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Newcastle United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers. Premier League.

St James' Park, NewcastleAttendance52,206.

Newcastle United 3

  • A Isak (14th minute)
  • A Gordon (33rd minute)
  • V Livramento (92nd minute)

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

    Newcastle 3-0 Wolves: Magpies reignite European hopes with impressive win over Gary O'Neil's side

    Match report and free highlights as Newcastle beat Wolves 3-0 thanks to goals from Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento; hosts move up to eighth in the Premier League, six points behind Man Utd, after first home win since before Christmas; Wolves down to 10th

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Newcastle and Wolves

    Newcastle reignited their hopes for European qualification with a 3-0 victory over Wolves - their first at St James' Park since before Christmas.

    The Magpies' campaign had stalled in recent weeks, with just one win in their last four Premier League games and 12 goals conceded during that time.

    But just a week after being thrashed at Arsenal, Eddie Howe's side produced a much-improved performance against Wolves, with Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon scoring before half-time.

    Wolves went into the game one point and one place above Newcastle after collecting nine points from the last 12 available but were second-best throughout, and lost Jose Sa and Pedro Neto to injuries.

    Newcastle suffered a blow of their own when Kieran Trippier limped off, but their afternoon ended on a high when Tino Livramento poked in his first goal for the club.

    The result moves the hosts up to eighth, just four points behind sixth-placed Manchester United, while Wolves are two points and two places behind their hosts.

    Player ratings

    Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Trippier (7), Schar (7), Botman (7), Burn (7), Longstaff (6), Guimaraes (7), Willock (7), Murphy (6), Isak (7), Gordon (8).

    Subs: Livramento (7), Barnes (6), Almiron (6), Miley (6), Anderson (n/a).

    Wolves: Sa (5), Kilman (6), Dawson (6), Toti (6), Semedo (6), Lemina (6), Doyle (6), Ait-Nouri (6), Neto (6), Bellegarde (5), Sarabia (6).

    Subs: Fraser (5), Bentley (6), H. Bueno (6), Traore (n/a), Chirewa (n/a).

    Player of the match: Anthony Gordon

    How Newcastle swept aside toothless Wolves

    Alexander Isak celebrates after giving Newcastle the lead against Wolves
    Image: Alexander Isak celebrates after giving Newcastle the lead against Wolves

    After struggling past Blackburn thanks to a penalty shootout in their midweek FA Cup encounter, all signs pointed to another tricky afternoon for Newcastle.

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    Wolves arrived in impressive form and, with the dangerous Neto lining up against the struggling Dan Burn, would have felt confident of adding to their hosts’ defensive woes.

    But despite a bright start, Newcastle were able to contain Wolves for the majority of the game, with Howe admitting he instructed his players to allow their opponents to have the ball before hitting them on the break.

    Team news

    • Newcastle made one change from their midweek FA Cup win over Blackburn on penalties, replacing Jamaal Lascelles with Sven Botman.
    • Wolves made four changes from their FA Cup win over Brighton, bringing Craig Dawson, Nelson Semedo, Pablo Sarabia and Pedro Neto in for Santiago Bueno, Matt Doherty, Joao Gomes and Hwang Hee-Chan.

    Gary O’Neil’s side are one of the most effective teams on the counter-attack in the Premier League but were handed a taste of their own medicine after just 13 minutes when Gordon broke downfield, with Isak heading in Bruno Guimaraes’ deflected shot from close range.

    Burn shot wide when finding himself in space on the edge of Wolves’ box but Newcastle quickly scored their second, Gordon rifling in the loose ball after Sa and Max Kilman failed to deal with a low cross.

    There was further trouble for Wolves when Sa and Neto failed to re-emerge for the second half, although O'Neil said after the match he hopes to have the pair available for next week's game against Fulham.

    But with Neto joining the injured Matheus Cunha on the sidelines, Wolves struggled to cause Newcastle problems, and Martin Dubravka’s only work saw him produce decent saves from Nathan Fraser and Pablo Sarabia.

    Joe Willock should have scored Newcastle’s third when his header was cleared off the line by Toti Gomes, but Livramento faced no such problems in stoppage time, weaving past Wolves’ depleted defence before forcing an untidy finish past Daniel Bentley.

