Justice reared its often veiled face at the City Ground tonight. Newcastle put in a terrific performance to take all three points in a 2-1 win at Forest. It was again a difficult task as VAR flashed its injustice but Alexander Isak was there to make sure the three points went Newcastle’s way.
The lads played in the 4-3-3 with Pope in goal behind a back four of Trippier, Schar, Botman, and Burn. The midfield consisted of Guimaraes, Longstaff, and Willock. Isak spearheaded the attack with Murphy on the right and Saint-Maximin on the left.
In the opening minutes, there was some concern with Schar. The Swiss defender was tackled from behind by Andre Ayew and looked to have picked up an ankle injury. He received treatment and was able to continue.
Newcastle created a great chance a few minutes later. Murphy did well down the right before pulling the ball back for a surging Willock in the box. The midfielder skied his shot into the stands.
In the 12th minute, Newcastle again created a golden chance. From a free-kick, Trippier passed the ball into the box to Isak. The Swede pushed forward before blasting his shot off the crossbar. Forest cleared and escaped.
The first goal would go to the hosts in the 27th minute. A ball over the top for Ayew was collected by Botman who then played a blind back pass which Emmanuel Dennis ran onto. Pope came to contest Dennis but he coolly lofted it into the open net for the 1-0 advantage.
Forest were saved by the woodwork once again in the 35th minute. Murphy got the ball from Renan Lodi down the right and tried to center the ball. It was deflected into the path of Longstaff, whose long-range shot was deflected before hitting the crossbar.
In added time, Newcastle found the leveler. Joe Willock was freed down the right by Saint-Maximin on a break. The midfielder lofted a cross into the box. A surging Isak improvised to flick the ball into the net with his trailing foot to make it 1-1 at the break.
Howe made a change on the left flank bringing Elliot Anderson on for Allan Saint-Maximin to start the second half. The Geordie started brightly winning a lost cause of a long ball into the box a few minutes before launching a volley that Keylor Navas had to palm over the bar for a corner.
Near the hour mark, Anderson timed his run brilliantly with Willock trying to connect. The youngster slipped as Navas came to collect the ball. Guimaraes then tested Navas with a blistering effort from range but the Costa Rican was able to parry the ball away.
Anderson seemingly bagged his first goal for his hometown club soon after. A pitchside review ruled that Longstaff was in an offside position in the build-up. However, Felipe played the ball in an attempted clearance which Longstaff then deflected; a scandalous decision that should linger beyond tonight.
Murphy had a chance to reclaim the advantage in the 81st minute. It again was Anderson who was pivotal for the chance. The youngster was able to center the ball for Murphy, whose snatched shot went wide.
Howe made another change in the 84th minute with Murphy being withdrawn for Matt Ritchie. A few minutes later Pope was called into action to block a low shot from Brennan Johnson on the break.
Newcastle won a penalty in added time after Moussa Niakhate’s raised arm deflected Isak’s header. It was justice for the Magpies as Isak coolly sent Navas the wrong way before planting it into the net. Newcastle got their just desserts with the 2-1 win which was in part sparked by the superb performance of Elliot Anderson.