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Season 2022-23
Nottingham Forest (a) Premier League


Friday 17th March 2023, 8.00pm
Live on Sky Sports

 City Ground


Programme: £3.00

Nottingham Forest



1 - 2





26 mins: An absolute disaster for Sven Botman as he attempted to deal with Jonjo Shelvey's long punt down the Forest right. The defender  casually played an easy ball back to Nick Pope without looking and it was intercepted by Emmanuel Dennis. 

Pope was able to hold up the attacker but instead of putting in a tackle, Botman ran past both to cover the line allowing Dennis to cleverly chip the ball into the unguarded goal. Kieran Trippier had got back on the line but the ball sailed over his head. If there was a saving grace it's that Pope resisted the temptation to flatten the goalscorer and pick up another red card.

45+2 mins: A fast flowing move down the Newcastle right saw Allan Saint-Maximin play the ball to Joe Willock who took it on into the box and centred to the back post. The cross was slightly behind Alexander Isak but the Swede extended his leg and guided the ball in with his shin from six yards out via a post at the Trent End. 1-1

Half time: Forest 1 Magpies 1

90+3 mins: Joe Willock's cross from the left was headed at the near post by Isak and an inexplicable but blatant handball by Moussa Niakhate left Paul Tierney an easy decision to award a penalty.

Alexander Isak showed great composure to convert the spot kick; Kieran Trippier having taken the ball and the flak from the Forest players during a lengthy pause in play before belatedly passing it on to Isak. Genius
. 1-2

Full time: Forest 1 Magpies 2

We Said

Eddie Howe:

"A huge moment for us in our season. I had a feeling after we had so many chances in the first half that it would be one of those nights but the lads kept going and I thought we deserved to win the game.

"For the majority of the game apart from a 10 or 15 minute spell after they scored where we lost our way a bit I thought we were really good."

On Isak:

ďConfidence is key for any attacking player. The penalty was ice cool. It was a top, top performance. He was a constant handful for Forest. His pace and trickery were evident.

"Thereís so much more that he is capable of giving. We knew we were signing a top, top player, capable of doing amazing things. I thought he showed that today. Heís got a huge part to play in our future."

On putting
his striker on the left before his equaliser:

"Alex can play there so that is a role that we see him playing in. He versatile and has the tools to play in different positions.

"Saint-Maximin was struggling with a hamstring but still being effective so decided to let him do less running and put Alex wide for a spell.

"We had a number of really good chances. I think back to Willock's early on in the game and I think Alex has hit the post and Longstaff hit the bar.

"It's been a similar story in recent weeks when we haven't really taken our chances but that's where I credit the players because going 1-0 down is very difficult to come back and the players deserve huge credit for that."

Anderson's disallowed goal:

"I haven't had a chance to watch it back. I couldn't believe it at the time that the referee was going to the monitor for an offside. I'd need to be sat down and explained the rules on that one. Disappointed for Elliot because that was a massive moment in his career.

"I really like him, he is a technical player, can play in different positions, wide left and inside. He can handle the ball and he is a player for big moment as well.

"Actually breaking into the Premier League is incredibly difficult to do. This is the hardest part of his Newcastle career. Can he make the step up? He certainly did himself no harm tonight.Ē

On Fabian Schar's fitness situation:

"Fabianís been carrying lots of different things in the last few weeks. Heís been carrying a foot problem, and also had concussion, so I think itís just a chance for him to rest his body (rather than link up with the Swiss national team) Ė and go again.Ē

On Miguel Almiron's injury setback:

"Miggy pulled a thigh muscle in training. Unfortunately, itís quite a bad one. Itís going to be six weeks.Ē

On Callum Wilson:

"I didnít want to expose Callum today, he hasnít done a lot of training, so I decided to go with Elliot (Anderson). He repaid me, he did really well.

"He (Wilson) had a small bout of illness, and then just a little bit of tightness, general tightness, no injury. But, with Callum, I think we have to be very careful with him Ė and make sure he's available for the rest of the season,

"Callum's a top professional and heís driven more than anybody that I've ever worked with, so heíll see Alex performing as he has done tonight, and he'll be delighted for Alex and the team. But it'll only make his resolve even stronger to fight for that place."

