Premier League
NewcastleNewcastle United1WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers0

Newcastle 1-0 Wolves: Chris Wood penalty earns key win for Eddie Howe's side

By Luke ReddyBBC Sport
Chris Wood goes down in the area
Jose Sa fouled Chris Wood in the key moment of the match

Newcastle took a huge step towards Premier League survival as Chris Wood's penalty proved enough to beat a blunt Wolves side at St James' Park.

The January signing slammed home the second-half winner at the Gallowgate End after being fouled by Wolves keeper Jose Sa at the end of a flowing team move.

VAR checked if Sa had made adequate contact, after an earlier review had denied Wood in the first half, when he saw a goal chalked off because team-mate Bruno Guimaraes was narrowly offside in the build-up.

Wolves failed to touch the ball in the Newcastle area in a dire opening half and manager Bruno Lage will wonder why it took until the 80th minute for his side to work home keeper Martin Dubravka when Fabio Silva forced a diving save.

Newcastle - who saw Allan Saint-Maximin fire over the bar before Wood's goal and Guimaraes go close to adding a second - thoroughly deserved to end a run of three straight defeats with this win.

It moves them 10 points clear of the relegation zone - though 18th-placed Burnley have two games in hand - while Wolves stay eighth and lose crucial ground in their push for a Europa League spot.

"It has put us in a stronger position but I still think we have work to do," boss Eddie Howe told BBC Sport. "The home games are key for us but we want to pick up points wherever we go.

"At this stage of the season, it is about results. We are well aware we need to continue to get points. I think it's results over performances at the moment. There will be a time when we can evolve."

Sloppy Wolves let Newcastle profit

Chris Wood scores and Newcastle players celebrate
Wood's finish (left) sealed Newcastle's fourth win in a row at home

Howe had reason to be ecstatic, having taken over a side who were 19th in the table and five points from safety in November.

The Newcastle boss has a quote which reads "make each day your masterpiece" on a wall in his office. This display was by no means joyful or pretty in its crafting, but it was one where Newcastle were always the likelier winners thanks to their consistent effort and sporadic quality across the 90 minutes.

Wolves were fortunate when VAR chalked off Wood's close-range finish in the first half. Guimaraes raced on to a superb flick by substitute Miguel Almiron - on for the injured Ryan Fraser - and was fractionally offside.

In the aftermath, Wolves captain Conor Coady could be seen screaming at team-mates in a bid to rise some kind of energy and application.

It never really arrived and, gradually, the home side started to create half-chances after the break until Saint-Maximin and Joelinton combined to send Wood clear in the game's key moment.

Bruno Guimaraes with a fan
Guimaraes celebrated Newcastle's goal with a fan and offered a rounded performance. The January signing completed 90% of his passes, won four tackles - more than any player on the pitch - and drew five fouls.

Wood's finish ensured Newcastle beat a side in the top half of the table for the first time this season and also carried them to a fourth successive home win - their best run since March 2019.

Lage was left wondering how his side - with eight away wins to their name this season - could be so poor, particularly in the first half.

"In the second half we had clearer ideas," said Lage. "The first five minutes of the second half, we were more aggressive in the final third than in the first 45 minutes. I think we missed a big opportunity."

Wolves are one win away from equalling their record mark of 16 victories in a Premier League-era top-flight season - set in 2018-19 - but their first-half display here set the tone for a night of despair.

They delivered one cross in the first 45 minutes, compared with 14 after the break. In the opening half they completed 31% of their passes in the final third compared to 74% in the second period.

It was a bemusing showing. A Europa League campaign is still well within reach but Wolves will need to find much more than they did here on a night where Newcastle took advantage to earn a key win in their bid for survival.