    It was a welcome return to winning ways at St James’ Park for Newcastle - but Wolves will hope the news regarding Neto and Sa is more positive than the 90 minutes they endured on Tyneside.

    O'Neil: Toughest spell of Wolves' season

    Wolves boss Gary O'Neil bemoaned the injuries to Sa and Neto, having already lost Joao Gomes, Hwang Hee-Chan and Cunha to fitness issues.

    "Quite a few things have gone against us in the last few days," he said. "I knew it would be a tough test but I’m really proud of the players.

    "They [Newcastle] have really good players coming back and a strong bench. That’s not where we are.

    "There’s no way Newcastle let us have a lot of the ball. We had a lot of the ball because we were really good with the ball. Newcastle press, especially at home.

    "We lacked a little bit of punch and the reasons for that are fairly clear. But there’s no excuses."

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    Following their 3-0 loss at Newcastle, Wolves' Gary O'Neil gave an update on Pedro Neto and Jose Sa, who both had to come off at half-time with injuries

    O'Neil accepted he may have to rely on some of his more inexperienced players amid their injury crisis, saying: "If it’s Tawanda [Chirewa] and Nathan [Fraser], then I need to get the best out of them.

    "Wes [Okoduwa] on the bench missed school yesterday to travel with us, so that’s the situation.

    "This will be the toughest spell of the season for us."

    Howe: O'Neil was wrong - we let Wolves have possession

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    Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe was in buoyant mood following their comfortable 3-0 triumph over Wolves

    Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said: "Our home form's always been so good since I came to the club, so to have our first wobble here was a concern.

    "I'm delighted to win today. It was a massive game for us."

    Howe also contradicted O'Neil's comments minutes earlier, responding "yes" when asked whether Newcastle deliberately handed possession to Wolves.

    "It was a slight tweak from our normal way of playing - a slightly more transitional game today," Howe added.

    "We’re not quite where we were last year and at times this year, but I thought it was better. There was a better physical look to us.

    "I thought we saw the confidence beginning to flow back into the group."

    Howe's tactical tweak confounds O'Neil

    O'Neil's stock has continued to rise this season after guiding Wolves into the top half of the Premier League, but he came out second-best to Howe as Newcastle stormed to victory.

    Wolves earned more than 55 per cent of the possession at St James' Park, with O'Neil saying: "There's no way Newcastle let us have a lot of the ball. We were really good."

    However, when asked whether he instructed his side to surrender possession, Howe said "yes", adding: "It was a slight tweak from our normal way of playing - a slightly more transitional game today."

    O'Neil may have just been defending his injury-ravaged side, with Neto limping off at half-time to potentially join Cunha and Hwang on the sidelines.

    But Newcastle's tactics worked perfectly, with Isak opening the scoring from a perfectly executed break - handing counter-attack kings Wolves a taste of their own medicine on their way to an emphatic win.
    Joe Shread

    Opta stats: Howe reaches his century

    • Eddie Howe has recorded his 100th win in the Premier League, making him the eighth English manager to reach that milestone in the competition.
    • Wolves have won just one of their nine away meetings with Newcastle in the Premier League (2-1 in December 2018 under Nuno Espirito Santo), while they’ve lost each of their last three visits to St James’ Park.
    • Newcastle have scored in all 18 of their Premier League games against Wolves - only Arsenal (26 vs West Brom and 19 vs Wolves) have faced a side on more occasions with a 100 per cent scoring record in the competition.
    • Alexander Isak has scored 12 goals in his first 20 home Premier League games for Newcastle - only Alan Shearer (21), Andy Cole (21) and Les Ferdinand (16) have scored more in their first 20 at St James' Park for the Magpies.

    What's next?

    Newcastle's next game is in the Premier League against Chelsea on March 11, live on Monday Night Football; kick-off 8pm.

    Live MNF

    The Magpies then face Manchester City in their FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday March 16; kick-off 5.30pm.

    Wolves are next in action at home to Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 3pm.

    Gary O'Neil's side then host Midlands rivals Coventry in their FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday March 16; kick-off 12.15pm.

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