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Season 2023-24
Wolves (h) Premier League

 


Date:
Saturday 2nd March 2024, 3pm
(not on live UK TV)

Venue:
St. James' Park

Conditions: Uplifting
 



Newcastle

Wolves

 

3 - 0


 

Teams

Goals

14 mins Schar's quick ball out of defence set Anthony Gordon free and he raced towards the Wolves goal with Alexander Isak infield and indicating where he wanted the ball placed. Gordon continued with his run as he reached the opposition box, slipping a pass through to Bruno Guimaraes who had steamed upfield to join the attack.

The Brazilian dispatched a shot goalwards that deflected off Craig Dawson as he went to ground and fortuitously looped up into the path of Isak, who was able to head home at the Gallowgate End. There were shades of the goal Bruno scored at the same end against Leicester in April 2022. 1-0

33 mins Willock progressed down the United right before releasing Murphy on the overlap. Without further ado he played in a dangerous low curling cross that tempted Sa off his line. With Isak closing in, the visiting custodian managed on to push the ball off the adjacent Max Kilman, running free and falling into path of Anthony Gordon, who got ahead of Nelson Semedo and whacked home. 2-0


Half time: Newcastle 2 Wolves 0


90+2 mins Sven Botman played a simple pass across his own area to Schar on the right, who spotted Tino Livramento's wide forward run and sprayed an inch-perfect pass to him. Heading towards goal and into the area, the substitute looked set to play in Gordon, but instead evaded Dawson, Rayan Ait-Nour and Kilman before poking the ball past Bentley from six yards as he fell. 3-0

Full time: Newcastle 3 Wolves 0

We Said

 
Eddie Howe said:

"Itís a massive win. 

"People say we only play one way but we changed things tactically today and were a bit more transitional. We were cute in certain situations. Towards the end of the game we saw the confidence flowing back. We looked much better defensively.


"Sometimes you just have to find a way to get over the finishing line and you know then that there are better performances ahead. I think we were in that moment today.

"I donít think today was ever going to be a classic Newcastle performance, but I think itís a building bridge closer to where we want to be.

"I thought Blackburn was very similar. We got through, that was the main thing. Today was slightly better again and Iíd like to think now with the strength of the group returned that we will hopefully see continued improvement in performances.

"
It was a big win. We knew being back at home having not won for a while... our home form has been so good since I came to the football club.

"Staying up and making the top four, our home form was the bed rock of all our success so to have probably our first wobble here was a concern. We're delighted to win today, it was a big win for us.

"We made a slight tweak to our normal way of playing. We always analyse our opposition and I know there are a lot of people who say we play the same way every week but that's not the case, there is always tweaks and little things we try to try and that was one today to maybe play slightly more transitional.

"
Youíd have seen in previous weeks where we didnít have the strength of the bench that we possibly wouldnít have made changes and the game may have gone a different way. I don't think you can underestimate the power of that.

ďWe always say internally how important everybody is within the squad, and to have a bench that you can turn to and have total faith in the ability of the players is massive.

ďI have to say, it wasnít a question of me questioning the quality of the players we had, we just had a bench full of defenders, which is never ideal and the balance wasn't right. To have the attacking players - who are the ones that you want to be changing Ė has been huge.

"We were well aware that when we were in the period when we were leaving players on the pitch, that then increases the risk of injury again. So, we were stuck in a really difficult cycle of players getting injured and not having an alternative player to play and then getting more injuries.

"It was a cycle we couldn't break until we got some players back, and thankfully we have. Now, we can manage Joe Willock's weeks like we have this week, we can take Alex off when he's had enough.

"And also, there's competition for places, you can't put a price on that. A player knows that if he's not playing well, he's going to get taken off and we were missing that for a long, long time. 

"That's probably the biggest tool I have to get performances out of players.Ē

On Kieran Trippier:

"He felt something in his calf and had to come off the pitch. That is a concern for us. I don't know how serious it is."

On Fabian Schar:

"There wonít be many centre-halves like Fabby. He is a total one-off, I think. He is a very good defender when he is absolutely concentrated and really well-trained. He is as good a defender as Iíve seen. 

