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Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – 1 New castle United

Nuno Espirito Santo wants his side to be “more clinical” after Newcastle’s late equaliser denied Wolves a third consecutive win.

Jacob Murphy’s 89th-minute free-kick rescued a point for Newcastle shortly after Wolves had taken the lead through Raul Jimenez.

Newcastle midfielder Murphy bent his low effort around the wall and just inside the post past goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

It was just the second shot on target from the visitors in a match in which they had 63% of possession.

“We were patient, we were a threat, we didn’t concede many chances and it is a game that we should finish with a victory,” said Nuno.

Jimenez had fired home with 10 minutes to go of what had been a lacklustre encounter that Wolves had dominated for long stretches.

Both sides managed just one shot on target in the first half, and while Wolves seemed the likelier to take three points they had to settle for a point that takes them into eighth.

“The mistake is that we need to be more clinical,” Nuno added. “We had many chances but we did not test the goalkeeper too many times. We were the better team.”

Newcastle remain in 14th after the fourth consecutive 1-1 result between the two clubs.

Karl Darlow saved Daniel Podence’s shot in the sixth minute in what turned out to be Wolves’ best chance of the first half, while Allan Saint-Maximin’s effort pushed away by Patricio just before the break was Newcastle’s first attempt on target.

Blocks by Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez to deny Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto typified a dogged display by the away side in the second half, and they battled back strongly after Jimenez’s fine goal had seemed set to send them home empty-handed.

Wolves fail to land killer blow

Wolves lived up to the statistic that says they are the Premier League’s slowest starters, failing to score in the first half for the 58th time – more than any other side in the top flight.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side showed was more urgency after the break, and even had vague hopes of a penalty shout for handball when Fernandez got in the way of Podence’s effort, but replays showed the Newcastle defender could have done nothing to get the back of his arm out of the way.

Jimenez’s excellent shot from just outside the area from a corner had enough power behind it to take it in off Darlow’s left hand, giving Wolves’ leading scorer his fourth of this campaign and what seemed to be the game’s decisive moment.

But with their next three games all against sides near them in the table – versus Crystal Palace, Leicester and Southampton – Nuno will be keen for his team to finish off sides when they have the chance.

Gutsy Newcastle battle through

A heavy defeat to Manchester United last time out, combined with illness and injuries affecting his squad, saw Steve Bruce make four changes to his starting line-up.

But for all their potential threat going forward, Newcastle worked hard without the ball for much of the match and Wolves’ main threats came from shots a long way from goal.

Fraser and his former Bournemouth team-mate Callum Wilson lined up alongside each other for the first time this season, while Murphy, who spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, made his first Premier League start since December 2018.

The 25-year-old Murphy, named at wing-back, took his chance with a clever free-kick that just squeezed in to give Newcastle a point from a match that they were never quite out of despite spending so much of it on the back foot.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says: “We didn’t have any natural midfield players who want to win the ball back today. We have to defend better than we have done of late, we have to be hard to beat.

“It was hard work but that’s the Premier League. Almiron does the hard work, it’s very hard for me to leave him out, he’s a manager’s delight. He ran himself to a standstill.

“We are trying to find a balance to the team, it won’t happen overnight but we are trying to change the way we play.”

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Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – 1 New castle United

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