Wolves 1-1 Newcastle: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Last-Gasp Boly Goal Rescues Point for Wanderers
Willy Boly scored a controversial 95th minute equaliser to earn Wolves a last-gasp 1-1 draw against Newcastle United in the Premier League at Molineux on Monday evening.
In added time of stoppage time, a long ball was heaved into the box, which Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka attempted to catch under the crossbar, but the ball spilled through his hands under pressure from Boly, allowing the Wolves defender to head home and send Molineux into delirium.
Newcastle looked to have all three points in the bag when Isaac Hayden’s strike had put them ahead midway through the second half, but Bolly, who looked to have fouled Dubraka before scoring, restored parity at the death.
The first half saw few efforts on goal, but Wolves could have gone ahead were it not for a smart save by Martin Dubravka, who did well to react quickly and deny Jimenez following the striker’s powerfully driven shot.
Wolves enjoyed more of the ball in the first period, but could not find a way past the resolute Dubravka, as he got both hands behind the ball to keep out a fiercely struck effort from Jonny just before the interval.
The Magpies could have taken the lead with the last action of the first half, though Connor Coady did well to get a touch to deflect Salomon Rondon’s strike away from goal.
Newcastle grabbed the lead against the run of play on 56 minutes, Isaac Hayden’s strike creeping past the left hand of Rui Patricio, who should have done more to keep the ball out of the net.
The Magpies were on the verge of taking three points back to Tyneside before Boly’s controversial equaliser meant that honours ended even in what was a thoroughly absorbing encounter.
Check out 90min’s breakdown of the game below.
Key Talking Point
Having won seven of their last eleven games, Wolves would have expected to sweep aside Newcastle United, who have been under threat of relegation for much of the 2018/19 season so far.
However, the Magpies defended doggedly, not allowing the likes of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho any time or space on the ball to dictate the tempo of the contest.
As a result, it looked like they were going to be frustrated by the visitors, but Bolly’s intervention spared Wolves’ blushes in a scramble that will cause much debate after the goal was given despite Dubravka appearing to be impeded by several Wolves players.
Starting XI: Patricio (4), Bennett (6), Coady (6), Boly (6), Doherty (7), Neves (7), Moutinho (6), Dendoncker (5), Jonny (6), Jota (6), Jimenez (7).
Substitutes: Cavaleiro (6), Costa (6), Adama (6).
Despite being unable to get his name on the scoresheet, Raul Jimenez put in a tireless performance. His intelligent movement between the Newcastle centre-halves posed a real problem for the Magpies, who found it tricky to man-mark the Mexican.
It may seem a strange decision to name a forward as Wolves’ best player in a match that required a defender to score, but Jimenez looked the most likely to strike for the hosts, although they were toothless in attack for much of the second half.
Even though Jimenez did not score, he demonstrated the quality that could see him become only the second Mexican to score ten or more goals in a Premier League season, after Javier Hernandez.
Rui Patricio did not cover himself in glory with the concession of Newcastle’s goal.
The Portuguese international looked like he was anticipating Hayden’s strike to go towards the far post, but was caught out when he couldn’t get enough of his left glove behind the ball.
It was an incredibly soft goal to concede, especially given how dominant Wolves had been for the best part of an hour before the goal arrived, needless to say that Patricio will be kicking himself for his lapse of concentration.
Key Talking Point
Newcastle were unlucky not to pick up a point in their last game on the road as they conceded late on to fall to a narrow defeat against Tottenham.
This time out, they were hard done by again, as Dubravka looked to have been fouled in the build-up to the goal.
However, a point is still something that Newcastle can be proud of after such a gutsy and united performance, though they will still view it as two points dropped.
Starting XI: Dubravka (6), Schar (7), Lascelles (7), Lejeune (5), Yedlin (6), Ritchie (6), Hayden (7), Atsu (6), Longstaff (8*), Perez (6), Rondon (6).
Substitutes: Almiron (6), Diame (N/A), Manquillo (N/A).
The young Sean Longstaff was hugely impressive for Newcastle, demonstrating calmness and composure in the heart of midfield for the duration of the 90 minutes.
Longstaff only made his debut for the club on Boxing Day, but his performances in recent weeks have earned him a lot of praise, and the 21-year-old put in another exceptional shift for the Magpies at Molineux.
At such a young age, Longstaff must be given time to master all the intricacies and important details of the game, though he has made a simply stunning start to his career at Newcastle.
Although Newcastle did well to frustrate Wolves by getting men behind the ball, Florian Lejeune was suspect in the heart of the Magpies defence.
His positioning was questionable on a number of occasions, as he allowed Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez too much freedom to exploit space in the wide channels that came by virtue of Newcastle playing three at the back.
Luckily for Lejeune, it was a night where a sub-par performance did not end up costing his team all three points in their bid to avoid relegation.
Wolves are in action in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup on Sunday, as they travel to Championship side Bristol City at 13:00 GMT.
Newcastle’s next fixture sees them welcome Huddersfield to St. James’ Park in the Premier League on Saturday, 23 February, with kick-off at 15:00 GMT.