"He reads the game really well, and the interceptions that he makes is second to none. But he would probably tell you that his biggest strengths are on the ball, and he can see things and execute things that I donít see many other centre-halves capable of doing. Thatís why heís so important to us. 

"Maybe the pass for the first goal is slightly easier than the pass for the last one. The pass for the last goal, I donít think anyone else in the stadium saw, apart from maybe Tino, because heís made the run. He maybe knows that Fabby is capable of playing him in. 

"They were moments of absolute class.Ē

On achieving a century of PL victories:

"Personal milestones are difficult to talk about because itís always about the club. But when I started out, if someone had said youíd get 100 wins as a Premier League manager after starting in League 2, I wouldnít have seen that coming. So nice to hear!"

They Said

 

Gary O'Neill said:

"Newcastle got a big chunk of luck there,, but Iím proud of our performance. 

"We made a couple of bad errors but we controlled a lot of the play. Thereís no way that Newcastle let us have a lot of the ball. We had a lot of the ball because we were really good with the ball.

"I know Eddie Howe, I know Newcastle. They press everybody, especially at home. The reason we had the ball was our quality and how good we were with it.

"I thought structurally we were the better side, had real control of the game, control of the ball, so Iím really proud of the group for what they gave today.

"I thought they gave absolutely everything. Weíve had a tough week, a really good week, but a really tough week and a tough end to the week.

"Key players missing, a lot of young lads in and around it today (including 15 year-old Wesley Okoduwa on the bench), and we had large spells in the game where we looked really good, had lots of control, had loads of the ball, but two real slack moments for the goals cost us.

"They were lucky that both of them ended up costing us and two of them had large deflections on them, but one we left ourselves open on the counter-attack, which was really disappointing because we spoke about it and the second one was the pressing phase which we go slightly wrong.

"There was a touch of fortune in both of the goals, and it wasnít a 2-0 first half because I thought we had some moments of real control, which you donít often see at St Jamesí Park, for a team to come away and dominate the ball.

"We got into some real good situations, but didnít have enough quality to get in on the goal, but in terms of the group giving everything theyíve got, they did that again. Then the third one comes when we were very open and the lads didnít deserve a three-nil as that flatters Newcastle. But itís one of those days that you have to accept.

"Sometimes you meet Newcastle when theyíre on the up, they have a lot of players coming back, some of the substitutes they were able to make, but we were not at that. 

"Weíre at a different moment, and weíre as short as weíve been all year, off the back of three games in six days, so itís a tough one for the boys, but Iím really proud that they kept going and gave everything.Ē

Stats


Victory ended Newcastle's four match winless home sequence in the PL, their longest barren run since the opening seven PL games of the 2021/22 season at SJP.

United
posted their first clean sheet in seven league and cup games, keeping their opponents at bay for the first time in no less than 10 Premier League fixtures.

Alexander Isak moved on to 21 PL goals for the black and whites, one less than Laurent Robert and two behind Kieron Dyer and team mate Miguel Almiron. The Swede is our PL top scorer this season with 11 and clear ahead with 15 in all competitions.

12 of those goals have come in his opening 20 PL appearances at SJP; only Alan Shearer (21), Andy Cole (21) and Les Ferdinand (16) were more prolific in their first 20 PL home games for the club.
 
Anthony Gordon now has 10 PL goals for United, a total putting him level with current colleague Jamaal Lascelles and Leon Best, Nicos Dabizas, Robbie Elliot, Paul Kitson and Aleksandar Mitrovic. 

Tino Livramento became the 168th different player to score for the Magpies in the PL and the 19th different one to net for us in the PL this season. His only other senior strike came in the PL for Southampton at home to Burnley in October 2021, Nick Pope in goal for the Clarets that day. 

For the third successive PL game, one of Newcastle's substitutes got on the scoresheet, following Matt Ritchie at home to Bournemouth and Joe Willock away at Arsenal. No less than of 10 of their 57 PL strikes this season have been scored by subs:

Aston Villa (h) Wilson on 68, scored 77
Aston Villa (h) Barnes on 68, scored 90+1
Brighton & Hove Albion (a) Wilson on 58, scored 90+3
Sheffield United (a) Gordon on 12, scored 61
Sheffield United (a) Isak on 70, scored 87
Fulham (h) L.Miley on 36, scored 57
Luton Town (h) Barnes on 63, scored 73
Bournemouth (h) Ritchie on 90+1, scored 90+2
Arsenal (a) Willock on 73, scored 84
Wolves (h) Livramento on 52, scored 90+2

Isak's goal was Newcastle's 1,500th in the Premier League in their 1,099th game. Gordon's effort then brought up the 900 mark for the Magpies in their 550th Premier League home game. 

