Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Newcastle United 1
- Lee Mason
Jacob Murphy marked his first Premier League start since December 2018 by scoring a late equaliser to earn Newcastle United a share of the spoils against Wolves.
The Magpies looked to be heading for back-to-back defeats in the top flight after falling behind to Raúl Jiménez’s 80th-minute strike, only for Murphy to curl a free kick past Rui Patrício in the dying embers of normal time.
It was a final scoreline with a familiar look to it; the last four meetings between the two sides in the Premier League have all ended 1-1.
With Murphy, Miguel Almirón and Ryan Fraser all coming into the Magpies’ starting XI, there was an unusual look to the visitors’ set-up early on. They struggled to impose themselves at first, with Wolves looking to seize the initiative. Winger Daniel Podence stung the palms of Karl Darlow after just five minutes, before firing one over the top following the hosts’ next attack after United ceded possession. With nearly a quarter of an hour gone, Jiménez and Pedro Neto linked up for Wolves down the right but the Mexican frontman’s scuffed effort flew well wide of Darlow’s far post.
Having come through that rocky start, Newcastle found their feet and started to enjoy a little more of the ball. Callum Wilson latched onto Murphy’s long pass down the right and only a fine last-ditch challenge from Max Kilman denied the striker a sight of goal. The tempo then dropped, with both sides struggling to find the room in which to manoeuvre. However, it was the visitors who almost took the lead heading into the break, as Allan Saint-Maximin’s vicious 25-yard effort took a deflection and forced Patrício into a smart stop.
There was a let-off for the Magpies to survive shortly after the restart, however. Wilson was dispossessed inside his own half, and Podence was given the chance to roam. He ended up squaring for Neto, who shot first time with his weaker right foot but failed to bring Darlow into action. Podence then took aim himself after a neat Wolves move, but Federico Fernández produced a sliding block.
With the second half following a similar pattern to the first, United then had a chance of their own. Murphy did well to pick out Wilson from the byline, with the frontman laying the ball off for Almirón in turn. The Paraguayan looked ideally placed and managed to get a shot away, only for Willy Boly to intervene at the last moment.
As time wore on, though, it was looking more and more likely that it’d be the home side who pinched a winner. And, with ten minutes to go, Jiménez looked to have provided it. Shortly after he brought a low stop out of Darlow at the near post, the frontman got the better of the United stopper from more or less the same distance; after the Magpies failed to clear their lines following a Neto free kick, Jiménez took a touch to set himself on the edge of the area before thumping the ball home.
However, it did not prove decisive. With 89 minutes on the clock, Conor Coady was penalised for a bodycheck on Wilson 20 yards out, and Murphy cleverly bent the ball around the wall and into the near corner before wheeling off in celebration in front of the Magpies’ dugout.