Ahead of the game, Howe was asked about the possibility of Champions League football:

"Iím going to duck the question.
Of course itís about what we do and people are obsessed with Europe, but for me itís about being the best we can be every week and ultimately we will achieve what we deserve to achieve. Itís about the small steps not the end goal. That will take care of itself.

"I think hypothetically if we were in more competitions, absolutely weíd need to boost the squad in terms of depth, but of course quality, because thereís no point in having depth if the quality is not there, so you need both.

"Your football clubís success depends on recruitment. Itís that important. Who you bring into your football club really dictates what happens afterwards. Iím not involved in the structure of how we set up those departments. Thatís other peopleís jobs, but Iíll certainly welcome any changes that are positive for what we do.Ē

On Shelvey:

ďThereís a hole in the squad left by his departure. Heís a big character, a big personality, with a lot of experience and thatís certainly something we will need at some stage to replace. Ideally we would not have lost that from the squad in the first place, but these things happen. 

"Our midfield is light, as Iíve said before, and thereís a lot to be said for having Jonjoís experience, general game management and know-how in your squad.Ē

They Said


Steve Cooper said:

"It is always the worst way to lose in the last couple of minutes having fought in the game. 

"We came up against a really good team and we knew it was going to be like that. I am just disappointed with our decision around the goals and the timing of the goals. It is injury time in the first half and injury time at the end of the game. We need to look at ourselves because we made some poor football decisions.

"I think it is a foul on Andre Ayew for the first goal. But I am not going to moan too much about that. It was a strange performance from the ref but we have to look at ourselves first. We made some poor football decisions. 

"The penalty decision is something that we can only blame ourselves for. We have given three penalties away in the last three games and all of them have been self-inflicted.

"I'm as disappointed with the first goal in terms of the timing of it and the football decisions that we made, just see the half out and get in. We needed to sort a few things out but things change. 

"It is a tough one to take but we blame no one but ourselves. We haven't covered ourselves in glory over the goals."


Newcastle defeated Forest for the fifth time in as many Premier League games, while they are unbeaten in all ten PL meetings to date. Forest's most recent top-flight success came at SJP in Division One back in October 1988.

took United on to 21 points from 13 matches on the road so far this season - two more than last season. A fifth away victory meanwhile emulated our 2021/22 total. Unlike the previous four (at Fulham, Spurs, Southampton and Leicester City), the Magpies weren't ahead at half time.

The two goals saw Newcastle match their away tally of 18 from the whole of last season.
It's the first time since the Leicester victory on Boxing Day that that they've netted more than once in the PL away from Tyneside.

Newcastle secured a second PL double of the season following on from six points against Fulham.

The Magpies came from behind to win in the PL for the first time this season (although they did manage to do so at Tranmere Rovers in the Carabao Cup). The last time they did so in the PL was at home to Leicester City in April 2022 (0-1 down to 2-1 up) and the most recent instance of that was at Southampton in March 2022 (0-1 down to 2-1 up).

Alexander Isak now has six goals in ten PL games (seven starts and three off the bench).

There was another successful outing for Newcastle's blue and gold change strip, worn for away victories at Tranmere Rovers, Fulham, Spurs, Southampton (twice) and now Nottingham Forest.

NUFC after 26 games - last six PL seasons:

2017/18 25 points, 16th, gd -12
2018/19 25 points, 16th, gd -12
2019/20 31 points, 13th, gd -16
2020/21 26 points, 17th, gd -17
2021/22 28 points, 14th, gd -16
2022/23 47 points, 5th, gd +20

Forest v Magpies - PL era:

2022/23 won 2-1 Isak 2
2018/19 lost 1-3 Rondon (LC)
lost 1-2 Ritchie
2011/12 won 4-3 Lovenkrands 2, Coloccini, Simpson (LC)
2009/10 lost 0-1
2002/03 lost 1-3 Viana (FR)
won 2-1 Shearer, Hamann
1996/97 drew 0-0
1995/96 lost 5-6 Ferdinand 2, Guinan, Barton, KK (FR)
1995/96 drew 1-1 Beardsley
1994/95 drew 0-0

Although a contractual obligation to sign a permanent contract at Forest has been triggered, the status of Chris Wood as being a loan signing meant that he was ineligible to feature against his parent club. In the event, a hamstring problem meant that he couldn't have taken part anyway. 



