Miguel Almiron came off the bench to lead Newcastle United to a 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday to move them up to fifth in the Premier League.
Almiron, left out of the starting line-up by manager Eddie Howe, got his chance in the 68th minute and made his mark 11 minutes later with a superb goal to boost Newcastle’s top-four hopes.
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Record signing Alexander Isak gave Newcastle the lead after 26 minutes with a powerful header, although the hosts were fortunate to be reduced to 10 men after goalkeeper Nick Pop brought down Raul Jimenez in the box.
Pope made a couple of high-quality saves to add to Wolves’ fury, while Daniel Podens had a shot on goal.
But the visitors equalized when Kieran Trippier slipped as he tried to clear the ball before substitute Hwang Hee Chan finished in the 70th minute.
Newcastle claimed their first league win in six league matches as they overtook Liverpool on 44 points from 25 games – four behind Tottenham Hotspur with two games in hand.
Wolves remain in 13th place, three points above the relegation zone.
Paraguayan Almiron couldn’t stop scoring early in the season, but the goals came late. However, he recovered with a twisting finish after being passed by Joe Willock.
Better than Newcastle’s other striker in Callum Wilson, Izak ran Wolves in a tireless display at times and was rewarded with his fourth goal in nine league appearances since his big-money move from Real Sociedad.
“I wanted to play more but it gave me a bit of fuel and I’m happy to start today and get the three points,” said Izak, who connected beautifully with Trippier’s cross.
“I had to be patient, but I worked hard. I’m glad to have him [Trippier] today as my assistant. It was a great delivery and a good header.”
A poor slip by Trippier looked to have cost his side a point, but Almiron’s 11th goal of the season kept his team-mate from blushing.
Wolves, however, believe they should have been awarded an early penalty and played against 10 men.
Papa handled the ball clumsily and Jimenez pulled it away, but then the keeper shrugged it off.
Referee Andy Madley surprisingly did not act.