Newcastle United 1-2 Wolves
A furious Rafa Benitez called for VAR to be introduced with immediate effect after pointing to two key decisions in a game that ultimately saw Newcastle lose to an injury time goal whilst playing 30 minutes with ten men.
Benitez was already beside himself on the touchline after he watched Yedlin given his marching orders on 57 minutes to what the referee, Mike Dean, adjudged to be a professional foul with the game poised at 1-1. Rafa’s view being that Lascelles was in a covering position meaning Yedlin should not have walked.
To make matters worse, with 10 minutes left to play and with Newcastle still trying to win the game, a blatant elbow in the face of Perez by Boly left the Newcastle player with a bloodied nose. No penalty. No red card. Just disgusting in all honesty!
To then lose the game in the 94th minute, having been the better side for large spells, including when a man light would just have rubbed salt into the wounds of the Spaniard.
Rafa’s men should be proud of the performance they put in. Perez in particular having a really good game, and getting his goal as a reward. Rondon too was immense. Rafa will certainly be hoping he can now stay fit for the remainder of the season.
At the back too Fernandez in particular had a good game, and Atsu (in for the rested Kenedy) should also get a mention.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Lascelles, Fernandez (Manquillo, 45), Clark, Ritchie, Yedlin, Diame, Ki, Atsu (Kenedy, 89), Perez, Rondon (Joselu, 86)
You felt sure that had Newcastle kept their full complement of players on the pitch for the full game that the points were there for the taking.
In truth the Yedlin sending off could be debated either way. It’s fair to say that if that challenge had been at the other end the Newcastle fans would have been asking for the same outcome (not that they’d get it with no red card received by an opposing player in a league game for over 5 years).
Wolves had hit Newcastle with something of a sucker punch early on. Questions will be asked of Lascelles after he left Jota to nod home unmarked after a pretty simple cross was just not defended at all.
To that point, 17 minutes, Newcastle had been on top. And it wouldn’t take long before Newcastle were back on level terms. A cross cleared to Rondon was whipped back in for Perez to glance home for his second of the season.
The games ebbed and flowed from then, but with Newcastle starting to push on after a really strong first half, a quick break away 10 minutes into the second from Wolves lead to Yedlin’s dismissal.
Both teams tried to find the knock out punch from then until deep into stoppage time, a fact reflected in a 50/50 possession stat and only 1 shot difference between the two teams over the entire 95 minutes. But Wolves would find that winner after overloading the Newcastle box, Doherty nodding home as the ball broke kindly to him.
Rafa furious, the fans gutted, the points tally not added too.
They say things even themselves out over a season. Not for Newcastle United they don’t. I for one can’t wait for VAR, perhaps we might get out fair share from then on!