have momentum, good physicality, strong mentality and real quality.
Source : BBNWORLDNEWS