Newcastle United 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Chris Wood penalty moves Magpies 10 points clear of relegation zone
(Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Newcastle United moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone after edging past Wolverhampton Wanderers by a goal to nil.

Chris Wood kept his cool from the penalty spot to seal the victory, sending Jose Sa the wrong way after having a goal chalked off in the first half by VAR for a narrow offside.

With the win tonight, The Magpies sealed their 250th Premier League win at St James' Park.

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Story of the game

After they were humiliated away at Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday, Newcastle made two changes for their first game back at St James' Park for 34 days, with Bruno Guimaraes and Emil Krafth coming into the side.

Wolves made two changes of their own heading into this fixture, with illness and injury affecting Leander Dendoncker and Daniel Podence, meaning youngster Luke Cundle and Hwang Hee-chan got the nod. 

It was a rather subdued opening 10 minutes to the game, with neither side threatening the goal. Newcastle were dominating the ball, and Wolves were happy to hit them hard on the counter attack.

21 minutes had passed until the first real chance of the match appeared. Miguel Almiron – who replaced Ryan Fraser after he went off with a hamstring injury – got on the end of a long range pass over-the-top of the defence from Fabian Schar but lashed his effort over.

Newcastle thought they had cracked the Wolves code two minutes later when Chris Wood found the net after some sublime give-and-go play from Almiron and Bruno Guimaraes. But VAR came to the rescue for an animated Lage in particular on the touchline, with the goal eventually ruled out for offside after a lengthy check.

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The visitors seemed to improve after that big scare and had there best opportunity through Jonny Otto, but he skied his effort over-the-top of Martin Dubravka's goal.

The Magpies had a free-kick in a dangerous position just before the interval, but Fabian Schar couldn't repeat his heroics of last weekend, with his strike collected by the Wolves wall.

Wood penalty the difference maker in a tight affair

Despite Wolves improving massively from their first half display straight out of the blocks after the break, it was the hosts who went the closest to scoring early on.

Schar's free-kick from the half-way line was flicked onto Dan Burn from Wood who, in an unlikely position, chested the ball down and shot, but Sa comfortably caught the effort. 

Hwang Hee-chan – who bagged a brace in the reverse fixture at Molineux earlier in the season – took full advantage of a misplaced Schar header and bursted through on the counter attack. The South Korean cut inside, faked once before shooting, but The Magpies managed to deal with the attack by Schar making up for his mistake by getting his body in front of the shot.

Newcastle came roaring again just after the hour mark – and really should have taken one of their two golden chances to break the deadlock.

The first opportunity saw Guimaraes find space down the right-hand side before crossing into the path of Allan Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman was free of Wolves defenders 12-yards from goal, but lashed his effort over the crossbar.

Saint-Maximin had a chance to redeem himself moments later as he broke free down the right and played the ball across the face of goal, but Wood wasn't quick enough to get on the end of it.

But 20 minutes from the whistle, Newcastle were awarded a penalty after Wood was taken out by an on-rushing Sa after he was played through by Joelinton.

The New Zealander kept his nerve from the spot and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give The Toon the lead – bagging his first goal in front of the home fans since his £25 million move in January.

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After Guimaraes came close to doubling Newcastle's lead, the Wolves onslaught on the Newcastle goal arrived – and Fabio Silva was at the heart of it.

The Portuguese youngster glanced a header agonisingly wide, before forcing Dubravka into a spectacular save after he managed to get a venomous near-post effort off from just outside of the penalty area, a minute after his first chance.

Wolves came again in the closing stages, but Newcastle stayed solid and secured the win giving them, once again, a double figure buffer from the dreaded drop zone.

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Starting XI's

Newcastle: Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Shelvey, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Fraser, Wood, Saint-Maximin. (4-3-3)

Wolverhampton: Jose Sa; Boly, Coady, Kilman; Jonny, Cundle, Moutinho, Marcal; Trincao, Hwang; Silva. (3-4-2-1)

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