Date: Sunday 9th December 2018, 4.00pm
Live on Sky Sports
Venue: St. James' Park
1 - 2
hopeful ball into the box by Helder Costa found Jota totally unmarked but
onside and he had plenty of time to
control and fire past Martin Dubravka from close range.
stepped up and hit a wonderful free-kick that smacked off the
bar and down onto the line before being cleared but seconds later Rondon delivered a fine cross
from the right into the box that Ayoze Perez flicked past Rui
Patricio and into the Gallowgate net.
As he had against Watford, the scorer's celebration was to stick his fingers
in his ears - making reference to the negative reaction from some home fans,
which manifested itself again in the previous home game against West Ham in
the form of ironic cheers when he was replaced.
Half time: Magpies 1 Wolves 1
Perez got caught in possession deep in Wolves territory and Jota was able to
charge unchallenged up to our box before Dubravka saved his
shot, only for Matt Doherty to head the rebound from close range into the unguarded
net. Why no-one managed to challenge - or foul - Jota as he strode forward is
something only the Newcastle players can answer.
Full time: Magpies 1
We need VAR right now.
"So if you see the incidents today. It's so obvious - the red card and the
elbow in the face of Ayoze Perez. We need the VAR right now.
"The ball was far away and he was close enough to see it was not a clear
"You can guarantee to me that the player in the
corner of the box can score in the top corner every time? It cannot be a red
card. We have lost three points today and we deserve to win.
"He (Jota) was pulling him and he (Yedlin) was pulling him -
but I don't want to talk about that as it's so obvious. I think the team was
doing well enough to win the game - it's very difficult in these situations.
"I don't want to talk about the referees as it's wrong - but it's so clear
from the pictures. It's a pity as you have a city behind the team, these situations can kill
About the elbow on Perez:
"I will not talk about that - it's so obvious everyone can see. The
fourth official said nothing. Iím wasting my time when you try and talk in
a polite way.
"It was a elbow in the face. He was bleeding. It was so obvious."
Espirito Santo said:
"I think we didn't do the best of performances. In the second half
everything changes with the red card of Newcastle, we control the game.
And we had more possession. Trying to find a way is not so easy to unblock
a team with one man less.
"We were lucky in the end, we had chances before, but in the last
minute to get a second ball from the goalkeeper. We were lucky, but happy
"A draw was clearly the right result. The red card changes the game. We
were lucky to beat them in the end. Don't always ask me about the
referee please, it's a tough job.
On the red card:
"It's too difficult for me to judge because I'm on the other side of the
pitch. What I felt was that it was a hold and I thought Diogo was one on
one with the goalkeeper."
On the elbow:
"It's a clear elbow on Ayoze but from my point of view he (Boly)
jumps for the ball, he doesn't see him so it's not intentional. For me
that was a dispute of the ball.
"Don't always ask me about the referee. I know it's a tough job. Let
these questions for another person.
You are always asking me about the referee. Sometimes he gives you, sometimes he
takes you but I truly believe he is always deciding what he sees.
"Let's not take credit from our victories and Newcastle cannot always ask
questions of the referee.
"Credit to Newcastle, all my
respects to Rafa, I really admire him as a coach.
"I think it's a tough job even if you
lose or win, let's focus on our task which is to manage and to coach teams. Let
the referees do their jobs."
It's now 150 successive Premier League
games since Newcastle played with a numerical advantage due to their opponents
having a player dismissed. That was when two Stoke City players were sent off during their game at SJP on
Boxing Day 2013.
It's now 145 successive Premier League games since Newcastle saw an
opponent dismissed, when Norwich City's Bradley Johnson was sent off at Carrow
Road in January 2014. United's Loic Remy was also dismissed during the same
incident meaning it was 10 vs 10.
DeAndre Yedlin's dismissal was the 18th for a Newcastle player in the
PL since that incident at Norwich (two of those 18 were subsequently
Ayoze Perez scored his 36th competitive
goal for the club and his 23rd in the Premier League. That takes him ahead of
Laurent Robert and into joint eleventh place with Kieron Dyer on our all time
PL list. Perez requires three more goals to match Michael Owen in tenth.
The Magpies scored a seventh Premier League home goal this season - and
the sixth headed effort. The only exception was Salomon Rondon's
shot to open the scoring against Bournemouth.
