Forget Patricio: Nuno cost Wolves badly with crucial decision on electric £20m dynamo – opinion

Wolverhampton Wanderers were rocked by a late equaliser on Sunday afternoon as the Midlands outfit picked up their first draw of the 2020/21 season against Newcastle United.

Nuno Santo’s men took the lead ten minutes from time after Raul Jimenez rifled home a strike from the edge of the box, but an 89th-minute free-kick from Jacob Murphy, who squeezed the ball past Rui Patricio, earned a point for the visiting Magpies.

It was perhaps a harsh result considering the Wolf Pack dominated the match on their own turf, recording 67% possession and a total of 16 shots at goal, though if anyone’s to blame, it’s the Portuguese boss in the dugout.

He made a bold call to withdraw one of Wolves’ key attacking outlets in Daniel Podence just before the 70th minute and it was evidently felt.

The €22m (£20m) January signing was a constant nuisance, terrorising Newcastle’s goalscoring wing-back as well as Fabian Schar at right centre-back yet for some bizarre reason, he was the one to make way for Adama Traore over Pedro Neto.

Per SofaScore, the diminutive 5 foot 5 winger recorded five dribbles, three shots, two key passes and even won five duels up against the aforementioned duo.

BirminghamLive graded his display a 7/10 and said: “Wolves’ little winger was their most creative spark during a difficult first half against a Newcastle side who sat deep. Podence sent Murphy back to Newcastle with one rapid change of direction and skinned the same player again for a second time 30 seconds later.”

Podence was everywhere, forcing pressure on the Magpies’ backline with his electric energy and whilst, he wasn’t able to score himself, he clearly was coming close. One of his attempts at goal was expertly saved by Karl Darlow.

On the other side, Neto lost possession more (18 times), enjoyed fewer successful dribble attempts (three) and committed two silly fouls, also via SofaScore.

It remains to be seen if the home side would have scored another goal with Podence on the pitch but his presence certainly would’ve helped as he was evidently the main tormentor of the Magpies’ misery.

Fingers can be pointed at many players, but it’s Nuno’s call that’s cost them this weekend.

AND in other news, £25.2m-rated Wolves star was a woeful passenger vs Newcastle…

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