Newcastle United put their three-match losing streak to bed with a 1-0 win over Wolves in the Premier League on Friday night.
Eddie Howe’s men lost to Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham in the build-up to this clash at St James’ Park, where Chris Wood’s goal was enough to seal all three points.
The 30-year-old thought he had given the Magpies the lead in the first half as he bundled the ball into the net from close range after clever play from Miguel Almiron and Bruno Guimaraes. VAR then deemed the latter to be offside and the goal was subsequently disallowed.
The New Zealand international’s wait for a St James’ Park goal did not go on much longer, though, as he converted from the penalty spot in the second half. He was brought down in the box by Jose Sa and dusted himself down to score from 12 yards.
Despite the win, there were some worrying performances for the Toon, and one of them came from electric winger Allan Saint-Maximin.
Magpies reporter Ciaran Kelly dubbed it a “tough night” for the attacker and the statistics back that up as the 25-year-old struggled badly throughout the match.
Off the ball, the Frenchman was a liability for Newcastle. As per SofaScore, he lost a whopping 15 individual duels out of 22 contested, which shows that he was physically dominated by the opposition. He was unable to stand up to the Wolves defenders in one-on-ones and was lucky that Bruno Lage’s team did not make him pay for it.
Saint-Maximin also made zero clearances, tackles, interceptions or blocks, whilst being dribbled past twice. This suggests that he did not put in the required effort defensively to win the ball back for Howe’s side.
On the ball, he was also ineffective. As per SofaScore, he had 52 touches and attempted 11 dribbles but did not create a single chance as a result of his involvement in attacks. All three of his attempted crosses failed to find a team-mate and he ceded possession a staggering 23 times in his 95 minutes on the pitch.
Overall, the Frenchman was a passenger last night as he was unable to positively contribute in or out of possession for Howe. He was nowhere near his best and he has now gone eight games without a goal or assist to show for his efforts on the pitch, which highlights his struggles of late.