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Season 2022-23
Nottingham Forest (h) Premier League


Saturday 6th August 2022, 3.00pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Sharp

Programme: 3.50




 Nottingham Forest


2 - 0





Half time: Magpies 0 Tricky Trees 0

58 mins Allan Saint-Maximin blasted the ball across the Forest box from the left flank and after cannoning off the foot of Moussa Niakhate, it dropped on the edge of the area for Scott McKenna to make a clearing header.

That propelled the ball into an area of the field towards the United right just over 25 yards out, where Fabian Schar was lurking. There seemed little danger when the defender advanced in possession, Jesse Lingard making the most cursory of attempts to intervene.

Schar reached a spot around 18 yards out before hammering shot past a helpless Dean Henderson via a post and into the Leazes End net. It was almost identical to his Goal of the Month effort against Burnley in February 2019, although that one was a few yards further out.

To anyone experiencing a sense of deja vu when this goal went in - you weren't wrong.

Forest (h) August 6th 2022. Schar fires United ahead with an unstoppable right-footed strike from just inside the box at the Leazes End. United go on to win 2-0.

Burnley (h) February 26th 2019. Schar fires United ahead with an unstoppable right-footed strike from just outside the box at the Leazes End. United go on to win 2-0.

78 mins The carelessness of Neco Williams allowed Joelinton to dispossess him towards the corner flag on the left. He traded passes with Saint-Maximin, who cut back infield before finding Bruno Guimaraes.

His ball to Joe Willock was pinged back out to Saint-Maximin and he played in the overlapping Joelinton who centred from the left to Callum Wilson. The striker wasn't favourite to reach the ball ahead of Niakhate, but conjured up a sublime flick to beat Henderson from the edge of the six yard box.

Full time: Magpies 2 Tricky Trees 0

We Said


Eddie Howe said:

"It was a brilliant performance from us, I thought, today. From start to finish, I was very, very pleased but at half time that game was still very much in the balance.

"Despite our dominance, we hadn't scored. Nottingham Forest had defended well and we hadn't been clinical enough in certain moments, so the main aspect of my
(half time) team talk was to make sure that we didn't lose our discipline and search for that goal in a disjointed way. Thankfully we didn't".

On Schar's opener:

"It was an incredible strike from a player that does the unconventional, really. A centre-back shooting from that range - I probably wouldn't have reached it if that was me playing, but he's capable of doing things like that, special moments.

"I was questioning his decision as he lined up to hit it because we had created a number of chances and hadn't taken them and it took a long-range goal to get us going."

On Wilson's goal:

"His finish today was just pure Callum: it was an excellent finish from a very difficult angle and that's what he'll bring."

On his defensive options:

"A difficult call because all four centre halves have been excellent pre-season. However I went with the two that played the majority of last season. Sven Botman has been excellent and it's not a reflection on his performances."

On Botman:

"Sven will get loads of opportunities to play. I was delighted to give him his debut today and he'll be a top player for us, but  I don't think this period - similar to Bruno  when he first came to the league - will do him any harm."

On his new extended contract:

"I didn't hesitate about signing it. I'm loving every moment of being Newcastle manager and I'm going to give it my all to try and make it a success."

They Said

Steve Cooper said:

"We were second best, there's no doubt about that. Newcastle looked like a good team today. At times, we coped with it OK in terms of the possession they had and the territory, but we didn't play well enough with the ball. You could see that with the two goals.

"In the end, we turned the ball over a little cheaply, not completely believing in how we want to play. That's given them even more momentum than they already had.

"There were some good bits of our defensive play, certainly in and around the box. They had loads of the ball and got into some really good areas, but we stayed compact, progressive in our defending, going up to the ball and showing them into areas.

"But what wasn't at the level today was when we won the ball, there were too many turnovers and we didn't play quick enough and didn't give ourselves a chance to get any momentum in the game."


Nick Pope and Sven Botman are the 253rd and 254th players to represent NUFC in the Premier League. Pope is the 101st to have been born in England; Botman the eighth Dutchman.

