Newcastle United are going to Wembley after booking their place in the Carabao Cup final.
Eddie Howe’s side beat Southampton 3-1 on aggregate. It might seem like a comfortable scoreline, but the Magpies certainly made hard work of it.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Sean Longstaff was the local hero after he scored a brace inside the opening 21 minutes at St James’ Park.
It looked from then it would be a comfortable evening but this is Newcastle United we’re talking about. Nothing is ever straightforward.
From the moment Che Adams pulled one back on the half-hour mark, St James’ Park felt nervy, so imagine how the home crowd felt when Bruno Guimaraes was sent off for the final quarter of an hour.
But Newcastle did the job and sealed their first domestic final in 24 years - and here’s what Howe had to say.
“It was an intense game,” the 45-year-old said. “At 2-0, we were playing really well and their goals changed the dynamic.
“Part of our problem was the psychological aspect. Southampton had nothing to lose and we were feeling the pressure.
“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.”
On the goalscorer Longstaff, Howe said: “He is pivotal. He’s Newcastle through and through. I think he’s an excellent payer and adding goals will only improve other people’s awareness of that. He’s been great this season.
“I’ve always believed he’s an excellent finisher and converting that to a game is difficult. I always believe if you get in the right areas it will come together and he did that today.”