Premier League 2018-19: 5 Talking Points For Newcastle United from their 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers
Newcastle United continued their battle for survival this evening as they faced Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium.
Coming on the back of a demoralising 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, the Magpies needed a victory to continue their good form while Wolves tried to make it four wins in a row.
Newcastle chose not to include either of their new signings - Antonio Barreca or Miguel Almirón in their starting line-up.
Almirón did, however, make it to the bench and was eventually brought on. Both teams lined up in 5-3-2 formations although Newcastle often tended to stay on the pitch in a 5-4-1 formation with Rondon being the lone man up front.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio (GK), Ryan Bennett, Conor Coady (C), Wilfried Boly, Matt Doherty, Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Jonny Otto, Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota
Newcastle United: Martin Dubravka (GK), Florian Lejeune, Jamaal Lascelles (C), Fabian Schär, DeAndre Yedlin, Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, Christian Atsu, Matt Ritchie, Ayoze Perez, Salomon Rondon.
The game was scoreless in the first half before midfielder Isaac Hayden put the visitors ahead in the 56th minute after being played in by Fabian Schär.
Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio had to take the blame for that goal as he failed to protect his near post for that goal.
The game looked set to finish as an important win for Newcastle but a last minute error from Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka allowed Wilfried Boly to nod home the equaliser and salvage a point for Wolves.
The result sees Newcastle in 16th place on the Premier League table, just one point clear of the relegation zone.
Wolves, on the other hand, remain in seventh place but Watford's 1-0 win over Everton this weekend combined with today's result saw The Hornets close the gap between the two sides to two points.
We take a look at the five main talking points from this game from Newcastle's perspective as we assess their performance.
Paraguayan international midfielder Miguel Almirón was signed from MLS Cup Champions Atlanta United for a record fee of £20 million. It was thus a big surprise that manager Rafa Benitez chose to keep him on the bench for this game instead of playing him in the starting eleven.
Fans had to wait till the 73rd minute to see their new signing come onto the field - replacing Ghanian Christian Atsu.
He took the position in the left of the attacking midfield duo and would form the widest person on that flank in a defensive situation.
His constant, lively movement, as well as his composure on the ball, were immediately noticeable.
His physicality, however, is far from Premier League standards and that was shown as he was given a "Welcome To England" moment by Portuguese veteran Joao Moutinho.
His ability to keep the ball under pressure as well as cause problems with his movement looking to win the second ball played off by Salomón Rondón were evident.
He had two brilliant chances to influence a possible second goal. The first was him finding himself inside the six-yard box after some good work but a heavy first touch allowed Ryan Bennett to clear lines.
The second was a brilliant cutback from the left flank which Ayoze Perez couldn't put into the back of the net.
In a twenty minute cameo, Almirón showed Newcastle supporters a glimpse of what to expect from him in the future.
He is no doubt going to be a crucial part of the starting line-up with creativity, intent, effort and intelligence being the focal points of his overall game - all attributes which Newcastle currently lack.