Newcastle 0-4 Wolves: Magpies hammered in Premier League Asia Trophy
Wolves will face either Manchester City or West Ham in Saturday's final, with Newcastle also playing in a third-place play-off, both live on Sky Sports Premier League
Last Updated: 17/07/19 3:18pm
Newcastle were hammered 4-0 by Wolves in the Premier League Asia Trophy on the same day that Steve Bruce was announced as their new head coach.
The former Aston Villa and Hull manager was confirmed as Rafa Benitez's replacement an hour and a half before kick-off at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on Wednesday, but his new side started pre-season with a resounding defeat.
Wolves got off the mark with a fierce Diogo Jota shot in the 15th minute, before Morgan Gibbs-White (32) added a second in a similar fashion. Jota added his second in the 39th minute to see Wolves 3-0 ahead at half-time.
That looked to be their lot as the second half wore on, but with six minutes to play, forward Thomas Allan (84) headed into his own net to pile on the misery for Newcastle and give Bruce plenty to work on.
How Wolves won in China
There were a few early wayward efforts, but it was a wonderful break from Wolves that saw them take the lead in the 15th minute. Jota started the move himself, tapping the ball into Jonny's path before he raced down the left flank. He then squared the ball back to his team-mate, whose fierce finish was turned home via a deflection.
Newcastle's unwanted record
Wolves' victory against Newcastle was the biggest winning scoreline between two Premier League sides in the history of the Premier League Asia Trophy.
The game continued to be fairly even, but Wolves showed their clinical edge again just after the half-hour mark. Jonny managed to steal the ball from the feet of Achraf Lazaar in a cluster of players before squaring it to Gibbs-White. In a similar fashion to the first goal, he took a touch before firing past goalkeeper Karl Darlow with another wonderful finish.
Seven minutes later, and it was another defensive blunder from Newcastle. Isaac Hayden had initially stopped a cross from Leander Dendoncker on the right. However, he was slow to clear and Jota nipped in to steal the ball from his feet before finding some space and sending the ball past Darlow for the second time.
As with most pre-season friendlies, the second period was littered with large rafts of substitutions. Taylor Perry and Dion Sanderson came on for their Wolves debuts in the 65th minute and, not long after, the former nearly nabbed a goal.
Niall Ennis made a wonderful run down the right-hand side - getting ahead of Kelland Watts - before cutting the ball back for Perry. Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman came out to try and smother, but the Wolves midfielder got his shot away, only to see it cleared off the line by Watts.
Perry was involved again two minutes later as he laid the ball off for Ruben Vinagre down the left flank. The Portugal wing-back got himself into some space before hammering an effort goalwards from close range, but Woodman was waiting at the near post to stop the effort.
The day went from bad to worse for Newcastle as Allan rounded off the game with an own-goal in the 84th minute. Vinagre was the dangerman again as he swung a corner into the area, with the Newcastle teenager inadvertently heading the ball goalwards, which pinged off the post before beating Woodman.
Analysis: Wolves have not missed a beat
Rather than just picking out one man of the match, several Wolves players deserve a special mention for their performances against Newcastle. Jota and Jonny ran the show in the first half, with the former thoroughly deserving his two goals, and it looked like they have picked up where they left off last term. Dendoncker also looked in good shape.
🐺Delighted to have made my first team debut for my boy hood club tonight ❤️hopefully it’s the first of many , dream come true. Thanks for all the support and messages appreciate you all 🐺🧡🖤🧡— Dion Sanderson (@SandowRs) July 17, 2019
The second half saw some superb work from Vinagre on both wings, firing an effort at Woodman from close range before his corner was turned home by Allan. He will be important for Wolves as they look to compete on multiple fronts this season.
Of the young players, Taylor Perry had an impressive 30 minute cameo, with Niall Ellis also showing what he can do on a few occasions. Of the six youngsters who came on today, those two should expect more minutes in Saturday's final.
Dawson and Jota reaction
Newcastle interim coach Ben Dawson: "I think (Bruce) would see the positives around getting minutes in the legs. He'd be disappointed with the goals being the centre-half that he was but he'll speak to the players and let them know when he arrives.
"It obviously clears up the uncertainty about who's coming in. It gives some clear direction - it's been difficult to plan - but now the players have something to focus on."
Wolves forward Diogo Jota: "Scoring goals always gives you an extra boost in terms of confidence and you have to take advantage of that and keep working hard to be 100 percent for the first match.
"For the second goal I tried to react fast to the loss of the ball. Fortunately, I scored and it was good for me and the team that we were able to make it 3-0 very soon.
"In the end it's always about performance, but if you can win, everyone would choose to win. We'll go there to win the match, but the main thing is to get ready for the official match."
Wolves will face either Manchester City or West Ham in Saturday's final (kick-off 12.30pm), with Newcastle also playing in a third-place play-off (kick-off 10am), both live on Sky Sports Premier League.