Miguel Almiron came off the bench to secure a 2-1 victory for Newcastle United over Wolverhampton Wanderers to move them into fifth place in the Premier League on Sunday.
Left out of the starting lineup by manager Eddie Howe, Almiron got his chance in the 68th minute and made his mark 11 minutes later with a superbly-taken goal to boost Newcastle’s top-four hopes.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
Record signing Alexander Isak had given Newcastle the lead with a powerful header after 26 minutes, although the hosts were perhaps fortunate not to be down to 10 men after keeper Nick Pope appeared to take down Raul Jimenez in the box earlier.
To add to Wolves’ frustration, Pope made several top-quality saves and Daniel Podence fired a shot against the post.
But the visitors did equalise when Kieran Trippier slipped as he tried to clear the ball, giving substitute Hwang Hee-chan the easiest of finishes in the 70th minute.
Newcastle hung on to claim their first league win in six league matches to overtake Liverpool with 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.
Paraguay international Almiron could not stop scoring earlier in the season, but the goals have dried up of late. He burst back into form, however, with a curled finish after being played through on a pass from Joe Willock.
Izak, who was preferred to another out-of-form Newcastle forward in Callum Wilson, ran Wolves ragged at times in a tireless display and was rewarded with his fourth goal in nine league appearances since his big-money move from Real Sociedad.
“I’ve been wanting to play more, but it has been giving me a bit of fuel and I’m happy to start today and get three points,” Izak, who connected beautifully with a Trippier cross, said.
“I’ve had to be patient, but I’ve been working hard. I was happy to have him [Trippier] as my assist-man today. It was a great delivery and a good header too.”
Trippier’s unfortunate slip looked to have cost his side the points, but Almiron’s 11th goal of the season spared his teammate’s blushes.
Wolves, however, will feel they should have been awarded an early penalty and been playing against 10 men.
Pope took a clumsy touch of the ball and Jimenez nicked it off of him, but was then shouldered down by the keeper.
Referee Andy Madley surprisingly took no action though.