Pope is the fourteenth goalkeeper to play for us in the PL and the sixth with a debut clean sheet:

Pavel Srnicek (started, lost 0-1)
Tommy Wright (sub, lost 1-2, came on at 1-0)
Mike Hooper (started, won 2-0)
Shaka Hislop (started, won 3-0)
Shay Given (started, won 2-1)
Steve Harper (sub, won 3-1, came on at 1-1)
Jon Karelse (started, lost 2-4)
Tim Krul (started, won 1-0)
Rob Elliot (started, won 4-2)
Jak Alnwick (sub, won 2-1, came on at 0-0)
Karl Darlow (started, lost 0-1)
Martin Dubravka (started, won 1-0)
Freddie Woodman (started, lost 2-4)
Nick Pope (started, won 2-0)

Callum Wilson notched his 21st goal for the club - all in the Premier League. He also maintained his knack of netting in the first game of the season, having done so at West Ham in 2020/21 (56 minutes) and at home to the Hammers in 2021/22 (5 minutes). Today's was timed at 78 minutes.

Fabian Schar
now has 10 Newcastle goals to his name - all in the PL.

Tricky Trees in Toon - last 10:

2022/23 won 2-0 Schar, Wilson
lost 2-3 Mitrovic, Aarons (LC)
2016/17 won 3-1 Ritchie, Gayle 2 (Ch)
2009/10 won 2-0 Ameobi, Enrique (Ch)
1998/99 won 2-0 Shearer 2
1996/97 won 5-0 Asprilla, Ferdinand 2, Shearer, Elliott
1996/97 lost 1-2 Ferdinand (FA)
1995/96 won 3-1 Lee 2, Ginola
1994/95 won 2-1 Fox, Lee
1990/91 drew 2-2 Quinn, McGhee (FA)

Full record v Forest:

  P W D L F A
SJP 46 27 9 10 93 48
CG 45 17 11 17 49 54
League 91 44 20 27 142 102
SJP(FA)* 9 3 3 3 15 13
CG/N 7 1 3 3 4 10
SJP(LC) 2 1 0 1 5 3
CG 3 1 1 1 6 7
CG(ZDS) 1 0 0 1 1 2
Cup 21 6 7 8 30 33
Tot 112 50 27 35 172 135

United began their 28th Premier League season with only their ninth opening day success:

NUFC - opening PL results:

1993/94 Spurs (h) lost 0-1
1994/95 Leicester City (a) won 3-1
1995/96 Coventry City (h) won 3-0

1996/97 Everton (a) lost 0-2
1997/98 Sheffield Wednesday (h) won 2-1
1998/99 Charlton Athletic (h) drew 0-0
1999/00 Aston Villa (h) lost 0-1
2000/01 Manchester United (a) lost 0-2
2001/02 Chelsea (a) drew 1-1
2002/03 West Ham (h) won 4-0
2003/04 Leeds United (a) drew 2-2
2004/05 smoggies (a) drew 2-2
2005/06 Arsenal (a) lost 0-2
2006/07 Wigan Athletic (h) won 2-1
2007/08 Bolton Wanderers (a) won 3-1

2008/09 Manchester United (a) drew 1-1
2010/11 Manchester United (a) lost 0-3
2011/12 Arsenal (h) drew 0-0
2012/13 Spurs (h) won 2-1
2013/14 Manchester City (a) lost 0-4
2014/15 Manchester City (h) lost 0-2
2015/16 Southampton (h) drew 2-2
2017/18 Spurs (h) lost 0-2
2018/19 Spurs (h) lost 1-2
2019/20 Arsenal (h) lost 0-1
2020/21 West Ham (a) won 2-0
2021/22 West Ham (h) lost 2-4
2022/23 Nottingham Forest (h) won 2-0

Newcastle took maximum points from their opening home league fixture for the thirteen time in the last 40 years, but the first time in ten seasons:

