Newcastle 1-2 Wolves: Player ratings as 10-man Toon concede last-minute rebound - (2021)
What a gutting late winner for the Newcastle fans. The home support clad in black and white must have howled at the header from Wolves' defender-turned-attacking dynamo Matt Doherty, who nodded in the deflected save from Martin Dubravka in the third minute of injury time.
Until then it had been pretty equal, including after the red card. If anything, removing DeAndre Yedlin, who looked uncomfortable operating in a right centre-back position to accomodate Javi Manquillo, on at half-time for an injured Federico Fernandez, made Newcastle's struggling defence marginally tighter, in terms of positioning.
Read more: Rafa Benitez rages at red card decision against Wolves
Diogo Jota's 18th minute goal had opened proceedings, with an excellently taken cross to the back of the six yard box chested down and volleyed past the helpless Dubravka, sold down the river by his idle captain Jamaal Lascelles.
Salomon Rondon nearly equalised five minutes later, hitting the crossbar with a ball which bounced on the line before being cleared. Rondon got to that ball, and crossed it in to find his regular strike partner Ayoze Perez, who nodded it into the very corner Rondon had tried to find seconds earlier.
From there the game fizzled out until the second half, when Mike Dean injected some life with the red card, on the basis it denied a clear goalscoring opportunity. Rafa Benitez disagreed, Nuno Espirito Santo agreed, surprise, surprise.
The dogfight continues at Newcastle, both in terms of relegation and ownership issues, after Wolves snatched three points neither side truly deserved.
Here's how the players rated.
Martin Dubravka 7/10
Not much he can do about a volley from two yards out. It was right at him, but he was sold out by his centre-backs. Distributed calmly. Made a save in the 80th minute from Matt Doherty's shot, but the dive made it look initially more spectacular than it was. Doherty later headed in a rebound that Dubravka could do little about. A lot of good saves today and unfortunate with the goals conceded.
DeAndre Yedlin 4/10
Read more: DeAndre Yedlin red card: Why the Newcastle defender was dismissed by Mike Dean
Abandoned Jota entirely, while telling Lascelles to pick him up as a marker. Lascelles didn't, but Yedlin also should take some ownership. Red carded for a shirt pull on Diogo Jota after a miscontrol putting the Portuguese through on goal. He was playing out of position at right centre-back, but going down to ten men at a crucial point in the match has to be criticised.
Jamaal Lascelles 3/10
Let Jota drift behind him and was positioned poorly for the opening goal. Really did not do his duty defensively there, refusing to listen to Yedlin's shouts that he needed to pick up Jota. Clusmy in the tackle today with a few clear fouls, including an off-the-ball hand-off straight from the rugby field on Adama Traore. A really sluggish and poor performance from the captain.
Some fans are saying Yedlin's red card was not a clear scoring opportunity because Lascelles would have got across if Jota was unimpeded. Not sure which performance they were watching.
Federico Fernandez 6/10
Hooked at half time for Javi Manquillo for an injury – he'd arguably been the best of Newcastle's centre-backs. Made an interception with good positioning, got a chance on target and had tackled well. Struggled with Traore a bit, but nothing too damaging.
Ciaran Clark 6/10
Pretty confident at the back, with some firm challenges. Conceded some fouls in threatening areas, but made up for it with some strong challenges.
Matt Ritchie 5/10
Poor in defensive positioning in an unnatural left-back role, but one excellent sliding challenge in his own box must also be mentioned. Some stilted moments in attack, but he's always energetic.
Ayoze Perez 9/10
Excellent header for his goal. A beautiful flick on at the end of Rondon's cross to find the far corner. Tireless in his work rate and a vibrant attacking presence.
Mohamed Diame 4/10
Didn't show for the ball and positioned himself poorly. Didn't shield his centre backs much either. Really hard to see what he brought today.
Ki Sung-Yueng 6/10
An early and senseless booking led to a pretty tame performance in the midfield in terms of defending. Passed a lot and controlled the flow of play in attack, but struggled to create lots.
Christian Atsu 5/10
Very little impact at all. Two good crosses and a lot of running, but no real end product.
Salomon Rondon 8/10
Rattled the bar with an excellent free kick, only to get to the cleared rebound and cross it in to Perez, who flicked it into the far corner which had eluded him. Nice flicks on today too.
Javi Manquillo 5/10
On for Federico Fernandez at half-time. Defensively shakey and he didn't provide any real stability. Yedlin was forced inside and looked nervous as a result.
Came onto the pitch with minutes to go and barely broke into a jog.
On for Christian Atsu very very late. Barely got involved.
Rui Patricio 6/10
Nothing Patricio could do about Perez's header, a flick of exceptional accuracy and quality. Otherwise a solid match of claims and saves.
Matt Doherty 8/10
Defended well, but he loves getting forward doesn't he? His late shot was a bit to central to find the net, but from the earliest part of his run from deep in the dying minutes of the game you somehow knew the ball would fall to him. Dubravka's save did, and he nodded it in to seal the match. Sheer belief, rewarded.
Ryan Bennett 7/10
Got stuck in, with a lot of first-up tackles and clearances, and he passed pretty confidently too.
Conor Coady 5/10
Passed a little nonchalantly, and didn't win the necessary header against little Ayoze Perez. Bit of a poorer game.
Willy Boly 7/10
Physical in aerial battles as always. Emphasised this when elbowing Perez in the face in the box. Strangely no sanction for a very unnatural arm movement. Otherwise a strong performance.
Ruben Vinagre 6/10
Could have crossed more accurately, and there were a few loose touches. He bombs on down the flank and can produce though.
Romain Saiss 5/10
Pretty poor today it must be said. Drifted in and out of the match and could really have pressed more in midfield.
Ruben Neves 7/10
Wasted an early free kick with a poor shot on goal from range. Pulled the strings in terms of dictating play and showed a decent passing range too.
Helder Costa 7/10
Excellent delivery like a laser to Diogo Jota's chest for his goal. Caused all kinds of problems for Matt Ritchie when he wanted to, but he fizzles out of games and today was no exception.
Adama Traore 4/10
Demanded the ball a lot and was sloppy with it. Really poor in attack in terms of touches and losing possession, and he's not in the side for his defensive qualities. Early bath at 59 minutes.
Diogo Jota 7/10
Snuck behind Jamaal Lascelles for the cross and took his chance excellently. Seemed to function well with Vinagre.
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Raul Jimenez 7/10
On for Traore. Smashed the crossbar with a strike on the counter. Unlucky it didn't bounce in via goal-line technology.
Morgan Gibbs-White 7/10
Another lovely composed cameo.
Joao Moutinho 7/10
Replaced Helder Costa and spread the play well.
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