Nottingham Forest 1-2 Newcastle: Magpies move to within a point of the top four after Alexander Isak scores a stoppage-time penalty to earn a dramatic last-gasp victory in a Friday night thriller
- Newcastle claimed a vital late victory over Nottingham Forest on Friday evening
- Record signing Alexander Isak netted a huge double, scoring late from the spot
- His stoppage time penalty fired Newcastle within a point of Tottenham in fourth
If Newcastle manage to qualify for the Champions League, they may look back on his as the night they did it.
The visitors ended Nottingham Forest’s nine-match unbeaten home run in the league when Alexander Isak converted a stoppage time penalty – his second goal of the night – to move Eddie Howe’s team to within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham.
It was a ludicrous handball by Moussa Niakhate that gave Newcastle their chance and Isak, who had earlier levelled following Emmanuel Dennis’ opener, struck home the penalty after persuading Kieran Trippier to give him the ball. He found the net with the class expected of a player costing £60million.
After their first defeat here since September, Forest remain only two points above the bottom three and unless they can improve their away form, they are sliding into dire trouble.
After a sluggish start to 2023, Newcastle looked their old selves again in beating Wolves 2-1 last weekend and they started this one with plenty of poise.
Alexander Isak’s stoppage time penalty handed Newcastle a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest
Emmanuel Dennis fired the hosts in the 26th minute, capitalising on Sven Botman’s poor error
Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): Navas 7; Aurier 5, Felipe 8, Niakhate 6, Lodi 6; Yates 7 (Freuler 58, 6), Shelvey 6; Johnson 5, Gibbs-White 6, Dennis 7 (Williams 79); Ayew 6 (Surridge 79). Subs not used: Hennessey, Worrall, Colback, Toffolo, Danilo, Scarpa.
Scorers: Dennis 26
Booked: Dennis, Gibbs-White
Manager: Steve Cooper 6
Newcastle (4-3-3): Pope 6; Trippier 6, Schar 6.5, Botman 5.5, Burn 7; Longstaff 6.5, Guimaraes 7.5, Willock 7; Murphy 8 (Ritchie 84), Isak 8.5, Saint-Maximin 5 (Anderson 46, 7.5). Subs not used: Dubravka, Dummett, Lascelles, Wilson, Lewis, Targett, Manquillo.
Scorers: Isak 45+2
Manager: Eddie Howe 7
Referee: Paul Tierney 6
Forest were carved open down their left in the sixth minute as Kieran Trippier released Jacob Murphy. The first-time cross was perfectly weighted for the charging Joe Willock, whose finish did not match his run from midfield as he fired wide from near the penalty spot.
The home side had another let-off soon afterwards as Trippier, who was prominent in the early stages, took a clever free-kick to Alexander Isak. The Swede’s shot was weak but the deflections off Brennan Johnson and Serge Aurier left Renan Lodi no time to react. The ball ricocheted off the Brazilian’s knee and against the bar.
Moments later Newcastle demanded a penalty when Bruno Guimaraes fell under Dennis’ challenge, while Ryan Yates and Willock were conducting a running feud, with both lucky to avoid a booking.
Dennis was not so fortunate in the 22nd minute when he robbed Trippier but earned a yellow card as referee Paul Tierney deemed his challenge dangerous.
Forest were furious yet four minutes later they led. Sven Botman’s backpass to Nick Pope was underhit and after Dennis seized the ball, the chance seemed momentarily to have gone. The Nigerian knew otherwise, though, as he produced a brilliant chip from a tight angle that sailed into the top corner.
Dan Burn was soon booked for a hefty challenge on Yates and was baited by the home crowd thereafter. Sean Longstaff came very close to silencing them when he became the second player to strike the woodwork. Murphy again did the damage, outmuscling Lodi and finding Longstaff, whose 20-yard effort clipped Felipe and came back off the bar.
The forward shrewdly took the ball around Nick Pope before chipping it past the goalkeeper
The forward levelled the scoreboard for Newcastle just before half-time with a superb finish
Newcastle finally found the equaliser they deserved with Willock at the heart of it. The midfielder’s cross eluded the jump of Aurier and was converted on the volley by Isak. It was an unorthodox finish – possibly more shin than boot – for his second in as many games.
Newcastle picked up where they had left off in the second half with Elliot Anderson, a half-time substitute for Alain Saint-Maximin, instantly involved. First he gave Felipe a huge fright by beating him to a long punt down field, before drawing a brilliant stop from Keylor Navas with a volley from Murphy’s cross.
Forest then suffered a blow when Yates, who had been tigerish in midfield, was forced off with an injury shortly before the hour mark and replaced by Remo Freuler. But their luck was in moments later when Muprhy played in Longstaff only for the midfielder to lose his footing at the vital second. Newcastle drew confidence from that and Guimaraes forced Navas to turn over his rising drive. Forest defended the corner nervily only for Anderson to blast high and wide from the edge of the box.
Guimaraes had made a quiet start to the game but his influence was growing by the second and he played a part in the move that Newcastle thought had given them the lead.
Second-half substitute Elliot Anderson felt he had netted his first senior goal for Newcastle
But his header was chalked off for offside after a tight VAR review, keeping the score level at 1-1
The Brazilian’s pass found Isak and when Moussa Niakhate failed to clear, Isak played a fabulous ball to the far post where Anderson outjumped Aurier and headed past Navas.
The Newcastle bench were jubilant – but not for long. After a lengthy delay, the goal was chalked off because Isak’s original cross had rebounded to Longstaff, who was in an offside position. Tierney checked the screen to make sure and the decision to disallow the goal was greeted with a huge roar.
Newcastle continued to push at Murphy volleyed wide from a promising position.
There was still time for Aurier to hack off the line and for Felipe to produce another brilliant block, before Pope bailed Newcastle out by saving Johnson’s angled effort with his feet after a rare break. But then Niakhate committed an amazing howler and Newcastle took full advantage. The celebrations of the bench showed how important they felt it was.
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