Allan Saint-Maximin volleyed in a brilliant 90th-minute equaliser as Newcastle extended their unbeaten start to four matches and kept winless Wolves in the bottom three.
Wolves thought they were going to claim their first win of the season thanks to skipper Ruben Neves’ excellent first-half strike.
But Saint-Maximin had other ideas.
When Hwang Hee-chan sent his mistimed clearance into the air, the Frenchman waited on the edge of the area before delivering the sweetest finish that gave Wolves keeper Jose Sa no chance.
In a pulsating finish, the visitors twice came close to snatching victory. First Saint-Maximin brought a fine save from Sa with a powerful shot, then substitute Elliot Anderson hit the bar with a far-post header after Raul Jimenez flicked a cross into the youngster’s path.
The result was a massive blow for Wolves, who thought they had made it 2-0 nine minutes from time, only for Jimenez’s close-range finish to be ruled out after a VAR intervention for a foul in the build-up.
Wolves were also angry Newcastle defender Fabian Schar was only shown a yellow card instead of red, following a VAR check, for a studs-up challenge on Pedro Neto early in the second half.
This was not a point won by Newcastle in the same thrilling manner as last week against Manchester City. But it said so much about the character Eddie Howe has instilled in his squad.
Even without new signing Alexander Isak – whose work permit is still to be processed, Callum Wilson and Bruno Guimaraes – both influential figures in last week’s six-goal thriller against the champions – Newcastle still found a way to get something out of a game they struggled to influence for the first hour.
Joe Willock was too slow to close down Neves for the Wolves opener and the visitors were passive in midfield.
Yet they never let their heads drop and did not allow themselves to be overwhelmed in the way Newcastle teams of the past might have been.
And, in Saint-Maximin, they have a player capable of moments of genius.
Wolves boss Bruno Lage will lament Hwang’s poor clearance, but the home defence had thrown their bodies in front of so many half-chances, there seemed little likelihood of the Korean being punished when the ball fell to the French forward.
Sa barely moved before the ball whistled past him into the corner – Saint-Maximin’s first goal of the season being well worth the wait.
The result means Newcastle are unbeaten in their first four games for the first time since 2012.
Neves leads by example
This was another example of Wolves failing to make the most of their overall performance.
At least they managed to score, after a wait of 302 minutes since their only other league goal of the season, by Daniel Podence on the opening day at Leeds.
And they were led superbly by Neves.
The Portugal midfielder was the automatic choice to replace Conor Coady as captain given he skippered Porto in the Champions League when he was just 18 and is one of the few remaining members of Nuno Espirito Santo’s Championship-winning squad.
Neves is not as vocal as Coady – hardly anyone is in fairness – but still has a massive influence on the squad.
The 60-yard cross-field pass from inside his own half that allowed Goncalo Guedes the chance to create a decent early opportunity for the lively Neto was sensational, given it was delivered as Neves was moving pretty quickly himself.
And if Newcastle were not ready for Neves’ 38th-minute goal, they should have been.
Exactly half of Neves’ 16 Premier League goals have come from outside the penalty area, including four of his past five.
The sight of him scrapping for possession inside the Newcastle half, when the game remained in the balance, epitomised the midfielder’s industrious approach.
Sadly for him, and his team, Saint-Maximin’s brilliance ensured it did not bring the victory that, for so long, looked likely.
Player of the match
Rúben NevesRúben Neves
Squad number8Player nameRúben Neves
Squad number7Player namePedro Neto
Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo
Squad number28Player nameJoão Moutinho
Squad number4Player nameCollins
Squad number17Player nameGonçalo Guedes
Squad number23Player nameKilman
Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá
Squad number27Player nameMatheus Nunes
Squad number9Player nameJiménez
Squad number19Player nameJonny
Squad number10Player nameDaniel Podence
Squad number32Player nameDendoncker
Squad number11Player nameHwang Hee-Chan
Squad number10Player nameSaint-Maximin
Squad number32Player nameAnderson
Squad number22Player namePope
Squad number2Player nameTrippier
Squad number24Player nameAlmirón
Squad number7Player nameJoelinton
Squad number4Player nameBotman
Squad number13Player nameTargett
Squad number21Player nameFraser
Squad number5Player nameSchär
Squad number23Player nameMurphy
Squad number33Player nameBurn
Squad number11Player nameRitchie
Squad number28Player nameWillock
Squad number36Player nameS Longstaff
Squad number20Player nameWood
- 1Malheiro de Sá
- 22Nélson SemedoBooked at 28mins
- 19Castro Otto
- 28João MoutinhoSubstituted forDendonckerat 90+9′minutes
- 17Gonçalo GuedesSubstituted forPodenceat 83′minutes
- 7NetoBooked at 58minsSubstituted forHwang Hee-Chanat 84′minutes
- 11Hwang Hee-Chan
- 5SchärBooked at 46mins
- 33BurnSubstituted forTargettat 65′minutes
- 28WillockSubstituted forAndersonat 84′minutes
- 36S Longstaff
- 24AlmirónSubstituted forMurphyat 84′minutes
- 20WoodSubstituted forFraserat 65′minutes
- 10Saint-MaximinSubstituted forRitchieat 90+9′minutes
Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Newcastle United 1.
Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Newcastle United 1.
Attempt missed. Fabian Schär (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left from a direct free kick.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Matt Ritchie replaces Allan Saint-Maximin because of an injury.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Leander Dendoncker replaces João Moutinho.
Elliot Anderson (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Nathan Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Elliot Anderson (Newcastle United) hits the bar with a header from the left side of the six yard box following a corner.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Jonny.
Joelinton (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matheus Nunes (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Attempt saved. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fabian Schär.
Attempt blocked. João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Sean Longstaff.
Attempt blocked. Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Elliot Anderson (Newcastle United).
João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Newcastle United 1. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.
Elliot Anderson (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
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