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Season 2023-24
Wolverhampton Wanderers (a) Premier League

 

 
Date:
Saturday 28th October 2023, 5.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

Venue:
Molineux

Conditions: Porous

Programme:
£6 for a 100 page special edition (usually £4)
Vendors took cash and card.

 



Wolverhampton Wanderers

Newcastle

 

2 - 2

 

 

Teams

Goals

22 mins Anthony Gordon received the ball on the left touchline and after cutting inside sent over a cross that looked like a straightforward catch for Jose Sa. Sean Longstaff and defender Boubacar Traore both challenged for the ball and Sa got bumped by his own defender, dropping the ball where Callum Wilson prodded it at the goal from just outside the six yard box. 

That was blocked by Toti but fell to Wilson again, who juggled it and volleyed it backwards into the unguarded goal in a not dissimilar fashion to his effort almost exactly two years previously away at Crystal Palace - although today's was nearer to the goal.

A long VAR review decided there was no foul on Sa and allowed the goal to stand. In the celestial score-settling stakes that inhabit our heads, this one was payback for the disgracefully allowed Wolves goal at the same end in 2019 when two Newcastle players were fouled separately. 1-0

36 mins A corner from the left by Pedro Neto ended up at the far post where Mario Lemina headed firmly past Nick Pope who had half come for the cross and then realised he wasn't going to reach it. Kieran Trippier's attempted challenge on the goalscorer was insufficient to halt him, but ran the risk of censure had it been any more forceful. 1-1

45+4 mins A second corner in a row from Trippier was played into the near post for Fabian Schar but his lay off went straight to Hee-Chan Hwang who delayed his clearance long enough to allow Schar to pinch the ball back and Hwang caught him with his knee. 

Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot and another lengthy VAR review decided not to overturn the original decision although replays suggested the award was debatable. Callum Wilson hit a firm kick Sa got a hand to but the ball went in the opposite corner of the South Bank goal. 2-1

Half time: Wolves 1 Magpies 2

71 mins  Pope punched away a free-kick played into the box when a catch looked feasible and Toti evaded challenges from Bruno Guimaraes and Longstaff before finding Hwang. The forward cut inside skillfully, leaving Dan Burn on his backside before slotting the ball inside the near post. 2-2

Full time: Wolves 2 Magpies 2

We Said

 

 

Eddie Howe said:


"It was probably a fair result. Two good teams; it was a really good spectacle. 

"Itís frustrating having led not to get over the line and win the game but it was a really impressive end when the home crowd is up. It was certainly a massively tough game for us today. 

"I'm really proud of what we had to give today off the back of a really challenging week. I thought we came on strong late in the game and was really pleased with that because it has been a mentally and physically challenging week for us.

"I thought we were the team in the ascendancy in the end; they were playing on transitions mainly so I was really pleased with the end part of the game and fitness wise I thought we looked good.

"You won't find me moaning about the schedule. This is the pinnacle, where we want to be.

"I was left with a lot of defenders. I have to be careful making changes. That game was very difficult to come into. You really want to be changing attacking players and going for three points but they were not available for us. 


"We have seen a top player leave us for 10 months, that is tough on the players because they know that they need help.

"Even so, they extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League. I am very proud of the players.
Weíve had a tough week with the Sandro situation and injuries to key players but it was a really good response.Ē

On two goal Callum Wilson:

"It was a massive contribution from Callum. His first goal was hugely impressive, the first chance was the easier than the second but thatís typical Callum. He took the penalty well and was probably frustrated he didnít get the match ball with a chance at the end, but they were priceless goals for us."


On the missing Alexander Isak:

"Alex is still where he is. He's aggravated the injury he suffered at West Ham and we'll wait and see whether he'll be fit before the international break. There's a high chance he won't, but we'll see."

On the missing Jacob Murphy:

"Jacob we fear might need an operation on his shoulder." 

They Said

 

Gary O'Neill said:

"I'm really pleased with the performance. Everyone knows how good a side Newcastle are. We know what they can do. I thought we were the better side. Second half, we were on top of them, we looked threatening. 

"A point is good against Newcastle, but the way the game went, their goals and the energy we had, it feels like it should be three. We suffered a few setbacks out there and the lads held together."

On the Newcastle penalty:

"It was a scandalous decision. It was a terrible on-field decision, and terrible that VAR didnít intervene so I thought they got it badly wrong.
(Hwang) has a big touch and then goes to clear the ball. He makes such minimal contact with (Fabian) Schar, hardly any, a glance of the boot.

"Scharís is already on the way down and the ball actually hits ĎChannyí on the other foot before he even makes contact with Schar so technically he gets the ball before he makes contact with Schar, so thatís why itís a terrible decision.

