Premier League
NewcastleNewcastle United2Nottm ForestNottingham Forest0

Newcastle United 2-0 Nottingham Forest: Magpies overcome visitors' stubborn resistance

By Matthew HowarthBBC Sport
Fabian Schar's second-half effort was similar to the one he scored against Burnley in the Premier League in 2019

A Fabian Schar wonder goal and Callum Wilson's deft finish broke newly promoted Nottingham Forest's stubborn resistance as Newcastle opened their Premier League campaign with a deserved victory at St James' Park.

Centre-back Schar collected a loose ball on the edge of the box before sending a blistering effort into the net via the inside of the near post - a goal not dissimilar to the Switzerland international's strike against Burnley in February 2019.

Wilson put the result beyond doubt 12 minutes from time, directing a first-time flick over Dean Henderson and into the far corner from Joelinton's cross.

The pressure on the visitors' goal was relentless from the first minute, but for all Newcastle's territorial dominance they struggled to seriously test Forest goalkeeper Henderson in the first half.

Joelinton went closest to a breakthrough for the home side before half-time, dragging his shot wide from close range following a striding run from midfield.

Steve Cooper's side failed to register a shot on target but were denied an unlikely opener by Schar in the first half, the Magpies defender producing an outstanding block to deny Jesse Lingard inside the Newcastle area.

The result stretches Forest's losing league run at St James' Park to seven matches.

Newcastle 2-0 Nottingham Forest: Howe says his side were 'excellent from start to finish'

Magpies' patience pays off

As was the case back in January, Newcastle's summer recruitment has focused primarily on reinforcing defensive areas, with Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett - who enjoyed a successful loan spell at St James' Park last season - joining Eddie Howe's side.

The concern among some Newcastle fans is that they remain thin on the ground at the other end of the pitch - Chris Wood has scored just once from open play for the club, while Wilson has missed 31 of the Magpies' 77 Premier League games through injury since signing from Bournemouth in September 2020.

While Newcastle thoroughly deserved the three points on Saturday, the hosts' somewhat toothless first-half performance highlighted why Howe is so keen to bolster his attacking options before the transfer window closes on 1 September.

Allan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes all tried their luck from distance but either shot too close to Henderson or - in Guimaraes' case - failed to hit the target altogether.

The tireless Joe Willock forced Henderson into a low save as Newcastle continued to apply pressure in the second half, before Saint-Maximin was thwarted by Scott McKenna's last-ditch challenge.

The longer the game went on, the more it seemed the Magpies would require a moment of inspiration to break down Forest - and Schar duly obliged with a goal of the highest quality shortly before the hour mark.

Wilson had a quiet afternoon but, like all good strikers, he took his chance with aplomb when it arrived and has now scored in the opening game in four of the past five Premier League seasons.

The former Bournemouth striker could have added a third late on but only managed to steer Sean Longstaff's low cross into the side netting from a tight angle.

While Forest failed to register a shot on target, there was much to admire about the visitors' attitude and work ethic at St James' Park as they frustrated the home team for long spells.

If they can maintain that resilience throughout the campaign, they stand a good chance of keeping their heads above water this term.

