WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: An assistant referee wears a hat, due to the sunny conditions during the Barclays Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United at Molineux on October 1, 2011 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
This game is perhaps best epitomized by a sequence that happened in the 65th minute. Wolverhampton, already down 2-0, were doing their best to pressure Newcastle into making mistakes, and they were successful when Fabricio Coloccini attempted to let a ball roll out of bounds. The ball stayed on the line, a Wolves player (was it O'Hara?) picked it up, dispatched of Colo in typical Wolves fashion, and crossed into the box. The result was a pinball-like ricochet, one that happened so fast that I couldn't count how many players it hit. My best guess is that Tim Krul made two saves and two other Newcastle players contributed blocks.
It was that sort of game for Wolves, who were not able to finish until the very end of the game. They can partly blame themselves - certainly several of their players will be seeing missed chances in their sleep - but they can also blame Tim Krul, who was a stalwart between the posts. He made good decisions, leaving his line to great effect when necessary, and he also made several of the reaction that he is quickly becoming famous for.
On the other side, Newcastle hardly put on a clinic, but they buried their chances, which is something Wolverhampton will not be able to claim. Demba Ba put in an early header on a Yohan Cabaye corner, and Jonas Gutierrez contributed later on when he was able to elude three defenders and bury a shot that Wayne Hennessey had no chance at.
Of course, Wolves tried their best to come back, and they were rewarded in the 88th minute when Steven Fletcher scored on a header. They'll also have their gripes with referee Mark Halsey. A penalty could have been given against Steven Taylor in the first half (though in my biased eyes, I believe the right call was made), and then a Kevin Doyle was disallowed as he was called offside when he clearly wasn't.
Newcastle should have finished this game better. The substitutions made (and not made) by Alan Pardew were less than ideal, and the Magpies got caught with their pants down at the end when they were clearly trying to play the clock out. Still, a win is a win, however lucky, and I'll not complain.
Who was the Man of the Match for Newcastle?
Tim Krul (26 votes)
Demba Ba (0 votes)
Jonas Gutierrez (2 votes)
Steven Taylor (2 votes)
Other (1 vote)
31 total votes