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Season 2022-23
Wolverhampton Wanderers (h) Premier League


Sunday 12th March 2023, 4.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Revitalised





2 - 1





26 mins Having earlier fluffed a free-kick on the edge of the D, Kieran Trippier made amends by curling in an absolute beauty for Alexander Isak to perfectly guide a header into the far corner of the Gallowgate goal. As good as it gets. 1-0

Half time: Magpies 1 Wolves 0

70 mins Newly arrived substitute Hwang Hee-Chan picked up the ball just outside the box and rode a couple of challenges but had lost the ball only for a falling Trippier to scuff his clearance straight back to Hwang who just had to slot into an empty net. 1-1

79 mins Sean Longstaff played the ball out to Miggy Almiron running down the right and he passed to Joe Willock who was in space on the edge of the box. Miggy carried on his run, Willock returned it to him superbly and he took a touch before via a slight deflection off Max Kilman - the defender left helpless in a similar manner to Sven Botman in our last two matches. 2-1

Full time: Magpies 2 Wolves 1

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"Our first-half performance was very, very good. Alex (Isak) scored a massive goal for us. Second half, a one-goal lead is always delicate and it should have been more at half-time.

"Wolves, to be fair, came back into the game, we know they have very good players. But the character to get that winning goal is a good feeling for us.

"At 1-1 the game is in the balance, with our recent run that was a real test of character for us. But we had to regroup and we found another level.

ďWe were desperate to win today; I donít think it really mattered how we did it, we just needed to win. I was very pleased with the performance Ė I think the first half was right up there with our very best performances of the season. 

"The only disappointing thing was that it was only 1-0 when I thought the game should have been out of sight. Thatís where the players deserve huge credit after Wolves came back into it in the second half. It was a key moment in our season, and the lads responded brilliantly.

On Isak:

"Everything that a centre-forward needs, I think he has. He has pace, technique, strength, and then the goal pleases me because itís not necessarily his trademark, but he needs to score all different types of goals.

"It was a really good ball in, and a really good header. I think heís capable of great things Ė itís up to us now to keep him in a good place and feed him in the right areas.

"Itís very difficult to do it instantly
(after changing clubs). Sometimes, you need to get to know your environment and you need to feel comfortable in your environment. You need to be 100% right to give your best on a consistent basis.

"I think Alex has done very well in the short time heís been with us. Itís been disrupted by injury, but we hope heís behind those concerns and we can build his fitness up a bit.

"The plan today was Ďrun yourself into the ground until you can no longer runí. He put his hand up and said, ĎThatís me doneí, and thatís the type of performance I want from him. Iím really excited for what Alex can be for us now, and in the future.

"I want to clear this up: Isak is fit to play 90 minutes for another team ó but just not to my style of play and what I demand. It was no slight on him ó heís very fit.

"It was great to play Alex from the start. I thought he was very impressive and showed what his game is all about with his pace and technique. The goal is a traditional Newcastle number nine finish. Hopefully, thatís the start of a really good spell for him."

On the winning goalscorer:

"He's really attacked the situation. The team was in need and I had no doubt that Miggy would come on in the right frame of mind. I know the lad so well and he's a team player, he's not about himself. I had no doubt about how he would respond."

On the Pope penalty incident:

"I didnít think it was a penalty personally at the time, you might say Iím biased. I think it was Raul Jimenez going down before the contact was made."

On the Gordon injury:

"It was a strange one, because after the game there was no sign of an injury. But, I think, it was one of those that got worse the day of the game.

"It was from a tackle. It swelled up, we had it scanned. We were hoping that we could get away with it, and he would be all right, but unfortunately not, so heíll probably miss the next two games.

"Not sure whether heíll be back after the international break. We hope so, but (we're) not 100% certain.Ē

On Callum Wilson:

"Callum's had a difficult week. He hasn't trained all week. He did really well to put himself on the pitch today."

They Said

Julen Lopetegui said:

"It is always difficult to accept a defeat because you want to win all the matches. It is difficult but we have to do it and we have to improve and to continue working for the next match. 

"I donít know if we deserved more. If it was just the second-half, then yes. But in the first-half, they were better than us. We hit the post and after a very clear penalty, which was a pity.

"In the first-half, they overcame us but in the second-half we improved a lot and we changed many things, we overcame them, we deserved to score and in the end we should have drawn the match.

"If itís a penalty and a red card itís a different match, but we canít do anything. I represent my club and my fans and we are very unhappy with this decision, it was unfair, but we have to think of the next match.

"It's not a matter of what I think. It's true, we have suffered a big mistake a lot of matches ago in Liverpool and today, for me, it was a penalty. But the VAR can't help the referee in this case and I can't say anything more. 

"We were unlucky with the decision. We didn't have any penalty since I arrived here, but we have to keep working, I don't want to put the focus on only the referee. Because we have things to work on in our team and for me too. I'm not happy with how we ended the match.

"We lost against a very good team but in the second half we deserved more.