Newcastle were the better team - Cooper

Player of the match

Bruno GuimarãesBruno Guimarães

with an average of 7.57

Newcastle United

  1. Squad number39Player nameBruno Guimarães
    Average rating

    7.57

  2. Squad number5Player nameSchär
    Average rating

    7.45

  3. Squad number4Player nameBotman
    Average rating

    7.38

  4. Squad number9Player nameWilson
    Average rating

    7.35

  5. Squad number7Player nameJoelinton
    Average rating

    7.33

  6. Squad number10Player nameSaint-Maximin
    Average rating

    7.20

  7. Squad number2Player nameTrippier
    Average rating

    7.18

  8. Squad number24Player nameAlmirón
    Average rating

    7.07

  9. Squad number33Player nameBurn
    Average rating

    7.01

  10. Squad number21Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    7.00

  11. Squad number36Player nameS Longstaff
    Average rating

    6.96

  12. Squad number28Player nameWillock
    Average rating

    6.94

  13. Squad number13Player nameTargett
    Average rating

    6.90

  14. Squad number22Player namePope
    Average rating

    6.81

  15. Squad number23Player nameMurphy
    Average rating

    6.80

  16. Squad number20Player nameWood
    Average rating

    6.64

Nottingham Forest

  1. Squad number7Player nameN Williams
    Average rating

    6.02

  2. Squad number1Player nameHenderson
    Average rating

    5.82

  3. Squad number26Player nameMcKenna
    Average rating

    5.80

  4. Squad number20Player nameJohnson
    Average rating

    5.73

  5. Squad number4Player nameWorrall
    Average rating

    5.54

  6. Squad number19Player nameNiakhaté
    Average rating

    5.50

  7. Squad number14Player nameO'Brien
    Average rating

    5.50

  8. Squad number16Player nameSurridge
    Average rating

    5.48

  9. Squad number8Player nameColback
    Average rating

    5.46

  10. Squad number15Player nameToffolo
    Average rating

    5.38

  11. Squad number5Player nameMangala
    Average rating

    4.74

  12. Squad number9Player nameAwoniyi
    Average rating

    4.71

  13. Squad number17Player nameMighten
    Average rating

    4.56

  14. Squad number11Player nameLingard
    Average rating

    4.27

Line-ups

Newcastle

Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Pope
  • 2Trippier
  • 5Schär
  • 33Burn
  • 13Targett
  • 28WillockSubstituted forS Longstaffat 80'minutes
  • 39Guimarães Rodriguez MouraSubstituted forBotmanat 90+3'minutes
  • 7Joelinton
  • 24AlmirónSubstituted forFraserat 81'minutes
  • 9WilsonSubstituted forWoodat 89'minutes
  • 10Saint-MaximinSubstituted forMurphyat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Dúbravka
  • 3Dummett
  • 4Botman
  • 11Ritchie
  • 20Wood
  • 21Fraser
  • 23Murphy
  • 32Anderson
  • 36S Longstaff

Nottm Forest

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Henderson
  • 4WorrallBooked at 15mins
  • 19NiakhatéSubstituted forMightenat 83'minutes
  • 26McKenna
  • 7N WilliamsBooked at 23mins
  • 14O'BrienBooked at 56minsSubstituted forMangalaat 75'minutes
  • 8Colback
  • 15Toffolo
  • 11Lingard
  • 20Johnson
  • 16SurridgeSubstituted forAwoniyiat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Biancone
  • 5Mangala
  • 6Mbe Soh
  • 9Awoniyi
  • 13Hennessey
  • 17Mighten
  • 18Ribeiro Dias
  • 33Taylor
  • 41Hammond
Referee:
Simon Hooper
Attendance:
52,245

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamNottm Forest
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home23
Away5
Shots on Target
Home10
Away0
Corners
Home11
Away1
Fouls
Home9
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 2, Nottingham Forest 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 2, Nottingham Forest 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Sven Botman replaces Bruno Guimarães.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Chris Wood (Newcastle United).

  5. Post update

    Joe Worrall (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Fabian Schär (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest).

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Jacob Murphy replaces Allan Saint-Maximin.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Chris Wood replaces Callum Wilson.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Matt Targett (Newcastle United).

  11. Post update

    Alex Mighten (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Sean Longstaff.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ryan Fraser.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Nottingham Forest. Alex Mighten replaces Moussa Niakhaté.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Ryan Fraser replaces Miguel Almirón.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Sean Longstaff replaces Joe Willock.

  17. Post update

    Matt Targett (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest).

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Newcastle United 2, Nottingham Forest 0. Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Joelinton.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Bruno Guimarães.

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