Report | Wolves 2-2 Newcastle

Wolves 2 (Lemina 36, Hwang 71) Newcastle 2 (Wilson 22 & 45+4)

Wolves came from behind twice to earn a deserved point from a captivating Saturday evening clash with Newcastle United at a rain-soaked Molineux.

Hee Chan Hwang was the Wolves hero once again, turning home his seventh goal of the season with 19 minutes remaining at a lively Molineux, as Gary O’Neil’s side made it five matches unbeaten in the Premier League.

They did it from a losing position after Callum Wilson had given the visitors the lead against the run of play. Mario Lemina headed home his first goal for the club from a Pedro Neto corner, before Wilson’s controversial penalty had the Magpies ahead at the break. Wolves wouldn’t be denied however, and Hwang earned them a deserved point in the second half. 

Two in-form teams, doing battle under the lights at Molineux. The chances of an entertaining battle were high and the 5.30pm kick-off didn’t disappoint.

Wolves had been the better side in the opening 20 but couldn’t put their positive play to good use. Rayan Ait-Nouri and Boubacar Traore both missed the target from distance, before Matheus Cunha passed up the best early opening. When Kieran Trippier uncharacteristically gave the ball away in a dangerous area, Hwang laid off for Cunha, but the Brazilian, lurking on the edge of the box, side-footed straight at Nick Pope with little power.

Then, a matter of moments later the visitors took the lead. Anthony Gordon’s hanging cross was targeted by Sa, but the goalkeeper got his claim all wrong, and although Toti brilliantly denied Wilson initially, the striker acrobatically turned the loose ball into the net to give Newcastle the advantage.

Wolves have grown under O’Neil in recent weeks however, and were almost level soon after. Cunha beat three in the middle with his quick feet and was away, leading to a fierce low strike which was turned wide by a strong arm of Pope. The goalkeeper had to be at his best soon after to turn over Neto’s blasted effort, too.

Finally, however, Wolves were rewarded for their promising half. Goals from corners have been hard to come back for O’Neil’s side this season but for no longer, as Neto’s corner dropped invitingly at the back post and Lemina was too strong and too hungry for Trippier, beating the full-back to the ball and powering his header beyond Pope.

The half ended with two contentious decisions, both of which were checked, and both of which went against Wolves. First Hwang was penalised for catching Fabian Schar, and with the amount of contact in question, given the lengthy VAR check, the Old Gold will feel it should have been overturned. VAR decided not and Wilson squeezed his penalty beyond Sa.

Then, with final act of the half, Cunha beat a stranded Pope to a loose ball and rounded the goalkeeper, only to believe his following cross came off the hand of Bruno Guimaraes. Again, VAR checked, but Wolves were left frustrated once more. Molineux made its feelings clear when the whistle was blown.

Half-time | Wolves 1-2 Newcastle

The opening 20 minutes of the second half were all Wolves, but turning dominance into chances was again proving difficult. Four times the Old Gold worked the ball to Nelson Semedo on space, but on each occasion the desired delivery was missing.

The ball just wasn’t falling for the hosts, until on the 71st minute, when it did. Pope opted to punch Tommy Doyle’s free-kick and Toti collected the loose ball, before showing feet of a winger to work into a position where he could slip Hwang in, and the Korean was composed to cut back past Dan Burn and fire home at the near post to draw Wolves level once again.

Molineux was absolutely rocking, but sadly the atmosphere was dampened somewhat as, when flying into a shooting position, Neto pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury. After receiving treatment, the Portuguese was stretchered off to applause from all four sides of the sodden stadium.

That injury changed the momentum, with both sides teasing a winner, without going all out. The eight minutes of added time came and went without incident, with both sides content with a point following an entertaining affair.

Full-time | Wolves 2-2 Newcastle

Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Kilman, Dawson, Toti, Ait-Nouri, Lemina (Gomes 86), Traore (Doyle 54), Neto (Kalajdzic 77), Hwang, Cunha.

Unused subs | Bentley, Jonny, Doherty, S Bueno, Sarabia, Silva.

Newcastle | Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Burn, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton, Almiron (Willock 72), Gordon, Wilson.

Unused subs | Dubravka, Gillespie, Dummett, Ritchie, Targett, Krafth, Hall, Livramento.