Schar and Wilson seals all three points for Newcastle over Forest

Newcastle 2-0 Nottingham Forest: Fabian Schar’s rocket and Callum Wilson’s delightful chip seal all three points for the Magpies… as Steve Cooper’s side fall to defeat in their return to the Premier League

  • Newcastle cruised to a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon 
  • Fabian Schar opened the scoring with a thumping long-range strike  
  • Before Callum Wilson rounded off the afternoon with a delightful chip 
  • Steve Cooper’s Forest struggled for possession in their Premier League return 

Eddie Howe warned his Newcastle players they needed be ‘cool, calm and collected’ amid the frenzy of an opening-day St James’ Park. For the best part of an hour that composure eluded them. How thankful he will be, then, that a centre-half had a rush to the head 25 yards from goal and duly found the top corner.

Fabian Schar has form for such moments – not all of it good, as folk in the low rows will testify – but when the Swiss international gets his timing right, his dispatches can prove just about unstoppable.

And his timing for Howe and Newcastle was perfect here. Let us be clear, Newcastle dominated from start to finish but, as chance after chance passed them by, you wondered whether Nottingham Forest were about to spoil their way to a point on their return to the Premier League.

Fabian Schär opened the scoring with a thumping long-range strike in the 58th minute

Schar’s intervention, then, was needed. Collecting the ball 40 yards out, he strode forward unopposed and accepted the invitation to shoot.

Forest debutant Dean Henderson is a confident boy and would have no doubt backed himself to stop an effort from such distance. But there was nothing he could do here, Schar’s strike kissing the inside of the post on its way in.

Callum Wilson made sure of a result that was never really in doubt once Schar broke through, the striker lifting over Henderson with the cutest of flicks from Joelinton’s pull-back 12 minutes from time.

For Steve Cooper’s Forest, they will have to find far more in the attacking third if they are to give themselves a shot at survival. They did not register a single effort on target. Marquee signing Jesse Lingard was miles off, while Brennan Johnson was shackled by the excellent pairing of Schar and Dan Burn, justifying Howe’s decision to start with them ahead of £32million signing Sven Botman.

Newcastle looked the stronger side before their centre-back eventually opened the scoring

Indeed, it looked like Howe had got everything right during a frenetic start. It was the sort of adrenalin-fuelled performance you would have expected from the hosts. But, for all of that, Henderson was not forced into anything resembling drastic action come half-time.

Howe had told his players that to feed off the noise and excitement of the crowd was all well and good, but in stressing the need for composure he had also revealed a concern. It proved well founded as 14 efforts on goal in the first half were either wayward, snatched at or lacking conviction. Composure? That would be a no.

Two of them came the way of winger Miguel Almiron, a player whose pre-season form has won promotion from probable substitute to certain starter. But scoring a bagful of goals amid the surrounds of summer is very different to the real thing.

He could not get a shot away when played in down the right on 10 minutes. The reason? He preferred to chop back onto his left foot, by which point the chance had gone. It happened again shortly after half-time.

Callum Wilson wheels away in celebration after scoring Newcastle’s second goal 

There was another chance before the break when, again on his right peg, he could not connect as the ball flashed through the six-yard area.

Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton did draw routine saves from Henderson but the latter should have scored when skipping through the centre on the half hour. He left four red jerseys in his trail but left his manager seeing red when, with just Henderson to beat, the Brazilian prodded wide.

But Forest would have been happy enough with their first period back in the top-flight and they might have stolen a lead had Schar not blocked inside the goalmouth after Brennan Johnson’s snap shot. A half-time statistic revealed that Newcastle’s Wilson had touched the ball only six times.

The second half continued in much the same manner and Saint-Maximin had not long been denied by Henderson from close range when Schar sought a different route to goal. It would prove the path to a well-deserved victory.


NUFC (4-3-3): Pope 6.5; Trippier 5, Schar 7.5, Burn 8, Targett 6.5; Willock 6 (S Longstaff 81), Guimaraes 7 (Botman 90), Joelinton 7; Almiron 6.5 (Fraser 81), Wilson 6.5 (Wood 89), Saint-Maximin 7 (Murphy 89)

NFFC (4-3-1-2): Henderson 6; Worrall 5.5, Niakhate 6 (Mighten 83), McKenna 5; Williams 5.5, O’Brien 6.5 (Mangala 75), Colback 6.5, Toffolo 6; Lingard 4.5; Johnson 5, Surridge 5 (Awoniyi 63)

Booked: Worrall, Williams

Ref: S Hooper 7

Att: 52,245

MOM: Burn


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