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Season 2019-20
Wolverhampton Wanderers (n)


Wednesday 17th July 2019, 11am BST (6pm local time)

 Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Nanjing, China

Conditions: Inscrutable

Admission: 10-65 (VIP 121)

none produced

Newcastle United


0 - 4




15 mins A Wolves attack down their left flank was initiated by Diogo Jota, who took a return pass from Jonny before firing home - the shot nicking off the boot of Jamaal Lascelles en route to beating Karl Darlow at his near post. 0-1

32 mins
Defensive slackness allowed Morgan Gibbs-White to steer the ball home from the edge of the box, Jonny with another assist. 0-2

40 mins
Wolves advanced down their right and Isaac Hayden was caught in possession in front of his own goal by Jota, who supplied a routine finish. 0-3

Half time: Magpies 0 Wolves 3

85 mins
Debutant Tom Allan inadvertently headed a Wolves corner taken by Ruben Vinagre past goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and into his own net. 0-4

Full time: Magpies 0 Wolves 4

We Said



Ben Dawson said:

It was great for the younger lads to get on the pitch here and do the things we know they can do. The other positive is everyone we planned to get minutes got minutes."

About the appointment of Steve Bruce:

"Obviously Im really pleased with that, the players and staff now know who is going to come in to lead the team. To my knowledge he is on his way and we hope he will be here soon to join the team at the hotel in Shanghai.

We've been out here focusing on the preparation for the tournament. I haven't spoken to Steve yet. I'm not sure about the conversations he's had with Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley. I don't know anything about that.

"The manager is travelling here knowing our preparations are still going as planned and he has a full squad here for when he arrives."

Federico Fernandez added:

"I understand the fans and the situation but for us we want to work and be better as a team, work hard and be ready for the new season.

"We want to show the fans and everyone we can compete. Of course fans maybe want a different manager or players but we need to work hard to show we are ready for the Premier League.

They Said

Nuno Espirito Santo

"It was very tough to play in those conditions, very humid, 90 percent or more. 

"Its very tough for the players, for both teams, it was a tough moment, but we stayed organised and thats the idea, the shape, having the ball, managing the game and taking our chances.

So, Im pleased of the work of the boys in this moment of pre-season, it was good. The point is trying to progress, trying to improve day by day and when the real competition arrives, this is the moment that we test ourselves.

"The ideas always the same. Its always the same, improving on the things we do well and try to avoid the mistakes we made in the past. That is the idea of growing.

Now we have to recover. Football in these conditions is not what we are used to seeing. The game is slower, so we cannot evaluate, what we want is to take advantage of the moment, trying to face good opponents, that can help us in the future, thats the idea.

We have people already taking care (of recovery). Ice baths, hydration, good food, we have to be ready for next time and go again.


Following the departure of Rafa Benitez after the conclusion of his contract in June, United's Head of Development Ben Dawson was in charge of the side on a interim basis, assisted by recently -appointed U23 boss Neil Readfearn. Goalkeeping Coach Simon Smith retained his position. 

There were first NUFC senior outings for Development Squad members Tom Allan, Owen Bailey, Matty Longstaff, Elias Sorensen and Kelland Watts.

Belatedly return
ing to the side meanwhile were the following players (date of last competitive senior NUFC appearance in brackets):

Ciaran Clark (January 2019)
Jacob Murphy (January 2019)
Jamie Sterry
(January 2019)
Freddie Woodman (January 2019)
Karl Darlow (August 2018)
Rolando Aarons (December 2017)
Achraf Lazaar (August 2017)
Jack Colback (May 2017)

This is Newcastle's second appearance in the Asian Trophy, having taken part in the inaugural event in Malaysia back in 2003.

That saw them defeat a Birmingham City side managed by a certain Steve Bruce 2-0 before drawing 0-0 with Chelsea and losing 4-5 on penalties - Jermaine Jenas incurring the wrath of Sir Bobby Robson with his failed attempt at a chip that proved decisive.