Line-ups

Newcastle

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Dúbravka
  • 17Krafth
  • 5SchärBooked at 56mins
  • 33Burn
  • 13Targett
  • 39Guimarães Rodriguez MouraSubstituted forS Longstaffat 88'minutes
  • 8Shelvey
  • 7Joelinton
  • 21FraserSubstituted forAlmirónat 13'minutes
  • 20Wood
  • 10Saint-MaximinSubstituted forMurphyat 90+5'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Dummett
  • 6Lascelles
  • 11Ritchie
  • 19Manquillo
  • 23Murphy
  • 24Almirón
  • 26Darlow
  • 34Gayle
  • 36S Longstaff

Wolves

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Malheiro de Sá
  • 15Boly
  • 16Coady
  • 23Kilman
  • 19Castro Otto
  • 39Cundle
  • 28João MoutinhoBooked at 87mins
  • 5MarçalSubstituted forAït-Nouriat 86'minutes
  • 11Machado TrincãoSubstituted forCampbellat 78'minutes
  • 26Hwang Hee-ChanSubstituted forNetoat 78'minutes
  • 17Fábio Silva

Substitutes

  • 3Aït-Nouri
  • 7Neto
  • 14Mosquera
  • 20Tomás Oliveira
  • 21Ruddy
  • 22Nélson Semedo
  • 24Gomes
  • 27Saïss
  • 77Campbell
Referee:
Peter Bankes
Attendance:
52,164

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamWolves
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home12
Away5
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home1
Away2
Fouls
Home6
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Jacob Murphy replaces Allan Saint-Maximin.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joelinton.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joelinton (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Sean Longstaff replaces Bruno Guimarães.

  7. Booking

    João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Foul by João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  9. Post update

    Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Rayan Aït-Nouri replaces Marçal.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jonny (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  12. Post update

    Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Emil Krafth (Newcastle United).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Martin Dúbravka.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Fábio Silva (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Luke Cundle.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Fábio Silva (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Marçal with a cross.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Chem Campbell replaces Trincão.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Pedro Neto replaces Hwang Hee-Chan.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by João Moutinho.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Player of the match

Bruno GuimarãesBruno Guimarães

with an average of 8.27

Newcastle United

  1. Squad number39Player nameBruno Guimarães
    Average rating

    8.27

  2. Squad number20Player nameWood
    Average rating

    7.58

  3. Squad number33Player nameBurn
    Average rating

    7.36

  4. Squad number7Player nameJoelinton
    Average rating

    7.24

  5. Squad number5Player nameSchär
    Average rating

    7.21

  6. Squad number1Player nameDúbravka
    Average rating

    7.19

  7. Squad number13Player nameTargett
    Average rating

    7.06

  8. Squad number24Player nameAlmirón
    Average rating

    6.99

  9. Squad number8Player nameShelvey
    Average rating

    6.93

  10. Squad number17Player nameKrafth
    Average rating

    6.92

  11. Squad number10Player nameSaint-Maximin
    Average rating

    6.50

  12. Squad number21Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    6.03

  13. Squad number23Player nameMurphy
    Average rating

    5.92

  14. Squad number36Player nameS Longstaff
    Average rating

    5.89

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number7Player namePedro Neto
    Average rating

    4.50

  2. Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá
    Average rating

    4.45

  3. Squad number16Player nameCoady
    Average rating

    4.42

  4. Squad number23Player nameKilman
    Average rating

    4.37

  5. Squad number77Player nameCampbell
    Average rating

    4.34

  6. Squad number28Player nameJoão Moutinho
    Average rating

    4.29

  7. Squad number19Player nameJonny
    Average rating

    4.26

  8. Squad number15Player nameBoly
    Average rating

    4.24

  9. Squad number3Player nameAït-Nouri
    Average rating

    3.95

  10. Squad number39Player nameCundle
    Average rating

    3.93

  11. Squad number5Player nameMarçal
    Average rating

    3.82

  12. Squad number17Player nameFábio Silva
    Average rating

    3.67

  13. Squad number11Player nameTrincão
    Average rating

    3.38

  14. Squad number26Player nameHwang Hee-Chan
    Average rating

    3.19

Everything you need to know about your Premier League team banner
  • Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever before - here's everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment
BBC Sport banner footer

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

848 comments