MATCHDAY: Newcastle aims for cup final; Inter vs. Atalanta
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Tuesday:
Newcastle is looking to reach its first domestic cup final this century when the Saudi-owned team takes a 1-0 lead over Southampton into the second leg of the League Cup semifinals. Joelinton scored the only goal of the first leg last week. Newcastle hasn't won a major trophy since the FA Cup in 1955 and has only played in the League Cup final once — in 1976 when the team lost to Manchester City. Newcastle's last cup final appearance was in 1999 when it lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup. Elsewhere, there is an FA Cup replay between second-tier rivals Birmingham and Blackburn in the fourth round.
Defending champion Inter Milan hosts Atalanta in the Italian Cup quarterfinals in a matchup of two clubs also in the top four of Serie A. Inter is aiming for its second trophy of the season after beating city rival AC Milan 3-0 in the Italian Super Cup this month. Atalanta is on a six-game unbeaten run across all competitions during which it has scored 22 goals. The Bergamo squad's last loss came at home against Inter in November. The winner will face either Juventus or Lazio, who play on Thursday. The other quarterfinals feature Fiorentina vs. Torino and Roma vs. Cremonese.
Union Berlin is flying high, second only to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, as it prepares for a German Cup game against Wolfsburg. The game is for a place in the quarterfinals but it also adds to the fixture congestion for two teams preoccupied with the German league's close battle for the European places. Stuttgart visits second-tier Paderborn, with both teams also keeping on eye on their league situations. The cup is a chance for success in an otherwise tough season for Stuttgart, which is hovering just above the Bundesliga relegation zone and was unlucky to lose to Leipzig in a close game Friday. Paderborn is on the fringes of a competitive fight for promotion but on poor recent form.
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The Associated Press