Newcastle battled to a thrilling 3-2 victory over a spirited Nottingham Forest on Saturday Night Football.
After seeing fellow strugglers Luton and Everton lose earlier in the day, Nottingham Forest sensed an opportunity for some breathing space in the battle to beat the drop, but Newcastle had other ideas.
Bruno Guimares’ smart volley gave the visitors the lead but Forest fought back through Anthony Elanga.
In a topsy-turvy first 45 minutes Newcastle restored their advantage through Fabian Schar but again the home side roared back as Callum Hudson-Odoi’s deflected strike beat Martin Dubravka to level the scores again.
Forest started the second half well and were denied a penalty by referee Anthony Taylor and VAR Tony Harrington when Taiwo Awoniyi went to ground under a challenge from Dubravka.
However, it was Newcastle who took the lead for a third time as Guimaraes added his second of the night. Eddie Howe’s side, who have now picked up four straight away wins in all competitions for the first time since 2016, didn’t repeat the mistakes of earlier in the game and held on for a win that sees them move up to seventh.
Meanwhile, Forest, who are now without a win in the league in four games, stay 16th and just two points above the drop zone.
How Bruno inspired Newcastle to Forest win
Backed by a hostile atmosphere, Forst were quick out of the traps. They have had plenty of success with counter-attacking football already under Nuno and they should have taken the lead as early as the fifth minute when Nuno Tavares’ cut back picked out Gibbs-White, who dragged his strike wide.
Despite the quick start from the hosts, it was Newcastle who took the lead. Forest were caught asleep at a corner as Miguel Almiron went short to Kieran Trippier, and the England full-back whipped the ball to the far post for Guimaraes to produce a brilliant volleyed finish.
Forest still looked a threat on the break and Martin Dubravka had to be alert to deny Elanga, but the winger made no mistake when presented with a second opportunity in the 26th minute. Gibbs-White’s inch-perfect pass released Elanga in behind Dan Burn, and the former Man Utd winger was composed as he slid the ball past an onrushing Dubravka.
Nottingham Forest: Sels (6), Williams (6), Niakhate (6), Murillo (7), Tavares (6), Yates (7), Dominguez (7), Elanga (7), Gibbs-White (7), Hudson-Odoi (7), Awoniyi (7).
Subs used: Origi (6), Reyna (6), Danilo (n/a).
Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Trippier (7), Schar (7), Botman (6), Burn (6), Longstaff (7), Guimaraes (8), Miley (6), Almiron (6), Wilson (7), Gordon (7).
Subs used: Barnes (6), Livramento (n/a), Krafth (n/a).
Player of the match: Bruno Guimaraes.
The momentum felt like it was with Nottingham Forest now, but another defensive lapse undid all their good work. Trippier’s free-kick caused problems again and Botman headed the ball back into the danger area before Schar stroked a fine finish into the bottom corner to restore the lead.
Forest had to do it all again, but back they came and they had a huge slice of luck as Hudson-Odoi’s strike took a huge deflection off Miley. The ball sailed past a helpless Dubravka at his near post to send the sides in at the break level.
Forest continued to have joy against Newcastle’s high line early in the second half. Yates played in Awoniyi, who took the ball in his stride before finishing superbly from a tight angle, but the offside flag was correctly raised with the striker failing to time his run.
Team news headlines
- Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo made eight changes to the side that needed extra time and penalties to beat Bristol City in the FA Cup on Wednesday. Goalkeeper Matt Turner dropp back to the bench with Matz Sels coming in Andrew Omobamidele, Felipe, Cheikhou Kouyate, Danilo, Harry Toffolo and Divock Origi all dropped to the bench, while Gonzalo Montiel missed out after sustaining a hamstring problem against Bristol City. Nuno Tavares, Neco Williams, Taiwo Awoniyi, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Nicolas Dominguez, Ryan Yates and Murillo all started.
- Eddie Howe made just one change to the Newcastle line-up from last weekend’s 4-4 draw against Luton. Callum Wilson returned from injury to replace Jacob Murphy, while Anthony Gordon was fit to start after leaving the game against Luton on crutches.
The home side then thought they should have had a penalty just after the hour. Awoniyi raced through on goal from Matz Sels’ long kick and looked to be tripped by Dubravka’s outstretched arm, but referee Taylor waved away the appeals and VAR did not overrule, despite a check.
It proved a crucial decision as three minutes later Newcastle went ahead for the third time as Elanga’s loose pass went straight to Guimaraes, who found the bottom corner for his second of the night.
This time Newcastle did not relinquish their advantage and saw it out for a valuable three points.
Howe: We are feeling more ourselves
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, speaking to Sky Sports:
“It was another really entertaining game. We came in level at half-time after playing well. We showed good spirit to win the game.
“Big win, great spirit. Especially in the second half. We played well in the first period. We dominated the ball and controlled the game but then came in at 2-2 which was disappointing. Second half was different I thought we won the game based on our determination and unity and spirit.
