Alan Shearer provides 'big' verdict on Newcastle United win & 'tweak' vs Wolves

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Newcastle enjoyed a much-needed win and an even more enjoyable clean sheet at St James' Park.

Alan Shearer highlighted Newcastle's slightly deeper defensive line as the key to their convincing win at home to Wolves on Saturday.

Newcastle enjoyed an excellent return to winning ways back at St James' Park, producing a clinical performance to beat Wolves 3-0. Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon sent the Magpies into half-time with a commanding lead, albeit both goals were rather fortunate in pouncing on deflections and mistakes.

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Eddie Howe's side kept it tight for the second-half, absorbing pressure in search of a first Premier League clean sheet since mid-December, and ended up making it three courtesy of Tino Livramento. The full-back burst through in added-time and saw his slightly scruffy effort squeeze past Jose Sa and into the net.

As pleasing to Howe as any of the goals will have been the absence of any against his side, with Newcastle among the most leaky defences since the turn of the year. It was a strong defensive performance from the home side and Shearer pinpointed the decision to drop a little deeper as decisive.

“Something had to change because they'd conceded 23 goals in their last eight games,” Shearer told Match of the Day. “There was a slight tweak today, they sat a little deeper which meant there was less space between the lines in midfield. They did that really well and when they did win it, they looked to hit Wolves on the break.

“The first goal, you’ve got the pace with Gordon who is having a brilliant season. They were more selective when they pressed, they got men in and then chose the time to press. They stopped the ball going into the forward, not letting any space and then they won the ball and looked to hit them on the break with Gordon. 

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“Willock adds energy and legs to the team, he’s worked his way from the left to the right [for the second goal]. It's an incredible pass from Murphy, a mistake from the goalkeeper and Gordon gets his goal. It was a big win for Eddie Howe, a big three points and the clean sheet is an added bonus.”

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