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Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match

1 month ago
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Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Friday 8 April 8pm

After a dream run under Eddie Howe, it was back to reality in the most recent trio of away games.

Officiating nightmares (v Chelsea), an ugly game nobody deserved to win yet still losing (v Everton), and completely losing it after the break and chasing a game – only to be battered (v Spurs)

This run of home games that are now following, certainly look to be crucial to keep the points buffer between us and the bottom.

When I saw the team, I was glad to see that there wasn’t the rampant level of missing players the rumour mill had been suggesting, although obviously Willock would be a miss. Shelvey just doesn’t bring the same energy.

I was hopeful that Bruno’s home debut would be a lift to the team, with the fans giving him a great welcome on his first home start.

The match itself started off pretty cagey and then disrupted for NUFC with Fraser forced off through injury after little more than ten minutes had gone, with Almiron replacing him.

Plenty of Newcastle crosses coming in but also plenty of stalwart Wolves defenders to clear.

Another VAR decision controversy in the 24th minute as a scrappy tap in by Wood was ruled out for a whisker thin offside (thought they’d gott rid of marginal decisions…or was that for other teams?).

At the end of the first half, NUFC had definitely edged it and had some shots, but still 0-0.

Second half continued in much the same vein, very cagey with few chances.

Until then with twenty minutes left on the clock, Joelinton slipped the ball through and Wood was blatantly tripped by goalkeeper Sa. Wood then smashed the penalty home.

Minutes later, a clear breakaway had Bruno rolling the ball agonisingly wide of the far post.

After that, it all got very defensive, with Wolves attacking in earnest for the first time in the match, Dubravka forced into a strong save from Fabio Silva.

All in vain though, as we held strong until the final whistle.

Here are my three big points from the game:

Not a classic

This was definitely not the most watchable of games, being very cagey, bitty and broken up by fouls from both teams.

However, sometimes you have to win ugly, and a win was what we desperately needed after a poor few results.

Taking the the chance we got, denied Wolves anything clear cut, walked away that little bit safer than before.

Midfield generals

Without Willock, our midfield is always usually a bit weaker.

However, today I think all of the midfield players had great games.

Bruno was as classy as we’ve come to expect, strong in possession and breaking the lines at points. Joelinton continues his Lazarus-esque resurrection in the eyes of the fans, all over the pitch and contributing the pass that won Wood’s penalty.

Even Shelvey sprayed the ball around well and worked hard.

Just a blip

Obviously the Spurs scoreline set alarm bells ringing.

However, the performance from the defence tonight was back to what we’ve largely come to expect since Christmas.

Strong, resolute and working themselves into the ground.

Clearly a need for more reinforcement in the summer but I think Howe has done wonders with what he has.

Schar and Krafth both look like totally different players and I for one am glad we no longer have to rely on championship level (at best) Clark and Captain Calamity.

All in all, four points from the next two home games and I reckon we’re good as safe.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Wolves 0– Friday 8 April 8pm

Goals:

Wolves:

Newcastle:

Wood 72 (pen)

Half-time stats in brackets.

Possession was Wolves 59% (50%) Newcastle 41% (50%)

Total shots were Wolves 5 (1) Newcastle 12 (5)

Shots on target were Wolves 2 (0) Newcastle 4 (0)

Corners were Wolves 2 (0) Newcastle 1 (0)

Referee: Peter Bankes

Crowd: 52,164 (3,000 Wolves)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Shelvey, Guimaraes (Longstaff 88), Joelinton, Fraser (Almiron 13), Saint-Maximin (Murphy 90+5), Wood

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Gayle, Ritchie, Manquillo, Lascelles

(Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Wolves 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Friday night victory – Read HERE)

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