"Really surprising it wasn't overturned. I waste my time talking to them, so I won't bother until they improve the level. 

"I was frustrated and we speak a lot about being ready for the next action. There are things that will set you back. We need to refocus and they were excellent at that today - the best I have seen us at it."

Stats


17 points from their opening 10 PL games represents United's most productive start to a season since 2011/12 when they collected 22.

26 goals
from the opening 10 PL games represents United's most prolific start to a season since 1994/95 when they hit 27.

NUFC last 12 PL seasons after ten games:

2011/12 22 points, 3rd (scored 15, conceded 7)
2012/13 14 points, 10th (scored 12, conceded 14)
2013/14 14 points, 9th (scored 14, conceded 16)
2014/15 13 points, 12th (scored 11, conceded 15)
2015/16 6 points, 18th (scored 12, conceded 22)
2017/18 14 points, 9th (scored 10, conceded 9)
2018/19 3 points, 19th (scored 6, conceded 14)
2019/20 9 points, 17th (scored 6, conceded 10)
2020/21 14 points, 10th (scored 12, conceded 15)
2021/22 4 points, 19th (scored 11, conceded 23)
2022/23 15 points, 6th (scored 17, conceded 9)
2023/24 17 points, 6th (scored 26, conceded 11)


Callum Wilson's 44th and 45th PL goals for United saw him assume sole possession of third spot in the club's PL scorer table - having briefly sat on 43 alongside Andy Cole and Shola Ameobi.

Our current number 9 is now just one goal away from moving into joint second place, level with Peter Beardsley on 46 PL goals as a Magpie. Alan Shearer registered 148.

Wolves became the seventeenth PL club that Wilson has netted against in our colours:

Everton 6 (2h/4a)
West Ham 5 (1h/4a)
Burnley 5 (3h/2a)
Spurs 4 (2h/2a)
Aston Villa 3 (3h/0a)
Crystal Palace 3 (1h/2a)
Southampton 3 (3h/0a)
Brighton 2 (1h/1a)
Fulham 2 (1h/1a)
Leeds United 2 (0h/2a)
Leicester City 2 (0h/2a)
Wolves 2 (2h/0a)
Brentford 1 (1h/0a)
Manchester City 1 (1h/0a)
Manchester United 1 (1h/0a)
Norwich City 1 (1h/0a)
Nottingham Forest 1 (1h/0a)
Sheffield United 1 (0h/1a)

(He's yet to score against five current PL clubs: Arsenal, Bournemouth, Chelsea, Liverpool and Luton Town. Ex-PL ones West Bromwich Albion and Watford also eluded him).

Wilson also regain the lead in this season's PL top scorer race, moving on to seven and sneaking one ahead of Alexander Isak in the process. In all competitions they sit level on seven goals each.

A hat-trick in our colours still eludes Wilson: today the eleventh occasion he's hit exactly two goals in a game for Newcastle. His brace was the 22nd time in the PL one of our players has been on a hat-trick but failed to complete it since Ayoze Perez hit three at home to Southampton in 2019. 

Newcastle have now converted their last 13 PL penalties and Callum Wilson has a 100% record of seven from seven:

Oct 2023 Wolves (a) Wilson
Sep 2023 Burnley (h) Isak
Sep 2023 Brentford (h) Wilson
May 2023 Leeds United (a) Wilson
May 2023 Leeds United (a) Wilson
Mar 2023 Nottingham Forest (h) Isak
Dec 2022 Leicester City (a) Wood
Oct 2022 Aston Villa (h) Wilson
Sep 2022 Bournemouth (h) Isak
May 2022 Burnley (a) Wilson
Apr 2022 Wolves (h) Wood
Nov 2021 Norwich City (h) Wilson
May 2021 Fulham (a) Schar

The last official spot kick miss by a Newcastle player in the PL was Joe Willock v Manchester City (h) in May 2021, although he netted the rebound. Matt Ritchie v Southampton (a) in March 2020 remains the last PL penalty that didn't lead to a goal for the Magpies.

United wore their green change kit for the second time in the Premier League, following the 1-3 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion when they debuted in it.

Mags @ Molineux - PL era:

2023/24 Drew 2-2 Wilson 2 (1 pen) (PL)
2022/23
Drew 1-1 Saint-Maximin (PL)
2021/22 Lost 1-2 Hendrick (PL)
2020/21 Drew 1-1 Murphy (PL)
2019/20 Drew 1-1 Almiron (PL)
2018/19 Drew 1-1 Hayden (PL)
2016/17 Won 1-0 Mitrovic (Ch)
2011/12 Won 2-1 Ba, Gutierrez (PL)
2010/11 Drew 1-1 Carroll (PL)
2003/04 Drew 1-1 Shearer (PL)
2002/03 Lost 2-3 Jenas, Shearer(pen) (FAC)
2002/03 Won 2-0 LuaLua 2 (FR)
1992/93 Lost 0-1 (D1)

 

Waffle

Newcastle extended their unbeaten league record to six games on Saturday, but left a rain-soaked Molineux with just a point after twice allowing the hosts chances to level from inside the box.