“Having a couple of options from the bench was massive for us and we haven’t had that for a few months. Hopefully everyone came through this one fit because that’s going to be key for us.”
On chasing the Champions League places: “We’re just trying to win every game we play. We’re feeling more ourselves now after these couple of away wins.”
Bruno: Newcastle have to qualify for Europe again
Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes to Sky Sports:
“I’m very happy, it’s a good game for us. I played with more freedom and felt good. It was important after the draw with Luton last week. We played very well and it was very important for us today.
“For me, we shouldn’t have given the ball away, we tried to pass. The second half we played very well. We played with the ball a lot tonight.
“We have to get Europe again. Try for Champions League, I know it’s difficult but definitely for Europa League. We have been better away from home this season. We have a big game at home next week and hopefully we can get the three points.
“I enjoy my time here. The fans have been unbelievable for me and my family. I hope this can keep going for a long time.”
Should Nottingham Forest have had a penalty?
Forest thought they should have had a penalty when Awoniyi looked to be tripped by Dubravka’s outstretched arm, but referee Anthony Taylor did not give a penalty and VAR did not overrule despite a check.
Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp:
“I thought this was definitely a penalty.
“It was just a long ball forward and you could see Botman was in trouble with Awoniyi. The striker is falling over, don’t get me wrong, but the critical moment when his left foot makes contact with Dubravka’s arm. He is losing his footing slight but that’s where he loses his balance. There is nowhere he can put his foot.
“I think Newcastle get away with one.
“It’s a huge moment in the game. They get a penalty and the chances are they score it. They are then 3-2 up, in the ascendancy and the crowd will be up and right behind them.
“It’s a big, big moment.”
‘Concern for Forest’
Sky Sports’ Izzy Christiansen:
“Nuno Espirito Santo mentioned after the game that Nottingham Forest create chances, but you have to convert them and score goals.
“Against Newcastle, they did have enough opportunities, but they weren’t clinical enough.
“There is a bit of a worry over them for me because they are also defensively quite leaky.
“Meanwhile, Everton look strong and have a structure. I’d back them to stay up. Luton have found some form in recent weeks, despite the result today. Sheffield United could gain some momentum from beating Luton.
“It leaves Forest in quite a precarious situation. “
Sky Sports’ Izzy Christiansen:
Everything is happening at speed and that is why I think what has happened has happened.
Dubravka’s arm definitely makes contact with Awoniyi’s boot.
You can ask the questions why is he not just staying on his feet and slotting the ball away into an empty net.
But because of the pace that this all happens at he cannot stay on his feet.
I think it’s a penalty missed for Forest.
Nuno: Some bad things cost us
Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo to Sky Sports:
“Good performance, we did a lot of things good. Some things bad that really cost us. We didn’t defend well the corner for the third goal but overall we played good. The boys fight and we had chances to make a difference.”
On penalty decisions against his side: “It’s hard – I’m very polite in these situations. I don’t like to interfere too much but when VAR have time to see and check it over and over again they don’t see what I see. It happens, let’s move on. More important for me is to try and look how we play. We did well, we created a lot of situations. Controlling the game in the second half, playing good. We have to be focussed and look at details.
“Final decision was good, we had one vs ones with the goalkeeper. We are finding the right space but we need to improve on the finishing.
“We’ve been working very hard, the boys are committed. It’s about trying to convert results from spells of good football. And we have to improve defensively.”
Opta stats: More joy on the road for Newcastle
- Newcastle have won consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since April 2023 (a run of three), which also included a 2-1 victory against Nottingham Forest. They have now won consecutive away league games against Forest for the first time since January 1966.
- Howe’s side took the lead three times in a Premier League game that they went on to win for the first time since October 2005 under Graeme Souness against Sunderland (3-2), while it’s the first time they’ve ever done so in an away game in the competition.
- Nottingham Forest have lost six of their last seven Premier League home games (won one), while they’ve lost their opening two home league games of a calendar year for the first time since 2018 (first three).
Player of the match – Bruno Guimaraes
Sky Sports Andy Hinchcliffe:
“The Brazilian midfielder truly underlined his importance to Newcastle. He’s a class act.
“His finishes for his two goals were outstanding.”
Fantasy Premier League stats
Nottingham Forest vs Newcastle FPL stats
|Hudson-Odoi, Elanga | Bruno Guimaraes (2), Schar
|Gibbs-White, Dominguez | Trippier, Botman
|Bruno Gimaraes (3), Hudson-Odoi (2), Trippier and Dominguez (1)
Play Fantasy Premier League and see more stats here
Both Nottingham Forest and Newcastle are back in Premier League action next Saturday, with both games kicking off at 3pm.
Nottingham Forest host West Ham on February 17; kick-off 3pm. Newcastle will also be at home, hosting Bournemouth at St James’ Park.
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