Newcastle have thoroughly dominated the proceedings at St. James’ Park but have lacked a creative spark in the final third. Forest were held to just three shots with the backline defending very well when needed.
Eddie Howe had the lads set up in his 4-3-3 with Pope in goal behind a back four of Trippier, Schar, Burn, and Targett. The midfield was Guimaraes, Willock, and Joelinton. Almiron was on the right and Saint-Maximin on the left as Wilson led the line.
Newcastle started brightly on the front foot with 4 corners, a deep free-kick, and 5 shots in the opening ten minutes. None of the shots tested Dean Henderson but the lads were in the ascendancy early.
Newcastle continued their dominance piling on the corners but without testing Dean Henderson too much. In the 20th minute, Joelinton blasted a bouncing effort from outside the area that Henderson had to parry away.
Joelinton came close in the 30th minute after he slalomed into the area. His effort dribbled wide of the far post ending Newcastle’s best chance of the half so far.
Wilson had an excellent chance just 4 minutes later. Willock lofted a ball into the box as Wilson pulled away from his marker. He couldn’t create any power on his header as it tamely landed in Henderson’s waiting hands.
After an excellent tackle by Burn on Brennan Johnson, Schar played a crossfield pass to Saint-Maximin down the left. Allan cut inside before launching a low effort which Henderson comfortably handled.
Newcastle enter the half without their breakthrough despite having 66% of possession with 14 shots. The cutting edge has been lacking with the bulk of Dean Henderson’s saves being very comfortable. The few times Forest ventured forward, Newcastle defended very well.