Yoan Gouffran stunner fires Newcastle into next round
Yoan Gouffran smashed home another stunning volley as Newcastle gained revenge over Wolves and eased their way into the fourth round of the EFL Cup.
The Frenchman, who scored in spectacular style in a 2-0 Sky Bet Championship victory at Derby earlier this month, repeated the trick to seal a win by the same scoreline at St James' Park, where Wolves had emerged victorious in the league on Saturday.
Matt Ritchie, having provided the 31st-minute cross from which Gouffran struck, had earlier fired Rafael Benitez's men into a lead they never looked like relinquishing and it was one they probably should have extended in front of a crowd of 34,735.
Newcastle went into the game intent on returning to winning ways following Saturday's reverse, which brought to an end a run of six victories in all competitions.
Despite both managers making eight changes with one eye on the weekend, the opening exchanges were keenly contested as Wolves sat deep and largely frustrated their hosts, although it was they who should have taken the lead with 24 minutes gone when Paul Gladon's clever flick put Jed Wallace in on goal, but keeper Karl Darlow was equal to the task.
The visitors were made to pay in short order, but the punishment was disproportionate as the Magpies struck twice within two minutes to take a firm grip on the tie.
Ritchie opened the scoring with a deft 29th-minute finish after playing a defence-splitting one-two with Jack Colback, and then turned provider by floating a cross towards fellow midfielder Gouffran who dispatched a stunning left-foot volley past helpless keeper Andy Lonergan from 15 yards.
Mohamed Diame might have ended the game as a contest within four minutes of the restart with an audacious chip which cleared Lonergan but came back off the bar before Gouffran skied the rebound over, and debutant Daryl Murphy and Colback both went close as the pressure on the Wolves goal mounted.
Diame forced a 61st-minute save from Lonergan with a long-range effort and then curled another over five minutes later with the Magpies looking to kill the game off, and defender Dominic Iorfa had to hack a away a goal-bound 76th-minute effort from Ritchie.
But Darlow denied substitute Ola John from close range seconds later with Walter Zenga's side battling gamely, if ultimately in vain, for a way back, but Murphy passed up a chance to wrap up the win at the death.