Marcal produced a defensive masterclass to help Bruno Lage’s Wolverhampton Wanderers earn their first Premier League win of the season at Molineux.
The Brazilian wing-back may not have stolen the headlines like his attacking teammates Raul Jimenez and Hwang Hee-Chan did, but he put in a telling contribution to ensure it was a positive result before the October international break.
The former Lyon man has started every Premier League game so far this season and after a difficult performance against Brentford at Molineux previously, Marcal showed great character to respond with an assured display.
It was a bad at the office against Thomas Frank’s side previously.
In fact, it is the only Premier League game so far this season that Marcal hasn’t completed the full 90 minutes.
But such was his manhandling role in Ivan Toney’s penalty, Marcal showed no hangover from his previous misdemeanours and looked up for the fight against Newcastle United.
His defensive numbers against Steve Bruce’s side were that impressive that it was the first time this season that Marcal had registered at least one tackle, interception and clearance as well as blocking a shot (WhoScored) in a match.
Against the Magpies, the 32-year-old made four tackles, two interceptions, five clearances and blocked one shot (WhoScored).
In the battle of the South Americans, Marcal dominated the Paraguayan Miguel Almiron and didn’t give Newcastle’s number 24 a sniff.
Such was Marcal’s dominance over Almiron that the Newcastle player was substituted in the 76th minute.
He finished with only three more touches than his goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
Astonishingly, Marcal is only nine minutes off from surpassing his entire playing time in the Premier League last season.
Across 13 top-flight matches last season, Marcal played 620 minutes whereas already this campaign across seven matches he has played 612 minutes.
Although he did suffer with a couple of injuries last season, Marcal is benefiting from playing under a manager that sees his strengths.
Marcal is prospering under Lage and that’s something we may have not expected to see when he was out-of-favour under Nuno Espirito Santo.