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Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Dominant classy opening day for United, just look at these stats

1 week ago
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Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Saturday 6 August 3pm

A completely dominant first half, where Newcastle did the proverbial everything but score.

It was 65% to 35% in terms of possession in the opening 45 minutes and 14 v 3 when it came to total shots. Efforts on target 6 v 0 and corners 7 v 0.

The promoted team defiantly defending and it looking a case of just whether Newcastle could break them down.

Loan keeper Dean Henderson with a very busy first competitive half for Nottingham Forest, the opening 45 seeing saves from ASM, Wilson, Joelinton, Burn and others.

Forest could only boast more yellow cards (2 v 0) in the opening period.

Although it was almost a classic sucker punch six minutes before the break, Forest for once getting in United’s box and an excellent block from Schar denying Lingard. Neco Williams putting the follow up wide.

After the break, no change.

Newcastle with more pressure, more possession and more corners.

Then the moment came, after having denied Forest’s only serious attacking foray, it was Fabian Schar stepping up to the plate.

Yet another NUFC corner was played in, the ball ending up eventually cleared outside the box, only to be met with a Schar special. The defender towards the right hand side, advancing from 30 yards out and rocketing his long range effort into the top right corner.

The Newcastle fans had been on great form and staying right behind the team, despite the growing frustration. However, those opening day frustrations popped like a cork, when that shot hit the back of the net.

Ironic that it was the Swiss international, when many had forecast he would make way for Sven Botman. Schar loving it as he celebrated with the fans.

That 58th minute goal surely bringing the visitors out of their defensive shell, with no choice but to try and show some attacking threat, hopefully allowing Newcastle to now pick further holes in the Forest defensive line.

With 13 minutes to go, Almiron played a nice one-two with Bruno, only for the Paraguayan to find himself denied by Dean Henderson. The keeper keeping the visitors in the game just about.

However….only a minute later it was a very deserved second goal for United, Joelinton with the assist and Callum Wilson with a clever finish from six yards out, the goal that will hopefully settle any remaining nerves.

On 84 minutes ASM puts his effort wide of the post from the left side of the box and then even closer to a third for NUFC with five minutes remaining, ASM and Sean Longstaff combining to set up Wilson for a second and United’s third, but he put his effort wide of the left post with a left foot effort from six yards out.

Eddie Howe using all five allowed substitutions in the final stages, including Sven Botman making his competitive debut in added time.

No doubt some fans and journalists / pundits will point to so much dominance and chances not having been converted into goals today. However, I think that would be really harsh, as I think United did do ok in terms of the creative side and simply met a goalkeeper impressing in his first game for a new club, whilst a very defensive Forest side tried to frustrate the home side.

Obviously the chances were there to have provided a more comprehensive victory but with those opportunities spread amongst the team, I think a positive that NUFC had so many players getting into goalscoring positions.

Just look at the final stats below, this was a very satisfactory opening day of the season. The Newcastle players making it eight wins from their last nine games at St James’ Park, a dominant display and countless chances created, whilst Nick Pope didn’t have a single save to make all match.

Bruno Guimaraes was on top form, a class above yet again, he was the one that made Newcastle United tick and this could be a great season for him, for Brazil AND Newcastle United.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Nottingham Forest 0 – Saturday 6 August 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Schar 58, Wilson 78

Forest:

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Forest 38% (35%) Newcastle 62% (65%)

Total shots were Forest 5 (3) Newcastle 23 (14)

Shots on target were Forest 0 (0) Newcastle 10 (6)

Corners were Forest 1 (0) Newcastle 11 (7)

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance:  52,245 (Forest 3,000)

Newcastle United:

Pope, Trippier, Schar, Burn, Targett, Willock (Sean Longstaff 80), Bruno (Botman 90+3), Joelinton, Almiron (Fraser 81), Wilson (Wood 90), Saint-Maximin (Murphy 90)

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Dummett, Ritchie, Anderson

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