Nottingham Forest 1-2 Newcastle United: Late Isak winner secures all three points
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Alexander Isak of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United at City Ground on March 17, 2023 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

An Alexander Isak penalty in stoppage time completed a Newcastle turnaround to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 after the home side had taken the lead early on.

Coming into this game Forest have had one of the best home records in the league. Since losing three home games in a row in August and September, Nott'm Forest have been unbeaten in their last nine home league games, winning four and drawing five, a record only topped by Manchester United.

Despite their good home form Forest were winless in five matches in a run that has seen them dragged back into the relegation fight.

They faced a Newcastle side who enjoy playing against Forest in the Premier League. The Magpies have never lost to Forest in the Premier League, winning six and drawing three of their nine matches.

Newcastle started brightly as they struck the bar in the opening ten minutes, but it was the home side who drew first blood as Sven Botman's error gifted Emmanuel Dennis the opportunity to put Forest ahead, which he did with a smart dinked finish.

The Magpies continued to dominate the game and had a deserved equaliser on the stroke of half-time as Isak slotted home with a delightful volleyed finish.

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Newcastle thought they had a second when Elliot Anderson headed home, but after a VAR review Sean Longstaff was judged to have been offside in the build-up and Newcastle's goal was chalked off.

But it was late heartbreak for Forest who conceded a penalty in added time, which was converted by Isak to snatch all three points late on.

Story of the Match

Steve Cooper had suggested that Brennan Johnson may not feature for Forest, but the Welsh international beat the clock to start for the Reds. The Forest manager is having to contend with a long injury list at the minute with Taiwo Awoniyi, Willy Boly, and Gustavo Scarpa among the names who are unavailable.

Cooper makes three changes to the side that were beaten 3-1 by Tottenham on Saturday, with Joe Worrall, Orel Mangala, and Jesse Lingard making way for Johnson, Moussa Niakhate, and Ryan Yates.

Anthony Gordon suffered an ankle injury in Newcastle's win over Wolves last weekend, which has ruled the winger out until April. Eddie Howe will also be without Joelinton again as he serves the final game of his three-match suspension.

Howe picks an unchanged eleven from their win against Wolves with Miguel Almiron not even in the matchday squad, after reports emerged that the Paraguayan had picked up an injury.

Newcastle came out of the blocks quickly searching for an early goal and could have had it when Jacob Murphy's squared cross found Joe Willock but he arrived slightly late and slashed his effort wide.

The Magpies continued their pressure and looked like the team most likely to score the opener. A smart free-kick found Isak, but his effort was parried by Keylor Navas, only into the path of Renan Lodi who inadvertently sliced the ball onto his own bar.

Against the run of play Forest had the opener when a long ball from Jonjo Shelvey was not dealt with well by Botman who's backpass was intercepted by Dennis who rounded the keeper and lobbed the ball into the far corner, to send the home fans wild.

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Newcastle fans must have been thinking 'it was not their night' when, Longstaff's deflected strike looped over Navas but was denied by the bar for the second time.

The away side did have their equaliser on the edge of half-time. Andre Ayew was dispossessed too easily and Newcastle broke down the right hand side with a good bit of interplay. The ball is flicked towards the back post where Isak arrived and the Swedish International found the bottom right corner with a smart flying volley.

Elliot Anderson thought he had his first Newcastle goal to put the away side ahead with a brilliant header at the backpost, but under the scrutiny of VAR the goal was disallowed for an offside in the build-up.

It looked like it was going to be a well fought point for the home side to keep their unbeaten home record alive, but Newcastle had been thrown a lifeline in stoppage time after the Magpies spurned multiple chances to put the game to bed. Paul Tierney pointed to the spot after Moussa Niakhate handled the ball in the box.

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Isak, with a goal to his name already, stepped up under pressure and sent the experienced Navas the wrong way as he fired his penalty into the top left corner to give Newcastle all three vital points to keep their Champions League hopes alive. 

Player of the Match

Alexander Isak (Newcastle United)

The striker showed signs of real quality tonight, his finish for his first goal was sublime and he showed composure and confidence to step up and grab all three points in the dying embers. 

If Newcastle get Champions League after his match-winning performance tonight it may be worth his price tag alone.