MAGPIES WINLESS: Wolves defeat continues Newcastle’s horror start
Hwang Hee-chan’s brace inspired Wolves and sunk winless Newcastle to pile the pressure on Magpies boss Steve Bruce.
The striker scored Wolves’ first home goals in the Premier League this season as Bruno Lage’s improving side bagged a 2-1 win.
Jeff Hendrick’s first-half leveller briefly threatened to upset the hosts’ momentum but they have now won three of their last four top flight games which threaten to ignite their season.
It was not a classic performance but it was good enough to beat the Magpies, who are still searching for their first win of the season and slipped to second bottom.
Bruce would have left frustrated after a tight game yet there was little suggestion Newcastle will avoid a relegation battle this term.
They began brightly enough with Allan Saint-Maximin the focal point but fell behind to the game’s first chance after 20 minutes.
It was more evidence Raul Jimenez’s powers are returning after his fractured skull when, fresh from his first goal in 336 days to beat Southampton last week, he turned provider at Molineux.
The striker brilliantly held off Sean Longstaff and slipped in Hwang to draw Karl Darlow and slide a low shot under the goalkeeper.
The confidence drained from the Magpies while Wolves, looking for successive wins for just the third time this year, grew and Joao Moutinho tested Darlow from distance.
There was, though, a lack of flow to the game which continued to be punctuated with breaks for treatment and Joe Willock was eventually forced off nine minutes before half time and replaced by Hendrick.
Chances were rare but Wolves should have doubled their lead when Francisco Trincao blew a golden opening.
Ruben Neves found Hwang and his cross reached Trincao but the forward smashed a thundering effort off the underside of the bar.
It was a wretched miss and Wolves paid the price 73 seconds later when the Magpies levelled after 41 minutes.
Joelinton raced onto Saint-Maximin’s pass and Jose Sa injured himself diving at his feet.
The ball ran loose and Neves lost possession on the edge of the area for Javier Manquillo to find Hendrick and, with Sa struggling to regain his position, the substitute drilled into the corner from 25 yards.
Wolves were furious and boss Lage was booked while a bottle appeared to be thrown onto the pitch from the home fans in the aftermath but there was little wrong with the goal.
Emboldened, Newcastle went for another after the restart and Sa needed to be alert to block Saint-Maximin’s close-range effort following Joelinton’s cross.
But Wolves regrouped and restored their lead when Jimenez and Hwang and combined again for the winner after 58 minutes.
Jimenez showed excellent skill and strength to turn Longstaff and ride a challenge from Isaac Hayden to feed Hwang and the South Korea international produced another excellent low finish.
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