The opener was the 100th to have been scored in PL matches featuring Newcastle this season. 

Wolves @ SJP - PL era:

2023/24 won 3-0 Isak, Gordon, Livramento
2022/23 won 2-1 Isak, Almiron
2021/22 won 1-0 Wood
2020/21 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, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Gutierrez
2003/04 drew 1-1 Bowyer
1992/93 won 2-1 Kelly 2 (D1)



Waffle

No VAR controversies, no extra time, no bookings, no penalties, no goals conceded, three goals scored and three points made it a pleasurable afternoon on Tyneside for Eddie Howe and his side despite the heavy rain.

The Magpies boss celebrated his 100th Premier League career victory as United made a timely return to their trademark pressing game, ending a winless four game run at Gallowgate with their first home success of 2024.

Wolves were unbeaten on the road this year, arriving on the back of eye-catching league wins at Chelsea and Spurs. However top scorers Hwang Hee-Chan and Matheus Cunha were both injured and although looking dangerous in the opening exchanges, Martin Dubravka wasn't seriously tested. 

Making just one change from the starting line-up at Blackburn - Sven Botman for Jamaal Lascelles - the hosts took a 14th minute lead when a Bruno Guimaraes shot deflected off a defender and fell nicely for Alexander Isak to head home at the Gallowgate End.

Dan Burn had the chance to double that lead but pulled his shot wide soon after before another counter-attack from United on 33 minutes ended with Jacob Murphy crossing from the right towards Isak; a combination of goalkeeper and defender succeeding only in setting up the arriving Anthony Gordon to slam in the loose ball.

Visiting custodian Jose Sa collided with the goal frame while conceding the opener and failed to reappear after the break; replacement Daniel Bentley nowhere near Joe Willock's diving header, but a defender's boot doing just enough to send the effort wide of the target.

Almost inevitably though, there would be a fresh injury concern for Newcastle: Kieran Trippier pulling up early in the second period and leaving the field to be replaced by Tino Livamento.

Wolves had begun to commit more bodies forward in an attempt to gain a foothold in the game as it entered the final quarter, Newcastle taking the opportunity to bring on fresh legs in the shape of Miggy Almiron, Harvey Barnes and Lewis Miley that swung the balance of play back in their favour.

Chances of more goals at either end weren't greatly abundant - although Dubravka made two good stops and a fine no-look pass by the lively Bruno saw Miggy test Bentley from close in.

What was a morale-boosting afternoon ended on a high note in the second minute of added time; Fabian Schar superbly picking out Livramento down the right and the full back running on into the Wolves box, forcing the ball into the net as he clashed with defender Rayan Ait-Nouri.  

That sent those still present away on a high at the end of a testing week that saw visits to Arsenal and Blackburn raise question marks over the direction and leadership of the team from some areas - deservedly so in the wake of a patchy display against Rovers that could well have ended in defeat.
 
If the Ewood display though was an unwelcome reminder of passive performances from the Steve Bruce era, this was a welcome return to a Howe-like display, aided by the improving fitness of those players returning from injury and valid bench options. Principally that was Willock, whose ability to run with the ball in turn gave Bruno room to work. Livarmento on his favoured right was also decent.

It made a change to see the opposition short-handed, while we also enjoyed some good fortune on the field for once in terms of favourable bounces and deflections. There's also satisfaction also in scoring three goals in and around the six yard box after dangerous attacks, a world away from the ponderous build-ups and meaningless possession.   

The victory took Eddie Howe's side above their opponents and Brighton up to eighth in the table - rekindling hopes of qualifying for Europe in some form, although it's debatable whether that would actually benefit a side looking to remodel their squad in the summer.  

Biffa

 

 

 


Page last updated 29 March, 2024