Warm Down: Late Murphy free-kick earns Magpies a point
Jacob Murphy celebrating his goal - Photo Credit (Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Goals from Raul Jimenez and Jacob Murphy saw it end 1-1 at Molineux for a third year in a row.

It looked as if the hosts were going to register their first home win against the Magpies since 1977 when the Mexican forward's effort from outside of the box found its way into the back of the net.

Newcastle's stand-in right wing back restored parity in the 89th minute, curling his free-kick round the Wolves' wall and past Rui Patricio.

The game was far from a classic as Wolves struggled for fluidity when trying to penetrate the visitors' defence and Steve Bruce's men offering next to nothing going forward despite the amount of attacking players on the pitch.

The result keeps the Magpies in 14th position in the Premier League, seven points above the relegation spots.

  • Fortunate to come away with a point?

Steve Bruce claimed that "There wasn't much in it" at Molineux but the stats paint a very different picture to how the game went.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side dominated proceedings and boasted 16 shots to United's measly five.

Furthermore, they had the lions share of the ball and finished the game with 63% of the possession which saw them make 302 more passes than their opposition.

An alternative view point is to say that it was a good spirited defensive display from the Toon and it was certainly a big improvement on the 4-1 drubbing last weekend.

Other than the opening 10/15 minutes, Newcastle looked solid in defence and did well to limit a Wolves side that has scored the fifth fewest amount of goals in the division this season.

  • The importance of Miguel Almiron

Bruce handed the Paraguayan just his second Premier League start of the season against Wolves.

Almiron displayed his importance to the side and will have given his manager something to think about ahead of next week's clash against Everton.

His impressive work rate at both ends of the pitch is vital and his  tracking back helped the defence time and time again.

He may not have had much luck whilst attacking today, but his raw pace and endless energy give United an additional outlet on the counter attack which is something they often lack.

  • Has Jacob Murphy earned a run of games in the side?

Murphy has had a difficult time in Tyneside since his reported £10 million from Norwich City in 2017.

The wide-man has been loaned out to Championship sides in the previous two campaigns but this time around, he has shown Bruce enough to keep him around this season.

Yesterday was his first start in the league this season and he took it with both hands, winning the Man of the match award whilst playing in an unfamiliar right wing-back position.

Murphy had been a bright spark for the Magpies on their way to a league cup quarter final but is it time the 25-year old had a run of games in the league?

He made 26 passes, four crosses from open play and won possession back for his side on six occasion, more than any other player in black and white and his late leveller was his first Premier League strike since January 2018.

Steve Bruce was clearly impressed with Murphy and said this to NUFC TV: "He was arguably our best player today.

"The first week he came back, he looked like a different player and had a different attitude towards it.

"He looks as if he matured so I'm delighted for him. He deserved his chance."

  • A return to five at the back?

Newcastle lined up in a three/five at the back system against Wolves yesterday and looked a lot more assured defensively than they had been the previous week.

Bruce started last season utilising a similar system but eventually changed it being four at back as a result of the lack of creativity on display.

An improvement in performance from the last game can be taken as a positive but Toon fans will rightly be wary about adopting a system that has brought about such few goals in the past.

Newcastle welcome high flying Everton to St. James' Park in their next encounter and with the array of attacking quality that the Toffees have at their disposal, it wouldn't be a surprise if Bruce sets his team up in a similar way.

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