THEY don’t call them The Entertainers for nothing!
Eddie Howe’s Newcastle are giving Kevin Keegan’s vintage Magpies a run for their money – and the Premier League is a whole lot more fun because of it.Goals from Bruno Guimaraes and Fabian Schar won the game for Newcastle[/caption] Guimaraes celebrates with fans after netting Newcastle’s winner[/caption] Anthony Elanga scored his fifth Premier League goal of the season[/caption]
Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes produced a couple of belters either side of Fabian Schar’s brilliant half-volley, to grab all three points in a five-goal thriller.
Forest responded twice with goals from Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi and were a fraction away from grabbing a third equaliser through Morgan Gibbs-White in stoppage time.
But the Geordie’s clung on to clock up a fourth top-flight away win on the spin for the first time since 2003.
Amazingly their 24 Premier League games have now produced a league high 90 goals – while they have leaked a staggering 25 goals since Martin Dubravka replaced Nick Pope in December!
They climbed to seventh with this win while Forest remain perilously close to the drop zone after suffering their 11th 3-2 defeat since they were promoted.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men had spanked Newcastle 3-1 on Boxing Day in his second game in charge.
And they almost carried on where they had left off at St James’s Park within five minutes.
Nuno Tavares cut the ball back to Gibbs-White who dragged his shot inches wide when he really should have hit the target.
How he was made to regret that miss because five minutes later Newcastle seized the lead with a goal straight from the Toon Training Ground.
Sean Longstaff rolled a short corner out to Kieran Trippier and Anthony Gordon deliberately blocked off Elanga.
That gave the England full-back time and space to pick out Guimaraes who volleyed home brilliantly with the outside of his right boot to leave Matz Sels gasping.
It was the Portuguese midfielder’s second goal of the season and his first since Newcastle’s 8-0 drubbing of Sheffield United.
The one thing you can be guaranteed where the Magpies are around is goals.
Forest should have equalised when Nicolas Dominguez exposed Dan Burn’s lack of pace with a brilliant pass to send Elanga sprinting clear.
But the Swedish international crashed his shot off Martin Dubravka’s legs.
However the former Manchester United winger made amends with a goal which exposed all of the Geordies’ failings.
Gibbs-White broke through the visitor’s press way too easily and had time to pick out Elanga on the right flank.
It was another mismatch with Burn, who should really have conceded a professional foul and settled for a booking.
Instead, he allowed Elanga to outpace him again and Dubravka completed the comedy of errors by racing outside his box in a futile attempt to clear the danger.
Elanga arrived first and, having had his mind made up for him, rolled the ball through the keeper’s legs from 25 yards and into the empty net.
However Forest are vulnerable from set-pieces and they proved it as Newcastle regained the lead two minutes before half-time.
Trippier’s deep free kick was missed by Burn, Sven Botman nodded the ball back into the mix and Fabian Schar showed a striker’s instinct to finish expertly with a perfect half-volley.
It was the Swiss stopper’s third goal on the road in his last two away games after his double at Aston Villa.
But again the Gerodies couldn’t protect their lead as Forest levelled for a second time six minutes into first-half stoppage time.
Tavares found Callum Hudson-Odoi who worked a 1-2 with Dominguez before shooting from the edge of the box.
The ball deflected wickedly off teenager Lewis Miley, leaving Dubravka wrong-footed and helpless as it landed in the back of his net.
The relentless pace of the match continued after the break.
Awoniyi buried the ball beyond Dubravka but had strayed offside. Then the big striker beat Botman to a long punted clearance from Sels and went down as Dubravka’s flailing arm appeared to trip him.
But VAR Tony Harrington was having none of it and agreed with Anthony Taylor’s onfield decision to let the Geordies off the hook.
Elanga was not so fortunate however when he was punished for a bit of a brain fart moment which handed Newcastle the lead again.
His attempt to pick out Gibbs-White at the edge of his own box was pounced on by Guimaraes and the Brazilian smashed the ball beyond Sels from 18 yards.
It was the third time the Magpies hit the front and Nuno sent on Divock Origi for Awoniyi and new signing Gio Reyna for Yates in an attempt to claw it back yet again.
But this time Newcastle held out …. just!