"The relegation fight will be until the last match. We will fight with a lot of good teams and we have to be ready. But we have to focus on the next one and carry on fighting to improve the wrong things.

"The substitutions depend on the players and afterwards itís not a good change because I did this change to be very strong in defence and it was a pity we suffered the second-half and we didnít have the calm and the capacity to overcome them at the end.Ē


Alexander Isak hit his fourth PL goal of the season. He now has a shot, a penalty and two headers to his name.

Top scorer Miguel Almiron now has 11 Premier League goals for the season, today's effort taking him to 20 in that competition for the Magpies.

The Paraguayan's timely strike prevented the sixteenth PL meeting of these two sides ending in a 1-1 draw for what would have been a tenth time.

Newcastle scored more than one goal in a PL home game for the first time since October 2022, when they demolished Aston Villa 4-0. 

Eddie Howe's side found the net for the first time in 341 minutes of league and cup action - the longest goalless run in all competitions since a 455 minute lull in January 2021.

Wolves @ SJP - PL era:

2022/23 won 2-1 Isak, Almiron
2021/22 won 1-0 Wood
drew 1-1 Lascelles
2019/20 drew 1-1 Lascelles
2018/19 lost 1-2 Perez
2016/17 won 2-0 Ritchie, Gouffran (LC)
2016/17 lost 0-2 (Ch)
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 (D1)


Pondering his team selection of a side winless in five Premier League matches, Eddie Howe reiterated that starting berths would be earned on merit rather than reputation. And to that end he replaced no less than five players who began last week's defeat at Manchester City.

Doubtless those choices were motivated by observing training - and also being unable to call on injury victim Anthony Gordon - but his revised formation meant that for the first time, the terrace ditty about Bruno being in the middle, Botman at the back and Isak in attack came to pass.

And that turned out to be exactly what we needed, as the Swedish striker produced an unrelenting performance topped by a fine goal that set Newcastle on
the road to a much-needed victory at a relieved St.James' Park.

Replacing Callum Wilson, Isak was a constant forward threat and stretched the Wolves defence in addition to heading home Kieran Trippier's 26th minute free kick to end our recent goal drought. Had that turned out to be the winner, we may have finally have deployed our "wicked game" headline...

In addition to Isak, Fabian Schar, Jacob Murphy, Joe Willock and birthday boy Allan Saint-Maximin were preferred to Jamaal Lascelles, Callum Wilson, Almiron, Gordon and the suspended Joelinton. 

That opener heralded a spell of pressure from United that significantly failed to yield a second goal; Bruno coming the closest when heading against the crossbar, after a corner kick was returned across the six yard box by Dan Burn. Meanwhile a rare forward foray from the visitors ended with Daniel Podence glancing his shot off the goal frame soon after.

Wolves were aggrieved that the officials had failed to act at 0-0 when Nick Pope tangled with Raul Jimenez in his box after the goalkeeper got a heavy first touch on a backpass. 

Referee Andy Madley was unmoved and VAR didn't intervene. That denied Wolves a penalty and saw Pope avoid what would have been a second red card in as many home games. That would have landed him a four game ban and added yet another twist to our goalkeeping soap opera, putting recent Red Devils loanee Martin Dubravka between the posts against Manchester United next month.

The second half saw United increasingly eclipsed by a revitalised Wolves side, who benefited from the half time replacement of the ineffective Adama Traore by Pedro Neto.

With Newcastle looking increasingly lethargic, Pope was forced into noteworthy stops to deny Pedro Neto and Joao Moutinho before a defensive calamity saw the visitors level - just after United had made a double replacement to try and regain the initiative.

Hwang Hee-Chan had been on the field for just a matter of seconds when he shrugged off a shirt pull and wriggled into the United box on 70 minutes, pushing a pass forward for Jimenez to run on to.

Trippier reached the ball first some eight yards from goal, but slipped in attempting a clearance and gifted it to Hwang. With Pope out of his goal, the South Korean international who netted twice against us last season had the simplest of tasks to draw his side level. 

United were to have a super sub of their own though; Almiron exchanging passes with Joe Willock at the Leazes End before looping the ball home in the 79th minute with the help of a deflection - the first time that we've scored more than once in a league game since Boxing Day.

The cushion of a third goal could have followed but Botman snatched at a chance in the 90th minute and cleared the crossbar by some distance following an inventive move stemming from a corner kick.

The black and whites ground out the precious victory following five minutes of time added time: some gritty performances typified by Schar's supreme effort and some decisive interventions by Bruno, although he again looked troubled by an ankle issue at times. 

Three points saw United advance one place to fifth, two points ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand. They now trail fourth-placed Spurs by four points, having played two games less than them.

On a weekend when other results went in our favour, a positive outcome of our own was needed to restore some stability and confidence on and off the field after the debilitating trio of recent losses. 

And we got there, just about, those selected providing some vindication of the manager's changes and in the case of Isak, further hints of the sparkling talent that we invested in last summer.


Page last updated 14 March, 2023