Newcastle United took all three points from their first Premier League game of the season in front of their home supporters at St James’ Park against Nottingham Forest, and Eddie Howe will surely be delighted with what he saw this afternoon.
This is now the seventh successive time that the Magpies have notched a home win against the Reds, and it will be a great feeling for everyone involved at Newcastle to have three points on the board, with a promising first impression on how they will set out to challenge for a comfortable top-half finish at the very least this term.
Despite the game ending in a comfortable 2-0 home win, Forest were stubborn in the first half in their resistance to not allow Newcastle to open up a lead early into the game.
The visitors held off the constant attacking threat on their goal from their hosts, completing 20 clearances and with Dean Henderson making five saves as Steve Cooper’s side saw out the first half to keep the scoreline at 0-0 when the half-time whistle was blown.
However, it wasn’t long until Newcastle managed to break their opponents down in one of the best ways possible when Fabian Schar hit a stunning 25-yard shot at Henderson in the 58th minute, leaving the Manchester United loanee with no hope of keeping it out.
Newcastle doubled their lead 20 minutes later to seal victory when Callum Wilson found the net, leading the Magpies to not only their first win of the season but also a clean sheet, something with which Howe will no doubt be delighted.
Despite Schar’s superb strike, one player who effectively went about his business dominating the centre of the pitch today in the absence of Jonjo Shelvey was January signing Bruno Guimaraes.
The talented Brazilian showcased a range of attributes as he led the midfield by example, with 95 touches, an 89% pass completion rate and three key passes, completing 12 of his 18 ground duels and four of his seven dribble attempts.
Howe will be relieved that Guimaraes comfortably covered the position with no signs of weakness in the stead of Shelvey, who is currently injured for the foreseeable, and the manager will be hoping that the 24-year-old can continue to dominate in the role as he more than compensated for his stricken team-mate’s absence.
The Newcastle manager and the St James’ Park faithful will be absolutely delighted with the performance they saw today from their team, and more displays like this from Guimaraes should certainly help them to build upon this result to have a positive season overall.