Wolves 0-1 Newcastle United
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the only goal of the game as Newcastle reclaimed top spot in the Saturday late kick off.
In a tight game, and one in which Wolves had much more of the ball, it would be the Serb who'd make the difference with a tap after a lovely back heal from Lascelles in the box after Wolves had failed to clear a free kick.
Que the obvious crazy celebrations from our number 45 just before half time.
That would be our lads last kick of the game, give or take, as Rafa would sub off the goalscorer just after the break fearing he would pick up a second yellow after one booking and an incident with the goal keeper that could, according to TV pundits, but surely not to most neutrals, have seen him carded for a second time. Good in game management from the boss.
STARTING XI: Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Colback, Shelvey, Gouffran, Ritchie (Murphy, 82), Diame (Perez, 88), Mitrovic (Atsu, 45)
And whilst the home side would push hard for an equaliser in the second half the Mags would hold strong to hand on to those precious three points and top spot once more.
Newcastle had started brightly and should have been ahead early i the first half when a lovely threaded ball from Ritchie would find Colback unmarked with only the keeper to beat. But Ikeme would narrow the angle well to keep out Jack's attempt when really he should have been more clinical.
Within 15 minutes Mitro had been booked as Wolves took charge on the game, at least in terms of possession. The booking was for what the referee had deemed to be persistent fouling, although the incident leading to the card seemed perfectly innocuous. A few minutes later there would be calls for the Serb to be sent off as both he crowd and Wolves players seemed intent on singling out our man. The 'stamp' as you can see from the highlights was no more than the man putting his foot on the floor after stretching for a loose ball.
With the big man now being goaded every time he made contact with anyone Rafa must have already been contemplating a change at half time, but before that could happen Mitro made a real and intentional mark on the game. A Shelvey free kick, Wolves struggle to clear, Diame's shot deflected to Lascelles who's deft back heal would find Mitro. GOAL!
With the goal coming on 44 minutes Rafa would decide to make the change at half time bringing on Atsu in place of the goal scorer.
And whilst Wolves would push hard in search of an equaliser in the second half they would only manage one shot on target in the whole game. Newcastle for their part would look strong at the back with a man of the match performance from Lascelles on his return to the starting line up having been dropped last week due to his poor form. More class management from our Spaniard.
So, tougher tests to come, but with only 16 games left a 7 point gap to 3rd placed Huddersfield puts Newcastle in a good place as the run in draws near.
Match highlights here: