- Nottingham stunned Newcastle by coming from behind to secure a comfortable 3-1 win at St. James’ Park
- It was Nuno Espirito Santo’s first win as Nottingham boss since taking over from Steve Cooper
Newcastle vs Nottingham Forest was the first English Premier League fixture to be played on Boxing Day. Nottingham stunned Eddie Howe’s side by coming from behind to secure a comfortable 3-1 win at St. James’ Park.
Alexander Isak converted from the spot to open the scoring for Eddie Howe’s side in the first half, but Nottingham fought their way back into the match and ended up securing a much needed victory. Former Newcastle player Chris Woods scored a hat-trick as Nottingham ended a seven-game winless run in the best way possible on Boxing Day.
Newcastle only sporadically threatened in attack throughout the match and looked vulnerable when defending against the visitors, who were set up for counter-attack.
It was Nuno Espirito Santo’s first win as Nottingham boss since taking over from Steve Cooper, who was sacked a week ago due to poor results. Nottingham, who had gone 13 games under Cooper without a win, are currently out of the relegation zone with 17 points.
Speaking after the Newcastle vs Nottingham Forest match on Boxing Day, Nuno revealed the joy in Nottingham’s dressing room due to the win.
“I think the boys worked very hard. They fight, they play football. I’m very happy for them. The joy that we have now in the dressing room after the disappointment of our last game was amazing, so let’s enjoy it. Thanks to the fans, they were brilliant. The boys felt their energy. It’s hard work, it’s tough. We have the talent. It’s about now keep on going, we cannot stop on this game now.” Nuno Espirito told Amazon Prime, as per Sky Sports.
Newcastle Vs Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest had not defeated Newcastle United in the Premier League before Monday’s fixture. Eddie Howe made two changes from his team that lost to Luton, with Jamaal Lascelles and Callum Wilson being replaced by Sven Botman and Alexander Isak.
On the other hand, Nuno Espirito Santo made six changes to the team that lost to Bournemouth. The visitors almost took the lead inside three minutes but Morgan Gibbs-White’s shot went just wide.
Newcastle had to wait until midway through the half before getting their first effort on goal, and it was a penalty which Alexander Isak converted. Nottingham were dangerous on counter-attacks and Martin Dubravka was forced to make a save to deny former Manchester United player Anthony Elanga.
Nuno Espirito’s side eventually found the equalizer towards the break when Elanga crossed to Wood, and the former Newcastle man tapped in his fifth Premier League goal of the season. The equalizer gave Forest belief and they came looked more determined to take the lead after the restart.
Woods put Forest in front in the 53rd minute, dinking over Dubravka after receiving a pass from Elanga. The New Zealand international completed his hat-trick on the hour-mark by rounding the goalkeeper before scoring into an empty net.
Newcastle tried to even pull one goal back after falling 3-1 behind but Nottingham held out in the end to secure all three points.
Eddie Howe’s tough days at Newcastle continues as they have gone seven games without a win. December started well for Newcastle with a win over Manchester United but things have since fallen apart for them as they have dropped crucial points in the Premier League and have been eliminated from the Champions League and Carabao Cup in a matter of weeks.
The Magpies are currently seventh on the table with 29 points and risk falling to eighth if Manchester United win their fixture against Aston Villa later on Boxing Day. Injuries have not helped their cause but they are falling behind in the race for Europe.
Things are not going to get easier for Newcastle anytime soon as they will kick off the new year with a tough away trip to Anfield on January 1. They will then face bitter rivals Sunderland in the FA Cup five days later as they prepare to host Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on January 13.