That's now seven defeats from their opening nine home league games for United
- the club record in a 38 game PL season (ie 19 home games) is nine set in
Wolves in Toon - last 10:
2018/19: lost 1-2 Perez
2016/17: lost 0-2
2011/12: drew 2-2 Cisse, Gutierrez
2010/11: won 4-1 Nolan, Shola Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez
2003/04: drew 1-1 Bowyer
1992/93: won 2-1 Kelly 2
1991/92: lost 1-2 og(Madden)
1990/91: drew 0-0
1989/90: lost 1-4 Brock
1982/83: drew 1-1 Wharton
Rafa Benitez may have been left
cursing the ineptitude of the referee after a tumultuous afternoon on Tyneside,
but yet another home defeat saw familiar questions about his squad resurface.
Mike Dean has blighted our existence for over 18 years and once again took centre stage in front of
the Sky cameras. The first moment of controversy came just before the
hour mark with the score at 1-1, DeAndre Yedlin shown a straight red after
losing possession and pulling back Diogo Jota outside the box (although there
was initial tug on the defender's
That decision went down badly on the home bench, but that was nothing to the
consternation ten minutes from time caused by a clear elbow into the face of
Ayoze Perez from Willy Bolly.
Dean remained unmoved and instead of a penalty waved play on,
allowing Wolves to almost score at the other end.
The pompous official then walked 70 yards back up the pitch before allowing
the trainer on to treat a head wound, making Perez leave the field which
left United down to nine men.
He also reportedly told the Spaniard - who was bleeding - that the ball had
caused the damage.
The referee showed no fewer than seven yellow cards,
although in doing so failed to properly punish the visitors' blatant fouling
that saw them offend from behind time and time again.
Tempting though it is to continue in this vein, the fact remains that Dean
wasn't at fault for the slack defending that allowed Wolves to take 17th minute lead when Jota
was left totally unmarked and had plenty of time to control the ball before
past goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
It's also difficult to pin the blame on the official for Newcastle's tendency
to needlessly pass the ball backwards and sideways that was ultimately to
prove Yedlin's downfall. Dean may also have been cheesed off with the
Spaniard's familiar "cry wolf" behaviour earlier in the game and
less well disposed towards him as a consequence when he tumbled in the box.
Asking for trouble x 2.
Ironically it took the elbow in the face to make Perez play with more
aggression in the closing moments, although that also led to a forward run
that prompted Wolves to break and win it.
Having started well, going behind provoked a response from the hosts and they
won free-kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the 'D' when Perez was
hauled over by Ryan Bennett.
Salomon Rondon stepped up and hit a wonderful effort that smacked off the
bar and down onto the line before being cleared. The ball reappeared with Rondon
though and he delivered a fine cross that Perez headed past Rui
Patricio and into the Gallowgate net.
After a scrappy opening to the second half, going down to ten men
theoretically made United's task that much harder, but it
could be argued that in fact it simplified matters - replicating their away
mentality seemingly more achievable than taking the initiative when they had
The trick of picking out target man Rondon is an obvious one but like
shooting, we're not particularly adept at it. The positioning of players for
knock downs was sub-standard and the quality of our crosses remains patchy -
the best one of the day coming from the Venezuelan for United's goal.
Raul Jimenez crashed an effort against the bar that had
beaten Dubravka as Wolves remained content to break upfield rather than camp
in our half, although their passing become noticeably slicker in the closing
stages as the inevitable gaps began to appear in home ranks.
A draw seemed increasingly inevitable following the Perez incident - and
Wolves narrowly failing to score from on the break. 12 months on from
celebrating the clubs' 125th birthday by conceding a late winner here against
Leicester though, we repeated that feat to mark our 126th anniversary.
Making his second start of the week and looking all the better for it,
Christian Atsu was deployed infield of left winger Matt Ritchie as United went
with a 3-5-1-1 formation. While the former Scottish international seemed
industrious though, he was ultimately irrelevant.
Of Jacob Murphy there was no sign, going from a starting place at Everton in
midweek to not even making it into the squad. Kenedy's late introduction
meanwhile was counter productive, given his unwillingness to track opponents
when not in possession. Aside from his goal at Old Trafford, he's given a
passable impression of someone increasingly indifferent to his fate this
We've given both Everton and Wolves a game this week, but guts
and brawn aren't always enough, especially on home turf when struggle to take
the initiative. Approaching
the half way point in our season, the story so far in 2018/19 is that if we
don't score first, our goose is usually cooked.
Pre-Christmas fixtures against Huddersfield Town and Fulham look
season-defining at this point, but the uncertainty over ownership of the club
makes the arrival of reinforcements in January look less and less likely -
especially given that unlike last season, our loan quota has been
We'll end with a quote from our match report of 12 months ago, as nowt much
New ideas, new enthusiasm, new hope and a new custodian are desperately
needed to end this damaging impasse. Without that Rafa is wasting his time,
and so are we.