Newcastle United knew that it was going to be difficult containing a resurgent and inspired Raul Jimenez against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but they look petrified to even lay a glove on the Mexican striker.
There were always going to be testing periods playing against a buoyant Bruno Lage side who were desperate to score and earn their first Premier League point of the season at Molineux.
But Steve Bruce’s side didn’t half give them a helping hand with some sloppy moments that gifted the hosts some dangerous moments which they inevitably took full advantage of.
Jimenez too much to handle for Newcastle
Jimenez was often dropping deep to get on the ball and Newcastle’s defenders didn’t know whether to follow the former Benfica man or pass him onto their midfielders.
In the 19th minute, Jimenez dropped into the attacking midfield role and it was Matt Ritchie who toyed with the either of following the 30-year-old, but Newcastle’s left-back had to follow the run of Nelson Semedo.
Sean Longstaff tried to dispossess Jimenez but he made a weak and feeble attempt to win back possession for this side.
The powerful Jimenez escaped Longstaff and was free to run at the Newcastle defence, he then played a perfectly-weighted pass into Hwang Hee-chan, who managed to allude the entire Newcastle backline before slotting past Karl Darlow with ease.
Wolves’ number nine often had far too much time on the ball and he was constantly dragging and pulling the Newcastle defence into positions they didn’t want to be.
It was Jimenez who carved Newcastle apart to help his side regain the lead. In the 58th minute, he was able to collect a pass from Ruben Neves before getting away from Jeff Hendrick, Isaac Hayden and Longstaff with a clever turn.
He then played another pass straight into Hwang’s path who scored his second goal which proved to be the winner.
It was a great piece of skill to get away from the Newcastle players, but it was weak from the Magpies’ trio.
It was almost as if they didn’t want to engage with Jimenez physically, they just simply backed off him.
The Mexican made three key passes and completed five dribbled during the match; only Allan Saint-Maximin completed more (8).
But unlike Newcastle’s star man who was fouled four times, Jimenez was only fouled once, Bruce’s side just couldn’t get near him.
With Newcastle welcoming Tottenham to St. James’ Park after the international break, Bruce’s team can ill-afford to give Harry Kane the same time, space and respect they gave Jimenez otherwise they will be punished in the same vein.