Ruben Neves earns Wolves a draw at Newcastle

El Ghazi’s early goal at Elland Road secured Aston Villa a 1-0 win against Leeds

 Ruben Neves equalises for Wolves against Newcastle at St James’ Park. Photograph: PA

Ruben Neves equalises for Wolves against Newcastle at St James’ Park. Photograph: PA

 

Newcastle 1 Wolves 1

Injury-hit strugglers Newcastle United were held to a 1-1 home draw by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday after Jamaal Lascelles’ opener for the Magpies was cancelled out by a Ruben Neves header.

The point leaves Newcastle 17th on 26 points from 26 games, four points above the relegation zone but having played a game more than third-bottom Fulham, who visit Crystal Palace on Sunday, while Wolves are 12th on 34 points.

Having seen Miguel Almiron hit a post in the first half, Newcastle went ahead seven minutes into the second as winger Ryan Fraser picked out Lascelles with a cross that the central defender met with a powerful header to give his side the lead.

By that stage Paraguayan Almiron had already gone off injured and was soon followed by French winger Allan Saint-Maximin, who appeared to damage a groin muscle, and Swedish defender Emil Krafth as the tide turned in Wolves’ favour.

Portugal midfielder Neves put the visitors level with a superb header from Pedro Neto’s cross in the 73rd minute, and Newcastle were forced to defend deeper and deeper.

A rare late foray resulted in a superb chance for Newcastle’s Brazilian striker Joelinton and his thunderous shot beat goalkeeper Rui Patricio, only to hit defender Romain Saiss just in front of the goal-line and spin away for a corner.

The drama did not end there as Wolves mounted one final push and home keeper Martin Dubravka, making his first league appearance of the season, had to make a reflex stoppage-time save to secure a point for his team.

Leeds 0 Aston Villa 1

Anwar El Ghazi’s early goal clinched Aston Villa a 1-0 win at Leeds and lifted his side to within a point of the Premier League’s top six.

Aston Villa’s Dutch striker Anwar El Ghazi celebrates scoring at Elland Road. Photograph: Getty Images
Aston Villa’s Dutch striker Anwar El Ghazi celebrates scoring at Elland Road. Photograph: Getty Images

El Ghazi was left unmarked to turn home the only goal from close range in the fifth minute and dogged defending saw Villa avenge their 3-0 home defeat to Leeds in October. Villa secured just their second win in seven league games on the road, while Leeds’ see-saw first season back in the top flight continued.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side were denied back-to-back home wins after Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat of Southampton and were rarely allowed to hit the same heights.

When Raphinha went close to scoring inside the opening 30 seconds — he just failed to connect with Patrick Bamford’s cross — it appeared this would be another game at Elland Road this season that you could not take your eyes off.

But while it ebbed and flowed in the first half, Villa shut down their opponents after the interval and for Leeds the game ended in a whimper.

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