Newcastle United are one step closer to winning their first major trophy since 1955 after a 2-0 win against Leicester City in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Dan Burn’s 60th-minute strike and a fine finish from Joelinton proved enough to secure the win in front of an ecstatic crowd of 52,009 at St James’ Park and keep alive the Magpies’ hopes of a trophy.
Three days after a much-changed team was dumped out of that competition by League One Sheffield Wednesday, Eddie Howe’s men once again missed first-half chances but ultimately were not made to pay on this occasion.
The Foxes might have dragged themselves back into late on with substitute Jamie Vardy guilty of two uncharacteristic misses, but Newcastle were good value for their win.
They might have been ahead within a minute of kick-off when, after Miguel Almiron had charged upfield from deep inside his own half and picked out Joe Willock on the left, he crossed for Sean Longstaff only to see his fellow midfielder scuff wide.
Bruno Guimaraes blasted a long-range attempt past keeper Danny Ward’s right post two minutes later with Almiron once again the instigator as the Magpies attempted to repeat the blistering start to their Boxing Day trip to Leicester which laid the foundations for a 3-0 Premier League win.
The visitors simply could not force their way into the game, with Patson Daka threatening sporadically on the break, although former Magpie Ayoze Perez did warm Nick Pope’s hands with a 14th-minute drive.
Guimaraes missed the target once again after Willock and Joelinton had linked well down the left, and it took a fine reaction save by Ward to deny Longstaff after his defence had failed to clear Kieran Trippier’s 19th-minute free-kick.
However, Trippier had to improvise to clear Daka’s low cross with a back-heeled flick after Timothy Castagne had countered and Pope raced from his line to prevent Harvey Barnes from connecting with Perez’s through-ball.
The home side rather lost their way as the first half drew to a close, although Almiron whipped a shot into Ward’s midriff and the keeper then palmed away another Guimaraes strike amid a late flurry.
Joelinton’s low drive come back off the foot of the post within seconds of the restart, but Youri Tielemans saw his 50th-minute shot deflected over as the visitors responded.
Burn headed Trippier’s free-kick over when he might have done better and Ward denied Longstaff once again, but Burn’s moment finally arrived as the clock reached the hour mark.
The 6’6” full-back burst into the penalty area from the left after the Foxes had conceded possession cheaply and fired across Ward and inside the fire post to send the home crowd into raptures.
It was 2-0 within 12 minutes when Joelinton provided the perfect finish to Almiron’s perfectly-weighted pass, although Vardy passed up two glorious opportunities to reduce the deficit in quick succession as the home side slept.
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