1992/93 Southend United won 3-2

Spurs lost 0-1
1994/95 Coventry City won 4-0
1995/96 Coventry City won 3-0
1996/97 Wimbledon won 2-0
1997/98 Sheffield Wednesday won 2-1
Charlton Athletic drew 0-0
1999/00 Aston Villa lost 0-1
2000/01 Derby County won 3-2
mackems drew 1-1
2002/03 West Ham won 4-0
Manchester United lost 1-2
2004/05 Spurs lost 0-1
2005/06 West Ham drew 0-0
2006/07 Wigan Athletic won 2-1
2007/08 Aston Villa drew 0-0
2008/09 Bolton Wanderers won 1-0
2009/10 Reading won 3-0
2010/11 Aston Villa won 6-0

2011/12 Arsenal drew 0-0
2012/13 Spurs won 2-1
2013/14 West Ham drew 0-0
2014/15 Manchester City lost 0-2
2015/16 Southampton drew 2-2
2016/17 Huddersfield Town lost 1-2
2017/18 Spurs lost 0-2
2018/19 Spurs lost 1-2
2019/20 Arsenal lost 0-1
2020/21 Brighton lost 0-3
2021/22 West Ham lost 2-4
2022/23 Nottingham Forest
won 2-0

Games before first PL home win was achieved:

1: 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2006/07,
2008/09, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2022/23.
2: 1993/94, 2001/02, 2007/08, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2017/18, 2020/21
3: 1998/99, 2004/05
4: 1999/00, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2014/15, 2019/20
5: 2015/16
6: 2018/19
8: 2021/22



Second half goals from Fabian Schar and Callum Wilson rounded off a dominant Newcastle display on Saturday, as they hit the ground running on the opening day of the season.

Beaten just once here in the Premier League this year, United set about their newly-promoted visitors from the first whistle and scarcely let up before the breakthrough came just before the hour.

There seemed little immediate danger when Schar took the ball on the United right, embarking on a run that took him towards the area before hammering the ball past a helpless Dean Henderson and into the Leazes End net.

The destination of the points was then put beyond any doubt 12 minutes from full time, when Joelinton centred from the left and Wilson conjured up a sublime flick to beat the goalkeeper from the edge of the six yard box.

A buoyant home crowd saluted both exceptional goals, on a day when the feeling of anticipation sadly absent from Gallowgate for too long returned in force - and for once proved to be well-founded.

The one way traffic of the first half didn't initially lead to goal efforts; over half an hour on the clock before the Forest defence opened up in front of Joelinton and he crashed his shot just wide. At the other end meanwhile, a rare raid from the away side was foiled by Schar's perfectly-timed block.

Once the deadlock was broken though, further goals looked like following and Steve Cooper's side could easily have ended up shipping three or four. Chief in the frustration stakes was Miguel Almiron, whose work rate was enviable but whose end product and reluctance to use his right foot jarred.

Bruno was simply outstanding however; a joy to watch. Equally encouraging to these eyes at least was what threatened to be a mature performance from Saint-Maximin, replacing the histrionics and tumbles with something that looked remarkably like team play.

10 of the home starting line-up played a part in last season's remarkable resurgence, and the qualities they exhibited then were thankfully there in abundance today.

Their commitment and relentless determination to win gave the opponents virtually no chance of achieving one of those victories that promoted teams periodically introduce themselves with.

It's not just about team spirit though: we even look different to last year; fitness levels seemingly an immediate dividend of a pre-season that was rather less random and chaotic than usual. 

While efforts to improve the squad continue, the continuity shown by those in situ was encouraging, not to mention the way they set about their task - that much-repeated line about demanding a team that tries came to mind several times as possession was lost then regained.

In stark contrast to our default starting position, today could hardly have gone better, albeit against a club who at this point are some way short of having a team. Six of Forest's 13 summer signings to date were in their starting line-up, with their two costliest additions coming off the bench.

Three points in the August sunshine then: in stark contrast to the delight that finally came our way in early December last year at the fifteenth attempt.

Today felt like another staging post on the way to somewhere positive, a welcome reminder that this is all meant to be an entertainment rather than the joyless commitment that it became for so long. 

Three generations of support: a winning start to life at SJP for
debutant James Greaves, joined by his dad, uncle and Grandad.


Page last updated 05 September, 2022