Soccer

Miserable Newcastle dumped out of Carabao Cup as Brentford take another big step

When it rains, it pours for Steve Bruce.

After the failed Saudi takeover and a Covid outbreak, Newcastle's year hit a new low in wet West London last night as Championship Brentford knocked them out of the Carabao Cup.

And Josh DaSilva's winning goal came just after Bruce, often criticised for his negative tactics, had thrown on two strikers looking to reach the club's first semi-final in 15 years.

Only another late save from Karl Darlow stopped former Newcastle striker Ivan Toney scoring a deserved second to put the tin lid on Toon's horrible evening.

But it was a reflection on both clubs that Brentford's win does not really rank as a shock.

Even Thomas Frank made six changes and started with two of his best players – Toney and Bryan Mbeumo – on the bench.

The buzzing Bees reaching the first major semi-final in their 131-year history by beating a fourth Premier League team in this competition to extend their unbeaten run to 14 games.

Thomas Frank's stylish side were 90 minutes away from spending their first season in the new Community Stadium in the top flight before losing the playoff final to Fulham.

Now they are 90 minutes from another trip to Wembley.

Newcastle have still to reach the semis in this competition since 1975 – and have now played four teams who were in the Champjonship last season in the last four games and won only one.

The contrast between two clubs – one on the rise, the other in seemingly permanent decline – is stark to see.

Frank said: "I'm delighted in many ways, first and foremost to get over the line and create a new chapter in Brentford's history.

"It's a big step for the club and shows how far we have progressed. The owner Matthew Benham deserves great credit.

"And also the way we did it. We fully deserved to win and we could have had more.

"I think they were as strong as they could be. We made changes, and we still beat them."

Man-of-the-match Dasilva added: “We lost out on autmotic by two points last seaon and then the playoffs. I don't think we are that far off. It is good beating the Premier League teams.”

Brentford were a particular threat at setpieces while the outstanding DaSilva was a contstant threat down the right. Saman Ghoddos diverted his low cross into the ground and against the Toon bar before the break.

Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser both forced Brentford keeper Luke Daniels into first-half saves.

And he England striker seized on a loose ball from Pinnock a minute before half-time but went too wide as he went around Daniels. Tarique Fosu then got back to block Ritchie's low shot.

Bruce had fielded a strong side and tried to break the deadlock by sending on Dwight Gayle and Joelinton after 65 minutes.

Within a minute, sloppy defending allowed Sergi Canos to cross from the left and man-of-the-match DaSilva swept home.

Andy Carroll came on with 10 minutes to see four Toon forwards up front without success.

As the song Celebration blared out at full-time, the stadium announcer shouted joyously: “Carabao Cup semi-final. Happy Christmas!”

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