Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez says the Premier League needs video assistant referees immediately after Wolves scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner against his 10-man side.
Matt Doherty headed home the rebound after Diogo Jota’s shot was pushed into his path in the 95th minute.
Ayoze Perez’s superb header had pulled Newcastle level after Jota gave Wolves the lead before the break at St James’ Park.
Magpies defender DeAndre Yedlin was sent off by referee Mike Dean after 57 minutes – with the score at 1-1 – and Newcastle had a rejected penalty claim for a Willy Boly challenge on Perez.
“We need VAR now,” said Benitez. “In this game it would have changed everything. We were doing enough to control the game. How can you explain those decisions to all our fans?”
Jota was outside the Newcastle area when he was brought down, with Jamaal Lascelles was tracking back.
“The ball was far away (from goal) and there were other men close enough that it wasn’t a red card,” said Benitez.
“You can guarantee to me that the player in the corner of the box can score in the top corner every time? It cannot be a red card.”
VAR is set to be used in the Premier League next season, after clubs agreed in principle to their introduction.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said the red card “changed the game” and admitted his side were “lucky to beat them in the end”.
“It’s too difficult for me to judge because I’m on the other side of the pitch,” he added.
Newcastle forward Perez said: “I’m not saying if it’s a red card or not, but I’m pretty sure if it had been at the other end it wouldn’t have been a red.”
Newcastle felt they should have had a penalty when Boly appeared to elbow Perez as he jumped for a header in the box.
Play was allowed to go on and Wolves almost scored from the resulting counter-attack, keeper Martin Dubravka diving to his right to keep out Doherty’s curling effort.
Perez received treatment on the pitch for a bloody nose.
“I don’t know what we have to do to get a penalty but we just have to keep going,” said Perez.
“The guy elbowed me really hard straight in my nose, but the referee said it was the ball that hit me, not the elbow, even though I was bleeding.”
Benitez said: “It’s so obvious. The red card and the elbow in Perez’s face – we need the VAR.”
Persistence pays off as Jota impresses
Wolves’ week could not have gone much better.
This victory came four days after they ended a run of seven league games without a victory by beating fourth-placed Chelsea 2-1.
They were made to work hard by Newcastle, who had the upper hand before Yedlin’s dismissal.
But Jota was again influential, scoring his second goal in as many weeks and winning the free-kick which led to the sending-off. It was also his shot that was palmed into Doherty’s path late on.
Doherty had forced a diving save from Dubravka and Raul Jimenez hit the crossbar, before the former struck the decisive blow as the clock ticked down.
Victory was Wolves’ second in succession in the league – the first time they have secured back-to-back wins since early October.
For now, they can celebrate a place in the Premier League’s top 10.
Frustration for gutsy Newcastle
Newcastle have now failed to win their past three Premier League games, but could easily have taken all three points against Wolves.
They were on the front foot from the start, Rondon forcing a save from Rui Patricio with a fizzing half-volley moments after kick-off before smashing the underside of the crossbar with a testing free-kick.
As well as having 60% of possession in the first half, Newcastle had 10 shots, four on target – a tally they have bettered only once this season.
But the game changed when Yedlin was sent off as Newcastle slipped to a seventh defeat in nine home games.
The best of the stats
- Wolves have won six of their 16 Premier League games this season, more than they managed in the whole of their last top-flight campaign (five wins in 2011-12).
- No team have had more 90th-minute winners this season than Wolves (2, also Man Utd), with Newcastle losing to a 90th-minute winner for the second time this season; more than any other side.
- All seven meetings between Newcastle and Wolves in the Premier League have seen both teams score – it is the most-played fixture in the competition not to feature a clean sheet.
- Only Everton (91) and Arsenal (86) have had more Premier League red cards than Newcastle (82).
- Newcastle have picked up just six points from their opening nine home Premier League games this campaign (P9 W2 D0 L7) – their worst start after nine home matches of a season in the top four tiers of English Football (previously eight points in 1957-58, assuming three points for a win).
- Rondon has been directly involved in four of Newcastle’s past six Premier League goals (3 goals, 1 assist), including the past three at St James’ Park.
‘Enthusiasm disguises things’- what they said
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo: “A late win. Enthusiasm disguises things – we didn’t do the best performance. We allowed Newcastle to put us behind. We didn’t win our duels or manage the possession of the ball.
“A draw was clearly the right result. The red card changes the game. We were lucky to beat them in the end. Don’t always ask me about the referee please, it’s a tough job.”
Newcastle travel to Huddersfield on Saturday, 15 December (15:00 GMT), while Wolves host Bournemouth on the same day (15:00 GMT).