One of the best things about Newcastle United last season is their ability to rough things up.
Branded “annoying” by Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, Eddie Howe’s side have dabbled in the dark arts for much of the campaign.
Clearly, that has made them hard to beat. The Magpies, after all, have lost only two Premier League games all season and followed up their win over Wolves with a victory away at Nottingham Forest on Friday night.
Despite falling behind, Alexander Isak scored twice and put Newcastle within one point of fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand. Heading into the international break, that is huge.
Newcastle’s clever penalty ploy
While Isak’s first goal at the City Ground had Jamie Carragher purring, Newcastle’s behavoiur for the Swede’s second had the Sky Sports pundit pointing out a clever tactic.
Awarded a late penalty, Kieran Trippier first took command of the ball. Given Isak had previously taken a spot-kick this season, that seemed strange.
Carragher noticed right away. On Sky’s coverage (Sky Sports Main Event at 9:53pm GMT), the former Liverpool defender said “Might be a ploy, really clever.”
He was proven right. Isak stepped up and hit a calm penalty past Keylor Navas, who he then shushed in celebration. Ultimately, it worked and helped win the game for the away side.
What a night for Isak
The Swede gets better and better.
Brilliant against Wolves last week too, two goals against Forest underline his quality. At this rate, Callum Wilson faces an almighty task to get back into the team.