Wolves battled midweek fatigue to grab a point at Newcastle United, coming from behind to draw the 10-man Magpies 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
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Wolves move 11th with 12 points, while Newcastle’s ninth point sits a point above the relegation zone.
Three things we learned
1. Magpies sit back, can’t soak up: Given a lead, the hosts went into the break and came out of it a different side. Newcastle sat back as its weary visitors sense blood in the water. Martin Dubravka was less than ideal on the equalizer, but he had little help over the course of the final 45 minutes, the Magpies’ half on the back foot taking a three-point day to one.
2. Traore a handful (Saint-Maximin, too): Twenty-three-year-old Spanish winger Adama Traore had a reputation as a one-trick speed merchant last season but has been so much more than that this year. He gave the Magpies fits on the right side and his service into the mix deserved a goal, but will be have to be sated by a hockey assist on the equalizer.
“Saint-Max” had a similar day for the hosts, though his best work was limited to the first half. His ability to find space and dribble through traffic is critical to matching Miguel Almiron (more on him below) and trying to set up Joelinton, but Newcastle badly needs a midfielder who can link their possession players to their attacking talents.
3. Improved Almiron still shaken — The former Atlanta United star had his best day in terms of pace, energy, industry, and tackling, but is miles away was his best self when it comes to finishing and that final pass. There was a lot of promise to his day, but if we’re honest the Magpies have a multi-goal lead if he’s anywhere near confident.
Man of the Match: Jamaal Lascelles — The Magpies captain said he’d pitch in more with goals and did just that, but was extra important on a day goalkeeper Martin Dubravka wasn’t at his best.
Dubravka was called into action by an 18-yard Joao Moutinho shot in the second minute.
The Magpies had a chance off a free kick two minutes later, but snakebit Miguel Almiron butchered a half-volley with his weaker foot.
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Almiron made two interventions in his own end including a vital block in the 14th minute.
The match was delayed for several minutes when Wolves’ Diogo Jota suffered a head injury after a shoulder barge from Federico Fernandez.
Almiron was so bright but the lack of confidence in his final ball or pass remained, a 34th minute effort meeting the outside of the net after a heavy touch.
Lascelles delivered the opener after a fine cross from Federico Fernandez, thumping a header past Rui Patricio.
It really should’ve been 1-1 when Adama Traore’s cross had a bit too much venom for Jota to turn under the bar.
Dubravka made a nice stop on Jota in the 64th but spilled the ball and needed help from Sean Longstaff to clear the danger.
Wolves controlled the second half with Newcastle back in a shell, and Jonny got the equalizer after Dubravka couldn’t claim a cross and pushed into to the penalty spot.
Jetro Willems hammered a 20-yard shot just wide of the far post as Newcastle tried to fight back for a win.
Though Newcastle was in better position, Sean Longstaff ended that with a wild, studs-up slide that got the ball but then Neves. His absence will be felt at West Ham.