With Bruno Lage’s Wolverhampton Wanderers side heading into Saturday’s Premier League clash on the back of a decent run of league form, the 45-year-old manager would have undoubtedly been hoping for yet another positive result when Wolves welcomed Newcastle United to Molineux.
And, while it was not exactly the best performance the Old Gold have ever put in, they nevertheless managed to overcome Steve Bruce’s winless Newcastle side thanks to two goals from summer signing Hee-Chan Hwang, with the South Korea international’s brace being enough for Lage’s men to secure a 2-1 win.
However, while the 25-year-old winger stole the headlines with his goals, Lage will have arguably been more impressed with the performance of Raul Jimenez, as, despite not getting himself on the scoresheet, the centre-forward put on a dominant display against the Magpies.
After scoring a match-winning first goal of the season against Southampton last time out, the 30-year-old striker will have gone into Saturday’s fixture in high spirits, and it certainly showed.
Over his 90 minutes on the pitch against Newcastle, the £25.2m-rated man proved an extremely creative outlet for Lage’s side, providing both of the assists for Hwang’s goals, making three key passes, creating one big chance and completing five of his six attempted dribbles.
The player who Nuno Espirito Santo dubbed a “special” talent also chipped in for his side in a defensive capacity, winning eight duels, making one tackle, one clearance and drawing one foul against the Magpies in a dominant physical display.
As such, while Jimenez did not manage to score himself, the 30-year-old nevertheless ran the show for his side on Saturday, with his performance undoubtedly giving Lage and the Wolves fans confidence that their team can continue their current run of Premier League form after the international break.