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3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Wolves 1 on Saturday night

1 month ago
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Saturday night’s match ended Newcastle 1 Wolves 1.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

Newcastle the better side in the first half, eventually taking the lead seven minutes after the break through Jamaal Lascelles.

The visitors though going on to dominate the second half, deservedly equalising  with 17 minutes to go and only Dubravka’s brilliant late save preserved a point for United.

This time it is Billy Miller:

POSITIVES

The Performance

At the risk of sounding like Steve Bruce, there were definitely positives in the performance.

We had most of the better chances and controlled large periods of the game. For the first half hour there was only one team in it. I think we would have won if not for the injuries.

Majority of the team played well, which we’ve not been able to say often this season.

Safe For Now

Another weekend will pass where we can’t mathematically fall into the relegation zone. That’s got to be a positive even though Fulham could reduce the gap to a point if they beat Palace.

Drawing with Wolves was a bit like getting Covid but only experiencing mild symptoms. You’re relieved it wasn’t too bad but you’ve got no idea what the long-term repercussions could be.

Flying Wings

It’s not really so much of a positive when two of them went off injured but the performance of our wingers was excellent today.

ASM was hit and miss and sometimes ran into tackles. However, he also had moments where he dazzled and mesmerised. His play in the build up to the goal was outstanding.

Almiron was our focal point until he picked up his knock. He should have buried his chance but his running and desire was exceptional again.

When Almiron came off, Fraser slotted in well. He didn’t do as much as his predecessor but delivered the inch perfect ball that Lascelles nodded home.

Finally, Murphy came on, although it was into the full back position after a bit of confusion. His ambitious run almost won the game for us. Shame it was Joelinton he squared the ball to. The block on the line was incredible but the Brazilian shouldn’t have given the defender any chance.

NEGATIVES

Yet More Injuries

If there was anyone we didn’t want to get injured this season it was Wilson.

Next on my list would be Almiron, especially after recent performances. Almiron got injured partway through the first half and didn’t pass the Steve Bruce ‘run it off until it falls off’ test so didn’t re-emerge after the interval.

At that point I pondered on who would be the player I’d least like to get injured next. ASM was the man I identified and, lo and behold, he was soon sat on the ground shaking his head.

Krafth certainly wouldn’t have featured highly on the list but he too was soon withdrawn.

If the two wingers are out for the next few games, it would seriously dent our chances of picking up the necessary points from that important run of matches.

Dubravka’s Return Tainted

I was wound up pre-match hearing Jermaine Beckford talk about the Slovakian number one as if he was an untested academy player.

He went on about what a big call it was to bring him back in. He’s our first-choice keeper and, when on form, can be one of the best in the league.

He could have done better with the goal and it was a real shame that he didn’t claim a clean sheet on his return. He made a phenomenal save later, rolling his shoulder to turn a point-blank header over the bar. How much he knew about it only he could say. In slow motion it looked like he did all that he could to make sure some part of him stopped the ball.

If he had saved Neves’ earlier header and then made that follow up save, he would have been in contention for man of the match. Instead, it was a slightly bitter return.

There Are Others In The Mix

Bruce talks about there being six or seven teams in the relegation mix. I think he’s talking about Fulham and the five or six teams above them.

I don’t think we should rule out anyone until they are mathematically relegated though. Everyone has written off West Brom and Sheffield United. West Brom won on Saturday. If they beat Everton at the Hawthorns on Thursday and then do the same to us, they would be only three points behind us. Would we be so sure that they are dead and buried if that happens? I could certainly see them getting a point or more against the Toffees, which will put so much pressure on our encounter.

Sheffield United won three out of five games before going on a three game losing streak.

Their next three matches are at home, starting on Sunday against one of the most out of form teams in the division. Surely Liverpool won’t lose five on the bounce but, if they do, the Blades would be sharpening up once more.

Realistically, Sheffield United have surely left it too late. A fifteen-point gap to safety is looking insurmountable with thirteen games to go. However, West Brom and the never relegated Allardyce could still provide a late threat.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Wolves 1 – Saturday 27 February 8pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Lascelles 52

Wolves:

Neves 73

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Wolves 53% (68%) Newcastle 47% (32%)

Total shots were Wolves 14 (7) Newcastle 19 (8)

Shots on target were Wolves 4 (2) Newcastle 7 (4)

Corners were Wolves 5 (1) Newcastle 3 (0)

Referee: Mike Dean

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth (Ritchie 72), Lascelles, Clark, Lewis, Willock, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Murphy 63), Almiron (Fraser 45), Joelinton

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Carroll, Gayle, Hendrick, Sean Longstaff

Crowd: 00,000

(Steve Bruce throws Newcastle players under a bus – Blames individuals for not beating Wolves – Read HERE)

(Nuno rues 50,000 Newcastle United fans not there to see ‘thrilling game of football’ – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce confirms what kind of injuries 3 Newcastle United players suffered against Wolves – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Wolves 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(After 1-1 draw Steve Bruce insists Arsenal and Wolves are still in relegation battle – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Wolves 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday night’s draw – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @billymerlin

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