Alexander Isak’s last-gasp penalty breathed new life into Newcastle’s Champions League ambitions as they deservedly beat Nottingham Forest 2-1.
The Swedish international netted both goals as the Magpies came from behind to win at the City Ground, with those strikes further denting the Tricky Trees’ hopes of staying up.
The Magpies had the bulk of the possession in the early exchanges but created just one chance, which came when Alexander Isak’s effort took a deflection, leading Renan Lodi to hammer against his own crossbar.
After failing to make the momentum count, the visitors were open to a sucker-punch, which came when Sven Botman didn’t deal with Jonjo Shelvey’s long-ball forward, allowing Emmanuel Dennis to nip in and brilliantly finish past Nick Pope.
Newcastle looked to hit back and rattled the woodwork for a second time before the break through Sean Longstaff, and they duly got their equaliser when Isak superbly converted from Joe Willock’s cross.
Substitute Elliot Anderson forced Keylor Navas into an excellent save after the restart, before the ‘keeper also denied Bruno Guimaraes. Anderson then thought he’d headed his side in front, only for the goal to be ruled out after a long VAR check.
Then, deep into added time, Isak’s flicked header hit the arm of Moussa Niakhate in the area. A penalty was immediately awarded, which Isak stepped up to take himself, firing into the top corner to hand his side another huge win in their top-four battle, while Forest remain just two points above the bottom three.
TALKING POINT – Newcastle leave it late again
A 79th minute winner against Wolves last week, an 89th minute strike to beat Fulham in January, and now, deep into injury time, another decisive goal to add to the collection.
It was no more than Newcastle deserved, but there have been numerous games this season that Eddie Howe’s side have dominated, only to fail to find that killer blow.
They certainly seem to be developing that now, a handy habit of leaving it late but finding a way to beat opponents, and this could be another huge victory in their quest for Champions League football.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Elliot Anderson (Newcastle). Elliot Anderson only came on at half-time, replacing Alan Saint-Maximin, but that was enough time to have a massive impact on proceedings.
The 20-year old, making just his 13th Premier League appearance, was explosive upon being introduced, causing Serge Aurier no end of problems down the Newcastle right.
He thought he’d scored his first goal for the Magpies with a header that was disallowed for offside, but was involved in numerous other attacks, seeing a further shot saved and one fizzing cross cleared within the nick of time by Renan Lodi.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Navas 8; Aurier 6, Niakhate 6, Felipe 6, Lodi 7; Johnson 5, Yates 6, Gibbs-White 5, Shelvey 7, Dennis 7; Ayew 5. Subs: Freuler 6, Surridge n/a, Williams n/a, Scarpa n/a
NEWCASTLE: Pope 6; Trippier 8, Botman 5, Schar 6, Burn 6; Longstaff 7, Bruno 7, Willock 7; Murphy 7, Isak 7, Saint-Maximin 6. Subs: Anderson 8, Ritchie n/a
13’ OFF THE BAR! Good grief that was close! A superb free-kick routine from Newcastle, as Kieran Trippier slides through to Isak instead of shooting. The Swede’s shot is slightly scuffed and takes a deflection off Renan Lodi, who kicks it against his own crossbar!
26’ GOAL! NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1-0 NEWCASTLE (Dennis) What a finish! Shelvey pumps a long ball forward, which Botman reaches, but his back-pass to Pope is terrible. Dennis nips in, gets there first and then superbly lifts a lobbed finish over the ‘keeper and two defenders. Magnificent
35’ OFF THE BAR AGAIN! Sean Longstaff his the woodwork from just outside the area with a shot that takes a deflection and has Navas back-pedalling, only to rattle the bar
45+2’ GOAL! NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1-1 NEWCASTLE (Isak). WHAT! A! FINISH! Newcastle level as Willock clips a delightful cross to Isak at the back post. The ball is actually behind the Swede, but he somehow sticks out a long right leg and diverts the ball home off the far post. What technique!
49’ STUNNING SAVE FROM NAVAS. That would have been an absolute corker. Murphy stands up a very good deep cross which Anderson meets on the volley, only for Navas to superbly tip over the bar
67’ GOAL RULED OUT. Anderson thinks he’s headed Newcastle in front, but after a long, long VAR check, it’s ruled out for offside against Longstaff earlier in the move
90+4’ GOAL! NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1-2 NEWCASTLE (Isak). Newcastle win a penalty as Isak’s header hits Niakhate on the arm. Trippier spots the ball down, but Isak ends up taking, and he smashes into the top corner, leaving Navas motionless. What a moment! He jumps into the Toon Army behind the goal in celebration
- Nottingham Forest are now without a win in six Premier League matches
- Newcastle remain unbeaten against Nottingham Forest in the top flight since 1988
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