Raul Jimenez’s footing has been found, as the Mexican star set up Hee-Chan Hwang for two goals in Wolves’ 2-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday at the Molineux.
The win ends a run of five 1-1 draws between the Premier League teams and pushes Wolves into 10th with nine points.
Jeff Hendrick scored Newcastle’s loan goal as the Magpies remain winless through seven matches, now 19th with just three points.
Wolves vs Newcastle final score, stats
Final score: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2, Newcastle United 1
Scorers: Hwang 2 (20′, 58′), Hendrick (41′)
Shots: Even, 6-6
Shots on goal: Wolves, 3-2
Possession: Wolves, 54%
Three things we learned from Wolves vs Newcastle
1. Jimenez the playmaker: Raul Jimenez is still waiting on his 50th career Wolves goal but he jumped from 18 to 20 assists with his contributions to Hee-chan Hwang’s goals. He’s a classic hold-up midfielder who was often overlooked for his assist skills (and possibly his scoring) due to being on Wolves and later for his long absence following that scary cracked skull suffered versus Arsenal. There are few doubts he’s finding his best level again and right in time for Bruno Lage’s men to push up the table.
2. Hwang’s cool finishing the difference: With Pedro Neto out and Adama Traore on the bench, perhaps it’s understandable that Jimenez would become the set-up man. That the end product would come from Wolves’ South Korean addition could be a terrific breakthrough for Lage, whose teams has been unlucky for most of the season. Sure Karl Darlow wasn’t in the best position or form on the day, but finishes all count the same and Hwang’s accurate shots took advantage of the acute possibilities of his angle.
3. Magpies have few options on bench, in front of it: Absent from this one were star goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, top finisher Callum Wilson, capable playmaker Jonjo Shelvey, and captain defender Jamal Lascelles. Given Steve Bruce’s lack of a clear system, finding goals is limited to creators like Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron. Going down twice away is a big ask almost anywhere, and a late second equalizer with very few legitimate dangerous options off the bench, well… with apologies to Dwight Gayle, Ryan Fraser, and untested youngster Elliot Anderson, Newcastle fans would’ve been forgiven for beginning their international breaks.
Man of the Match: Hee-chan Hwang
Wolves lose lead after missing chance to double it
Newcastle’s surprisingly bright start turned into Wolves control and the hosts were deservedly in front when Raul Jimenez set up Hee-chan Hwang for a cool finish past a slightly off-kilter Karl Darlow.
But, oh Wolves…
Jimenez was there again and would’ve expected to see Trincao make it 2-0 off of a terrible Jeff Hendrick giveaway, but Trincao smashed off the bar and Newcastle burst the other way where Hendrick scored after an adventuring Jose Sa couldn’t get back into position following his 50-50 with Joelinton.
Wolves fans and coach Bruno Lage wanted a card on Newcastle but instead the manager saw one and the goal stood for a 1-1 halftime deadlock despite the Magpies managing just two shot attempts.
Turnabout fair play as Newcastle misses chance for lead, gives up point
Newcastle could’ve easily been up 2-1 in the 51st minute when a lunging Saint-Maximin looked likely to punch home only to see Sa make an outstanding save.
Hwang got his second goal nearly the same way, except this time Darlow had defensive help and still was beaten low to his far post.