Newcastle 1-1 Wolves: Injuries the story as United drop two points

Last night, Newcastle hosted Wolves in a Premier League fixture that was marred by injuries to some big names. Despite having some great chances and being the better team for most of the game, Newcastle were unable to capitalise on a poor display from the visitors and had to settle for a draw.

The injuries

The most concerning thing to come from the game last night lay in the form of yet another injury crisis. Miguel Almiron took a knock in the first half and had to depart at the break, Allan Saint-Maximin went down midway through the second period and limped off before Emil Krafth was taken off with an injury late on… just to add insult to injury.

Miguel Almiron’s knee injury seems to be the worst of the three, with Steve Bruce making some pretty concerning comments to Sky Sports last night. Bruce told the broadcasters: “For Miggy to come off and be in the state he is in, we fear the worst.” However, he did then say to written press “Let’s hope it’s not that bad… It’s too early to speculate how serious it was.” So, mixed messages as per. Almiron faces a scan tomorrow to determine the severity.

Newcastle 1-1 Wolves highlights - Injury latest as Magpies draw at St  James' Park - Chronicle Live
Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin limps off with the physio after suffering what looked like a groin injury during the game

Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury has not really been mentioned yet, so no real details of the length of time we could be without him up to now. One thing is for certain, if we’re without Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron long-term, the future looks bleak.

Wolves were there for the taking

The first half performance from Newcastle last night was pretty decent. The attacking play was free-flowing, the chances were coming and we could have been comfortably in front at the break.

Allan Saint-Maximin was terrorising that Wolves defence down the left side, and should have had an assist early on after cutting it back to Joe Willock in the area – only for the on-loan midfielder’s shot to be well saved by Rui Patricio. ASM did turn home the rebound, but was comfortably offside when he did so.

The chances for Newcastle dried up as the half went on, and Wolves finished the first period with a flourish, giving Martin Dubravka a few things to worry about. In the second period, we once again started quite well – but this time we managed to sneak into the lead as Jamaal Lascelles nodded home in the area. The cross came from Ryan Fraser on the right, who picked the ball up after ASM’s delivery was nodded clear.

The equaliser came 20 minutes later after Matt Ritchie was subbed on in place of the injured Emil Krafth. Wolves broke down the right with Jonny Otto who delivered a great cross to Ruben Neves at the back post. Leaning back, he headed it into the corner of Martin Dubravka’s goal, although the United number one will be kicking himself for not keeping it out after having gotten such a heavy hand to it.

There looked to be some confusion with who was playing where following the sub, as the players looked all at sea when Wolves broke. Lascelles and Bruce were both asked about it post-game, and both admitted there was indeed confusion to do with Bruce’s instructions.

Newcastle United 1-1 Wolves: Premier League – as it happened | Football |  The Guardian
Wolves midfielder Reuben Neves scored his first ever headed goal last night to rescue a point for the visiting team

Of course, Bruce blamed Matt Ritchie for the confusion and then Martin Dubravka for the goal going in. Both were somewhat justified, but most managers would carry that responsibility themselves – not our Brucey though.

Dubravka perhaps could have kept out Ruben Neves’ headed effort, so does deserve a little criticism for that. Then again, what do you expect when he’s barely played all season? Ring rust is to be expected. He did then make an incredible stop a few minutes later which rescued a point for us, so he made up for his error.

Moving forward

In the next few weeks, Newcastle have games against West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Brighton. Meanwhile, Fulham – who drew with Palace today – face Spurs, Liverpool and City. This next few games could be massive for Newcastle. If we could get six points from those games, we should be able to build up a decent gap to the bottom three.

However, with the injuries to our attacking line, it’ll be tough. Callum Wilson doesn’t seem too far from a return to action right now – but if Miggy and ASM are both out for a while then we’re going to need to see the likes of Ryan Fraser and Jacob Murphy step up to the plate in a creative sense.

Murphy looked a threat off the bench last night, but he needs to find some consistency in his game. No good playing well every now and then – he needs to do it every week.

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