Football News

Wolves 2-2 Newcastle: Pedro Neto and Callum Wilson standout in Premier League stalemate

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:30, 28 October 2023

Newcastle and Wolves maintained their current unbeaten Premier League runs following a 2-2 draw at Molineux this evening.

Eddie Howe’s men came into this contest on the back of a Champions League loss to Borussia Dortmund but had gone five games without tasting defeat (four wins and one draw) in England’s top division.

Wolves found themselves in the same boat, four games undefeated before the Magpies visited, and Gary O’Neil’s were able to sustain this recent turnaround in form despite a Callum Wilson brace.

The nine-time capped England international hasn’t been a guaranteed starter under Howe with Alexander Isak often preferred to lead Newcastle’s attack. However, with the Swedish marksman injured this was only Wilson’s fourth start from the opening 10 matchdays.

But if there’s one thing Wilson has showcased even with minimal running is that he’s a goalscorer through and through. Heading into this weekend’s contest he bagged five goals across eight appearances totalling 330 minutes. That already gave him the league’s best minutes-per-goal ratio (66) of any player to have played at least 90 minutes so far which following today’s outing decreased to an impressive 60.

Wilson’s deadlock-breaker was equally historic and contemporary. It was goal number 18 in 2023 with only Erling Haaland (24) and Mohamed Salah (19) being more prolific this year. Furthermore, he’s now bagged 44 top-flight goals for Newcastle in the Premier League era, only Alan Shearer (148) and Peter Beardsley (46) stand in front of him.

His second came from the spot meaning he’s now scored 16 of his 17 penalties, of those who have taken at least 15 in the Premier League, only Matt Le Tissier (96% – 25/26) and Danny Murphy (95% – 18/19) have a better conversion rate.

The home support though felt Newcastle’s penalty was a tad fortunate as Anthony Taylor deemed Hwang Hee-chan to have fouled Fabian Schär while in the process of clearing. Hee-chan though made amends with a 71st-minute equaliser. It was his fifth strike at Molineux this season, with no player scoring more home Premier League goals so far this campaign.

Wilson’s efforts can be matched by Pedro Neto’s performance. Mario Lemina’s header from his corner which initially levelled proceedings moved him to seven assists in the Premier League this season; only two Wolves players have ever provided more in a single campaign – João Moutinho in 2018/19 (8) and Adama Traoré in 2019/20 (9).

It might be a while before we see Neto registering an eighth as he came off with a suspected hamstring injury. “Their main player is going to be out way beyond January,” Paul Robinson said on Radio 5 Live. “What can Gary O’Neil do? How can he shuffle this squad, what can he do in January to replace him because at the moment he’s irreplaceable.”

A huge blow for a Wolves side that had been climbing up the championship table. As for their Geordie visitors, it’s a disappointing two points dropped, next up is a St. James’ Park showdown with high-flying Arsenal.