Magpies v Wolves - last 10:

2019/20: lost 0-4 (n)
drew 1-1 (a) Hayden
lost 1-2 (h) Perez
won 1-0 (a) Mitrovic
won 2-0 (h) Ritchie, Gouffran (LC)
lost 0-2 (h)
drew 2-2 (h) Cisse, Gutierrez
won 2-1 (a) Ba, Gutierrez
won 4-1 (h) Nolan, Sh.Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez
drew 1-1 (a) Carroll

Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

Aarons 32=32
Allan 27=27
Bailey 27=27
Clark 58=58
Colback 63=63
Darlow 45=45
Fernandez 45=45
Ki 32=32
Lascelles 45=45

Lazaar 63=63
M.Longstaff 27=27
Manquillo 45=45
Murphy 63=63
Muto 63=63
Ritchie 58=58
Shelvey 58=58
Sorensen 27=
Sterry 45=45
Watts 32=32
Woodman 45=45

25 of the 27 players that travelled were named in the matchday squad, but Sean Longstaff wasn't risked and remained on the bench. The absent duo were Dwight Gayle and Martin Dubravka.

Squad numbers allocated for today's game were:

GK: Darlow (26), Dubravka (tbc), Harker (29), Woodman (27)
Bailey (48), Clark (2), Dummett (3), Fernandez (18), Lascelles (6), Lazaar (33), Manquillo (19), Schar (5), Sterry (25), Watts (49)
Aarons (16), Colback (23), Hayden (14), Ki (4), M.Longstaff (43), S.Longstaff (36), Murphy (7), Ritchie (11), Shelvey (8)
FW: Allan (50), Gayle (tbc), Muto(13), Sorensen (47)

Absent from the touring squad were Almiron (holiday after international duty), Saivet ( on international duty) and messrs Atsu, Elliot, Lejeune and Yedlin (fitness issues). 


Restrictions in China on the display of gaming adverts saw both sides wear shirts with alternative sponsors - Chinese investment company FOSUN replacing current Wolves partner ManBetX.

Newcastle meanwhile swapped FUN88 for Chinese concern National Sports app*, with sleeve sponsorship from Northumbria University also evident. (*The red, white and blue logo of National Sports led to some claims that it was a Sports Direct brand, but that isn't the case).

A clash with the opposition also led to Newcastle wearing white socks rather than the black ones that are part of the 2019/20 home kit.

The second game of the tournament saw Manchester City come from behind to beat West Ham 4-1 at the same venue. That means Newcastle will play the Hammers in Shanghai on Saturday.


United's pre-season began in China on Wednesday with an entirely predictable heavy defeat in the first game of the Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing.

Kicking off in humid conditions and 27 degree temperatures, the Magpies fell behind on 15 minutes and were three down before the break.

Diogo Jota fired the Black Country side ahead and
following a scheduled drinks break, Darlow was picking the ball out of his net again on 32 minutes after Morgan Gibbs-White struck. 

Two then became three five minutes before half time, Wolves advancing down their right and Isaac Hayden caught in possession in front of his own goal by Jota, who supplied a routine finish.

A raft of replacements during the second period reduced the average age of both sides; United's Kelland Watts clearing off the line from Taylor Perry in the 70th minute - those two players facing each other at U23 level last season.

One of those young Magpies did find the net with five minutes of normal time remaining - sadly for Tom Allan though, he inadvertently headed a Wolves corner past Freddie Woodman for 0-4.

If you're wondering why there's no mention of any scoring chances for United, there weren't really any apart from a Matt Ritchie snapshot and a harmless long range one from Jonjo Shelvey.

Nuno Espirito Santo may have bemoaned his club's lack of new signings, but the side he fielded was still uniformly better than Newcastle. And while their superior fitness levels reflect the fact that they are in Europa League action in just eight days, there's a general level of ambition and organisation that we can only dream of. 

Thanks to Paul English for crowd photos and this little beauty below - presumably directions in the event that the Newcastle United owner turned up......


Page last updated 28 July, 2019