The home side took the lead as Ruben Neves lashed a strike into the bottom corner from distance in the first half. There was little the Magpies’ defence could do to stop it as it went through Joe Willock’s legs along the way after a ball from Goncalo Guedes out wide.
Fabian Schar may consider himself fortunate to not have seen red after VAR allowed his raking challenge down Pedro Neto’s calf to go unpunished beyond a free-kick.
Raul Jimenez thought he had made it 2-0 in the final ten minutes but the referee went to the VAR monitor and pulled it back for a clear foul on Ryan Fraser in the build-up.
This gave Newcastle a lifeline and Allan Saint-Maximin made the most of it with a phenomenal volley from the edge of the box to make it 1-1.
With Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson’s unavailability, due to a registration delay and an injury respectively, Chris Wood was presented with a huge chance to prove to the manager that he still has a big part to play this season.
The January signing from Burnley had only scored twice in 20 Premier League matches heading into this game, with one of those goals coming from the penalty spot against Wolves last term.
However, he was unable to add to that tally or grasp his opportunity as he struggled up front throughout the afternoon, proving that he is not good enough for Eddie Howe.
Journalist Josh Bunting dubbed him “ineffective” and that perfectly summed up his performance. He was unable to force himself into the game as he had just 14 touches of the ball – fewer than Nick Pope’s 32 – and failed to make the most of the service he was provided with.
The New Zealand international raced through on goal in the first half but forced himself wide and Jose Sa closed him down quickly enough to save his shot, which was his only effort that was not blocked by a defender in the match.
Off the ball, Wood did not use his frame and strength to his advantage. He lost a whopping 80% (4/5) of his individual duels as he was bullied out of the game by the Wolves defence.
The Toon flop, therefore, failed what may end up being his final chance to prove that he is good enough to start matches for the Magpies.
Isak, a striker, coming in for a club-record fee suggests that the club, and Howe, felt that position was in need of strengthening and Wood’s poor display makes that seem like a smart decision.