Newcastle United’s seven-game winning home run in the Premier League was ended by Nottingham Forest, as Chris Wood scored a hat-trick on his return to St. James’ Park.
The former Magpies frontman played an important role under Eddie Howe during his 12 months on Tyneside, but had an even more central part to play here as Forest claimed only their second victory on the road this season.
United had taken the lead through Alexander Isak’s penalty in this end-to-end Boxing Day battle, but the final result was a disappointing defeat to Eddie Howe’s men. The hosts prodded and probed early on but the first chance of the game fell Forest’s way, with Morgan Gibbs-White dragging wide at the Leazes End.
However, the Magpies took the lead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute. Anthony Gordon found Lewis Miley, who rolled the ball into Isak. The Swede turned, before being kicked by Ola Aina, and referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot.
There was a lengthy VAR check, but the decision stood and Isak stepped up to score his tenth of the season. More good work from Miley saw him slide in Gordon, who set up Bruno Guimarães, but the Brazilian’s shot was superbly blocked by Gonzalo Montiel.
Forest were a threat on the break, and in the 33rd minute Martin Dúbravka had to be alert to deny Anthony Elanga at full stretch after he had raced through on goal.