Wolverhampton Wanderers recorded their first draw of the season but it’ll feel like two points dropped given their dominance at Molineux.
Nuno Santo’s side took the lead through a Raul Jimenez scorcher after the Mexican latched onto a rebound following a weak Pedro Neto free-kick and it looked to be their game until Jacob Murphy produced a piece of magic of his own.
The Magpies wing-back curled home set-piece past Rui Patricio, though the home goalkeeper probably should’ve done better with the wall as well as his save attempt.
However, there were other players to blame on the pitch, such as Leander Dendoncker, who was an absolute passenger throughout the 90 minutes.
He did make all of his 47 passing attempts, recording a 100% success rate, but that’s pretty much all he was – sideward and backward passes galore.
Per SofaScore, the 25-year-old lost 86% of seven duels contested, was dribbled past twice and failed to record a single shot, key pass or interception. The Belgian pretty much watched the game go by.
It’s a bold call from Nuno to pair both Ruben Neves and Dendoncker together in a two-man midfield given they offer quite a few similarities. The influence of Joao Moutinho as not just a creative outlet but also for his tough-tackling nature was sorely missed.
Dendoncker failed to repay the faith put in him and should be a candidate to be dropped next week when Wolves host Crystal Palace, another side that doesn’t create many chances like Newcastle.
Steve Bruce’s side enjoyed just two shots on target from five attempts, compared to a total of 16 shots by the home side. Throw in their 37% possession, and then it’s hard to argue that the Magpies deserved much from the game at all.
Valued at £25.2m by Transfermarkt, Dendoncker has failed to contribute to a goal in five starts in all competitions. In two of Wolves’ three Premier League victories this season, he was deployed an anchorman in a three, this is the only time he should be utilised.
AND in other news, Blow to £30k-p/w starlet could damage his Wolves hopes…