Newcastle 2 Wolves 0 – Tuesday 20 September 7.45pm
Both teams made eight changes from Saturday’s Championship game but the gulf in quality of the two squads was magnified, the longer this game went on.
A smart Matt Ritchie opened the scoring on 29 minutes, the winger back to his best and after a one-two with Jack Colback he tucked a low left shot across the goalkeeper.
Only two minutes later it was game over, the ball was crossed by Ritchie to Yoan Gouffran just inside the box and his first time volley was even better than the one at Derby County and fizzed into the top corner.
Maybe hard to judge this Newcastle performance compared to Saturday’s, considering Wolves started the game without most of their best players on the pitch.
As to who exactly Newcastle’s best players/eleven are, is still open to debate, with the exception of Matt Ritchie and maybe one or two others.
A big bonus for Rafa to see a whole new keeper and back four getting Newcastle back on the routine of keeping clean sheets.
Daryl Murphy impressed up front with his mobility and effort, a debut goal just eluding him on a couple of occasions – the Irish striker giving Rafa Benitez an extra something to think about ahead of Saturday’s trip to Villa.
A job well done and into the fifth round, with the draw on Wednesday night – the Rafalution is back on track…
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 2 Wolves 0
Newcastle: Ritchie 29, Gouffran 31
Possession was Wolves 44% Newcastle 56%
Total shots were Wolves 4 Newcastle 13
Shots on target were Wolves 3 Newcastle 4
Corners were Wolves 9 Newcastle 5
Newcastle starting 11:
Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Hanley, Lazaar, Gouffran (Atsu 75), Colback, Shelvey, Ritchie (Lascelles 85), Diame (Perez 72), Murphy
Woodman, Dummett, Hayden, Mitrovic
Referee: Andy Woolmer