Toon 1 Wolves 1

Last updated : 29 October 2019 By Footy Mad - Editor


Dubravka, Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles, Clark, Willems, Almirón, S Longstaff, M Longstaff (Atsu 90), Saint-Maximin (Gayle 90), Joelinton (Shelvey 85)
Subs: Dummett, Muto, Krafth,Darlow

On the entertainment scale of 1 to 10, this probably got 2. It was not worth the admission money.

Image result for Newcastle 1 Wolves 1

Magpies captain Jamaal Lascelles scored the opener with a powerful near-post header from Federico Fernandez's cross to light up what had been a largely dour first half.

The United strike force was laboured and poor, and it took the defence to show them where the net was.

A close-range finish from Jonny ensured Wolves fought back to earn a battling point in a game that rarely had the fans in good voice.

The Spaniard volleyed home from six yards after goalkeeper Martin Dubravka had fumbled Matt Doherty's cross into his path to cap a much-improved second-half display from Nuno Espirito Santo's side.

Newcastle ended the game with 10 men when midfielder Sean Longstaff was sent off late on for a high challenge on Ruben Neves.

Doherty very nearly secured all three points for Wolves in stoppage time, but his header across goal from Raul Jimenez's cross flashed just wide.

Three successive defeats in September raised doubts about Wolves' ability to balance the demands of domestic and European football, as well as build on their impressive campaign last year.

Steve Bruce said prior to the game he fancied his chances of a win against a side who had already played ten games more than Newcastle.

But this result makes it eight games unbeaten in all competitions for Wolves, suggesting they are more than adept at coping with the extra matches in their fixture list.

If anything, they have shown an extra resilience, with 13 of their last 14 Premier League goals scored in the second half of matches, including Jonny's leveller at St James' Park.

Wolves boss Nuno once again freshened up his side, making five changes to the team that came from behind to win against Slovan Bratislava in the Europa League Thursday.

One of those changes was enforced, with defender Willy Boly suffering a fractured ankle in training on Saturday.

A formation change at half-time proved the spark for that victory in Slovakia and Nuno very nearly repeated the trick here.

The Portuguese switched from 3-5-2 to 3-4-3 at the break, with Adama Traore pushed forward into the front line behind Doherty, who was replaced in the back three by Leander Dendoncker.

It proved to be the catalyst for a vastly improved second-half performance, with the duo creating a chance for Diogo Jota within minutes of the restart.

Jota then created an opportunity himself when his mazy run and shot was only fumbled by Dubravka before the ball was scrambled clear.

Moments later, Wolves were level when Doherty's cross was fumbled by Dubravka straight into the path of Jonny, who volleyed home from close range for just his second goal in a Wolves shirt.

That goal galvanised the visitors and they pinned Newcastle back in the closing stages of the game.

The Midlands club may be frustrated they did not come away with more than just a deserved point.

After stoppage-time goals in games against Burnley and Crystal Palace earlier this season, Wolves very nearly grabbed a third when Doherty went close.

No Premier League ground had seen fewer goals than the four St James' Park had witnessed going into this weekend, with just two of those for the Magpies, highlighting the challenge Steve Bruce faces.

He possesses a robust backline, with Lascelles, Fernandez DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark impressing here. But the former Aston Villa boss now needs to work out how to sharpen his attack without losing any of that defensive solidity.

Club-record signing Joelinton, who has scored just once this season, rarely threatened. Though he often found himself isolated as the Magpies defence dropped ever deeper as the game wore on.

They did manage nine shots on goal during the first period, their most in the opening half of a Premier League game since April.

But goalkeeper Rui Patricio was rarely troubled by any of them apart from a Miguel Almiron shot into the side netting from Matty Longstaff's early ball over the top.

With their forward line miss-firing Newcastle need to rely on goals from elsewhere, and so it proved for the opening goal.

Argentine defender Fernandez, making his first Premier League start of the season, stayed forward after a set-piece and put in a dangerous cross from the right that was powered home at the near post by Lascelles for his first goal since January 2018.

Bruce will be pleased with the way his side clung on for a point, particularly after Sean Longstaff was deservedly dismissed after catching Neves' knee with a studs-up challenge with 10 minutes left, but they could have easily lost this game during a frantic finale.

Bruce has to somehow get his strikers scoring on a regular basis if Newcastle are to lift themselves away from near the bottom of the table.