Newcastle United 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
- Kevin Friend
Newcastle United missed the chance to pull clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone after conceding a second-half equaliser against Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James’ Park.
The Magpies led at the interval through Jamaal Lascelles’ emphatic header – just their sixth goal in the top flight so far this season.
Visitors Wolves – who played away in Slovakia in the Europa League in midweek – offered little during the first hour, but restored parity through wing back Jonny, who capitalised on a Martin Dúbravka error to volley home.
United ended the game with ten men after Sean Longstaff was shown a straight red card but, despite coming under concerted pressure late on, managed to secure the point which maintained their unbeaten home sequence in the Premier League.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action at either end of the pitch during a listless opening half hour. João Moutinho shot tamely at Dúbravka two minutes in, while Miguel Almirón directed a mis-hit effort wide of the upright after Joelinton had flicked Sean Longstaff’s free kick into his path. Then, Allan Saint-Maximin – who was, not for the first time this season, the Magpies’ liveliest asset early on – saw a right-footed strike blocked by Romain Saïss on the edge of the visitors’ penalty area.
The first moment of real quality took 34 minutes in coming. Matty Longstaff provided it, spraying a superb pass into the channel for Almirón to run onto. The Paraguayan found himself in on goal but, with the angle narrowing, could only fire into the side-netting.
United were starting to up the ante, though. Saint-Maximin saw another strike from range blocked, before Sean Longstaff watched as a right-footed shot trickled wide via a deflection. Wolves managed to deal with the midfielder’s resultant corner, but it was during the same passage of play that the Magpies took the lead. Federico Fernández kept the ball in play on the right and delivered a superb cross into the heart of the danger area, and Lascelles – who, like the Argentine, had still to retreat back – rose high to plant a powerful header into the net.
Much like the first, the second half took some time to get going. Wolves started to probe but only asked serious questions of the Magpies’ backline in fits and starts. The pacey Adama Traoré looked the most likely to make something happen, and on 57 minutes, the wide-man embarked on a marauding run before crossing for Diogo Jota, who headed off-target.
It was only as United started to drop deeper, though, that the visitors really started to fancy their chances of drawing level. The equaliser came with 72 minutes on the clock, Dúbravka palming Matt Doherty’s cross into the path of Jonny 12 yards out, who duly picked out the bottom corner.
Jetro Willems twice threatened to restore the Magpies’ lead, firing viciously wide of the far post with a quarter of an hour remaining before heading a DeAndre Yedlin cross at Rui Patrício two minutes later. However, United’s hopes of a second straight home victory were dealt a hammer blow moments later when the elder Longstaff was given his marching orders for a mistimed challenge on Rúben Neves near the halfway line.
Steve Bruce’s side did at least manage to hold out for a point, though. The closest Wolves came to rubber-stamping their numerical advantage with another goal came during five minutes of stoppage time, when Doherty – who scored a last-gasp winner for the visitors in the same fixture a year ago – flicked Raúl Jiménez’s dinked cross just wide of the far post.