United opened the scoring on 22 minutes when Callum Wilson's first effort from close range was blocked, but he recovered to hook the ball home amid home player protests that the home 'keeper had been impeded before the goal. He had - but by his own player.

The hosts levelled against the run of play on 36 minutes; Mario Lemina heading home Pedro Neto's corner kick at the back post, but that parity proved to be relatively short-lived.

A period of Newcastle pressure at the end of the half resulted in Fabian Schar tumbling over after Hee-Chan Hwang's thoughtless challenge in attempting to complete the clearance of a corner.

Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the penalty spot to the consternation of home players and fans alike, before an elongated VAR inspection upheld the decision. Wilson's penalty then made it into the back of the net despite goalkeeper Jose Sa's partial block.

A growing injury list and the long-term suspension confirmed for Sandro Tonali on Friday left Joe Willock as a genuine attacking option among the nine substitutes named - the Italian travelling with the squad in advance of ratification reaching the Premier League. 

That left United to continue unchanged after the break as the sides took turns to attack each other in what the visiting NBC reporter accurately termed "a slugfest".

Wolves duly levelled 19 minutes from the end of normal time, Korean Hee-Chan Hwang finding space to turn and beat Pope at the near post for his fourth strike in five appearances against Newcastle. 

That saw Willock appear immediately, suggesting that he was being readied at 2-1, although we didn't spot that due to rainfall that by now was torrential. Thankfully, the roof of the Steve Bull Stand meant the away fans avoided a soaking, but that didn't apply to the poor wretches in the uncovered corner of the Jack Hayward/Billy Wright Stands clad in their white plastic ponchos.  

Roared on with renewed vigour by the South Bank at 2-2, Wolves looked to maintain their momentum and go for the win, but that was hampered by a hamstring injury that saw Neto pull up in mid-run and be stretchered off. His side crucially lost momentum and the fan backing also diminished.

Newcastle themselves upped their efforts in the closing stages; one flowing move initiated by a typical Schar forward run involving Joelinton and Trippier and ending with the Swiss defender timing his run perfectly to arrive at the back post, but heading just wide from just six yards.

Given the exertions of midweek against Borussia Dortmund and the fact that Wolves had beaten Manchester City and drawn with Aston Villa in their last two home games, our fifth draw here in six visits was a fair result - not least because of that fortunate penalty award.

Eddie Howe's side also maintained their record this season of avoiding defeat in the Premier League on the weekend after a Champions League tie: the draw in Milan followed by the 8-0 win at Bramall Lane and the home win over PSG by a 2-2 draw at West Ham.


Our relentless programme continues with cup ties at Manchester United and Dortmund bookending a home game against Arsenal: all sizeable tasks in isolation with full strength squads, but a daunting prospect given our diminishing headcount and the fact that all three come within eight days.

There's an element of 20/20 hindsight in criticising the business of the most recent transfer window; Barnes crocked, Tonali banned, Hall and Livramento on the periphery so far. 

We're not ready to join those sticking the knife in and we're avoiding Tonali conspiracy theories, but at some point changes will have to be made to the line-up. 

The looming double suspension of Bruno Guimaraes opens up a new set of variables: his avoiding a booking today that would have seen him sit out the Arsenal game was as welcome as a yellow card against the Gunners would be, to get that ban served against Bournemouth.

It now seems unworkable not to prioritise the coming trio of games though; revamping line-ups in order to try and minimise the fatigue evident here in Trippier and others that is an inevitable consequence of the pressing game that we've prospered by playing.

And at the risk of being obvious, protecting the priceless asset that is Callum Wilson remains central to whatever ambitions we possess for the season. He just cannot keep playing every four days and a lack of striking depth in the U23s means there's no genuine cover in there for him.   

Our thoughts have turned to our maiden Champions League campaign, when Tino Asprilla joined Alan Shearer on the sidelines and we endured three scoreless defeats with forward lines permed from Ian Rush, John Barnes, Temuri Ketsbaia and Jon Dahl Tomasson. 

We're not quite at that point yet thankfully but as 1997/98 was a learning curve, so is 2023/24 and we're attempting the football equivalent of building a Formula One car during a race. 

Less than ideal, but a damn sight better than the soulless dross served up here under Steve Bruce two years ago. Howe used the word pinnacle today, pitiful summed us up on that depressing day here in 2021. We may not have won tonight, but we're still streets ahead of that purgatory.

Biffa


Page last updated 03 November, 2023