Chris Wood missed a golden chance to give Newcastle the lead against Manchester City yesterday.
The 30-year-old returned to the starting XI after being dropped to the bench last week. Wood started up front on his own, and got some joy up against the Man City defenders.
However, he was left to rue a big miss early in the game.
The Magpies worked it well down the right, eventually finding Allan Saint-Maximin in space. The Frenchman delivered a wonderful cross which was met by Wood, who tamely headed it down and into the fortunate hands of Ederson.
It was a big moment in the game. Just over 10 minutes later and Man City took the lead, kicking off their 5-0 demolition of Eddie Howe’s side.
Things might have been different if Wood had scored, and Ian Wright has criticised the £25million man.
Ian Wright believes Chris Wood has ‘got to do better’ with chance vs Manchester City
“You look at this chance and if I’m Chris Wood this is what I’m probably waiting for last night, I’m saying if I can just get a decent chance, a decent cross, or something like that,” Wright said on Match of the Day 2.
“He’s got to do better than that for a big man, he’s got to give himself some time. Drop off a bit so as this ball comes in you can go and attack it. That’s at 0-0. You make them nervy.”
It was the kind of moment that has summed up Wood’s Newcastle career so far. He hasn’t had a lot of big chances, scoring just twice for his new club.
Interestingly he’s had three goals disallowed now, including one yesterday for offside.
Personally, I thought Wood’s all around performance was alright yesterday. He held it up at times and brought others into the game. But he just didn’t have that killer instinct when the golden chance fell to him.
And it was the kind of chance you’d expect him to gobble up. He’s a big and powerful striker who is excellent in the air.
He’s probably been cursing Saint-Maximin at times for not putting a cross in, but he did exactly that yesterday. Wood just didn’t connect properly, leading to an easy save for Ederson.
Would it have changed the game? Who knows. Manchester City still probably would have blown us away. But we did create chances in the first half, and rued not taking them.
With Callum Wilson back fit and the summer transfer window looming, Wood really could have done with scoring that big chance at the Etihad. Now he’s left to wonder ‘what if’…