The sting

Goals from Alexander Isak in time added on at the end of each half brought Newcastle a fabulous win at the City Ground on Friday evening; the Swedish forward deemed sufficiently fit by his manager to complete a full game.

What had looked like being another case of being robbed by an official again at this venue was thankfully righted from the spot when Isak kept his cool to tuck in the winner in front of a jubilant away end - justice belatedly served for the events here in December 2016.

The ringmaster that Friday night was Steve Martin - now inflicting his ineptitude on the Football League - but taking centre stage this time round was Paul Tierney. He inexplicably denied Elliot Anderson a perfectly good goal in the 64th minute after checking the pitchside monitor to deem Sean Longstaff as offside despite two Forest clearances not being considered as "second phase".

It was tough on young Elliot, who deserved to cap a fine display with a first senior strike for United. He had replaced the hamstrung Allan Saint-Maximin at half time and having warmed the hands of Keylor Navas with a fine volley, the 20 year-old headed in Isak's clever cross at the back post. 

That prompting lavish scenes of celebration behind in the lower tier of the Bridgford End before the belated realisation that all wasn't well - the usual pantomime of checking the monitor simply delaying the inevitable miscarriage of justice. Tierney at least followed the evidence of his own eyes at the end of the game, partially getting himself off the hook by awarding a penalty that was converted.

That last-gasp winner completed a comeback by Eddie Howe's side that began in first half added time after Isak provided an equaliser to cancel out a goal scored during what was almost the only attack worthy of the name from the home side.

Quickly into their stride, Joe Willock had steered a presentable early chance wide before Isak's shot on goal following a free kick was deflected off his own crossbar by Renan Lodi. Then came the Forest goal, inspired by old boy Jonjo Shelvey and facilitated by current Mag, Sven Botman.

0-1 behind, the Magpies continued their assault on the home goal, Sean Longstaff seeing his shot loop off Felipe and ping off the Forest crossbar before Jacob Murphy's effort was charged down and Longstaff again fired over.

As had been the case at Bournemouth though, United went in level at the break after a break down the right flank ended with the ball in the opposition net. Saint-Maximin and Willock combined well for the latter to cross and Isak succeed via a post - a goal greeted with momentary hesitation at the other end of the ground before the scorer's celebration confirmed we had finally scored after the woodwork had been struck.

Into the second half and chances continued to arrive for United either side of Anderson's disallowed header, but this looked like another game that would be memorable for missed opportunities - and another match report accentuating the positives of being close, but not close enough.

Even the most optimistic follower couldn't have foreseen the finale though - our latest goal of the season scored in the most dramatic and memorable of circumstances and prompting an outbreak of celebrations of the "grabbing random bystanders" variety. 

Three points took the Magpies within a point of Tottenham with a game in hand and three behind our next opponents, Manchester United. Spurs drew 3-3 at Southampton on Saturday to make that two points behind with two games in hand.

Those squad members not on international duty headed off for a warm weather training camp in Dubai ahead of the visit of Erik ten Hag's side to Gallowgate on Sunday week. They do so on the back of two deserved victories that have restored confidence after the demoralising trio of defeats. 

And while Eddie Howe will be able to welcome back Joelinton from suspension against the Red Devils, top scorer Miguel Almiron won't feature and there are doubts over Anthony Gordon, Saint-Maximin and Nick Pope - the goalkeeper withdrawing from England duty 48 hours after this success.

Having lost the services of Isak as a result of his last international call-up in September, the Magpies boss will doubtless take a keen interest in events in Stockholm next weekend when Sweden play two Euro qualifiers. In the continued absence of any threat from Callum Wilson, the man wearing the number 14 shirt is integral to our hopes of securing a top six finish for the first time since 2012.


Page last updated 20 March, 2023