Newcastle are back to being the great entertainers of the league, their 24 Premier League matches taking in 90 goals, and they know how to write a thriller. There were plenty of plot twists in this victory, aided by a degree of calamity in defence as the hosts conceded two from set pieces and gifted Bruno Guimarães the winner, minutes after Nottingham Forest had a penalty appeal turned down.
Anthony Elanga sent an errant pass from the edge of the box to the Brazilian who got the ball out of his feet and picked out the bottom corner to seal Newcastle’s fourth straight away victory in all competitions. Forest were still seething from the injustice they felt after Anthony Taylor failed to adjudge that Martin Dubravka had fouled Taiwo Awoniyi in the box with the score at 2-2. The result leaves Forest two points above the relegation zone with a potential deduction looming after a Premier League charge to add to the pressure on the pitch.
Bruno Guimarães celebrated by balancing precariously on an advertising hoarding in front of the Newcastle United fans before placing his fingers in his ears.
He explained it was to block out the noise whenever there is speculation about his future — as in January, when Paris Saint-Germain were said to be interested because he went to Paris for a short holiday. Or like last summer, when Real Madrid were reportedly keen on a player who has a £100 million release clause in the new contract he signed last October. “Sometimes the people speak a lot about me,” he said. “I just speak a lot about football. I’m very happy here and I like how the fans think of me here.”
Guimarães was the difference between these sides, striking the first and the decisive fifth goal in a game both managers felt they deserved to win.
Newcastle United are the Premier League’s golden ticket this season with goals, at one end or the other, guaranteed. Five more at the City Ground makes it 90 and counting.
If another thrill-a-minute game could not quite match last week’s 4-4 draw with Luton for scoreboard burnout then it still represented an early evening well spent with a classy double from Bruno Guimaraes proving decisive.
How much three points at Forest will be worth to Newcastle in their pursuit of some sort of European football will only be revealed at the end of the season, but it felt important.
If this has at times felt like a cursed campaign for Newcastle, what with the betting ban for Sandro Tonali and the avalanche of injuries which have beset them, then they could yet salvage something from it.
Bruno Guimaraes scored his first goals since September as Newcastle gave their hopes of qualifying for Europe a shot in the arm with an entertaining 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest.
The Brazilian had not scored since the 8-0 rout at Sheffield United in September but opened the scoring at the City Ground and then netted the winner in the second half.
Fabian Schar also scored as the Magpies moved seventh, two points behind sixth-placed Manchester United, and after an inconsistent season they will now be eyeing a run of form which sees them book European football for a second successive season.
Forest twice drew level through Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi and thought they should have had a penalty at 2-2, but they are still searching for a first Premier League win of 2024 and are just two points above the relegation zone.
They are making Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers look offensively cautious and defensively sound by comparison. For supporters of Newcastle United, Eddie Howe’s current vintage feel more like the great Tormentors. In Bruno Guimarares, however, they have the Greatest Showman.
And how those travelling fans enjoyed another crazy contest in which their team attacked with flair and defended with a customary despair. Chaos reigned but so, too, did Guimaraes, their two-goal match-winner.
Newcastle had to take the lead three times to achieve victory and on each occasion it felt fragile. Play like this every week and you’ll win some, lose some, draw some, and that just about captures their recent form.
It is hard to make sense right now of a team who were so consistent last season, but you cannot deny they are fun to watch, for reasons both good and bad.