Sports, Football

Newcastle end 47-year wait to reach League Cup final

Published : 01 Feb 2023 09:00 PM

Eddie Howe hailed Newcastle United as "a club on the up" after they reached the League Cup final for the first time in 47 years with a 2-1 win against Southampton in Tuesday's semi-final second leg at jubilant St James' Park.

Sean Longstaff's first-half double ensured Howe's side finished the job after winning 1-0 in the first leg last week. Che Adams reduced the deficit before the interval and Magpies midfielder Bruno Guimaraes was sent off in the closing stages.

But Newcastle held on to clinch a 3-1 aggregate victory that booked a final date with Manchester United or Nottingham Forest at Wembley on February 26.

United hold a 3-0 lead against Forest heading into Wednesday's second leg at Old Trafford.

The Magpies' most recent domestic final ended in defeat against United in the 1999 FA Cup.

"You want to be in finals of competitions to increase your status and make yourself more desirable for people to join. This is a club on the up," Howe said. "It was an intense game. At 2-0, we were playing really well. We are going for everything. As much as we can achieve, we will go for."

Newcastle, who have never won the League Cup, are aiming to lift a major domestic trophy for the first time since the 1955 FA Cup.

Their last major silverware in any competition came in the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. On a cathartic night for Newcastle after decades of suffering, it was fitting that Longstaff, a boyhood Magpies fan, should be the one to send them to Wembley. With Newcastle legends Alan Shearer and David Ginola joining the celebrations in the stands, raucous Magpies fans were ready to keep the party going all night long in the football-crazy city's Bigg Market and Quayside bars.