Unseen Newcastle United injury blow as Bruno Guimaraes makes Premier League ban admission - five things

Nottingham Forest 2-3 Newcastle United: Bruno Guimaraes inspired Eddie Howe's side to a big three points at the City Ground on Saturday evening.
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Two goals from Bruno Guimaraes helped Newcastle United to a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest - here are five talking points from the game.

A big selection call by Eddie Howe, surprise inclusion & unseen injury blow

All the talk ahead of the game was about Dan Burn's place in Newcastle's starting line-up at left-back. The 31-year-old struggled in the 4-4 draw against Luton Town last weekend as well as the previous encounter against Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.

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But head coach Eddie Howe displayed his faith in the defender by making just one change from the side that drew with Luton. Jacob Murphy dropped to the bench in place of Callum Wilson.

As it happened, Murphy would be deemed 'unusable' off the bench by Howe after struggling with a tight calf in the warm-up. Newcastle would also be dealt another blow in the closing stages with Wilson picking up an arm injury.

Surprisingly Anthony Gordon kept his place despite picking up an ankle injury and being spotted on crutches just a week prior.

On Gordon, Howe said: "He [Friday] yesterday and trained well. But he did well to come through the game considering he left last week in a protective boot."

Anthony Gordon in action at Nottingham Forest. Anthony Gordon in action at Nottingham Forest.
Anthony Gordon in action at Nottingham Forest.

Newcastle United's midfield shake-up allows Bruno Guimaraes to shine

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While Howe made only one change in terms of personnel, there was a tactical change made by The Magpies' boss as Bruno Guimaraes played in a more advanced midfield position with Lewis Miley sitting deep in the No. 6 role.

The creative freedom it provided the Brazilian saw Newcastle start the game on the front foot and establish control quickly. Kieran Trippier could also be seen pushing into the midfield with Newcastle reverting to a back three of Burn, Fabian Schar and Sven Botman when in possession.

It was Trippier and Guimaraes who combined after 10 minutes to give Newcastle the lead. The Magpies right-back grabbed his 10th Premier League assist of the season to set-up Guimaraes for an outside-of-the-foot volley finish at the back post.

Despite Miguel Almiron's almost under-hit short corner to Trippier, it was a well-worked set-piece routine that saw the Brazilian give credit to assistant manager Jason Tindall for working on in training.

Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Same problems persist for Newcastle United

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While Newcastle have had no problem scoring goals in recent matches, conceding them has been a real issue. And the left side of the back four would be exposed once again by the pace of Anthony Elanga.

Newcastle were let-off earlier in the match as the Forest winger was denied by Martin Dubravka after beating Burn for pace. But shortly after, Elanga got between Burn and Botman to draw the hosts level.

Fabian Schar restored Newcastle's lead with his third goal in as many matches only for Callum Hudson-Odoi's deflected strike to make it 2-2 on the stroke of half-time. After the break, things almost got worse for Howe's side as former Newcastle goalkeeper Matz Sels put Taiwo Awoniyi through on goal and the Forest forward went down under a challenge from Dubravka.

Referee Anthony Taylor refrained from making a decision and a VAR check didn't overturn, much to the frustration of Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

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"We should have had a penalty," he said afterwards. "I saw the replay over and over again. When you have the chance to see it on VAR, it's so obvious and that's why I don't understand [the decision]. 

"I think [it's the defining moment in the match] because we came from behind twice and that was a chance to take the lead. That was a decisive moment for sure."

Bruno Guimaraes avoids Premier League ban - for now

With the game tied at 2-2, it took another Guimaraes moment of quality to swing things in Newcastle's favour for the third time in the game. The Brazilian won the ball back for The Magpies before curling it into the bottom right corner of the goal from the edge of the box.

Guimaraes had scored just once all season prior to the trip to the City Ground but the advanced role suited both him and Newcastle on this occasion. The midfielder jumped on the advertising boards to celebrate in front of the travelling Magpies supporters but refrained from getting too involved given his current yellow card situation.

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"I wanted to give them a hug but then I remembered I was on nine yellow cards!" He said. "It was very special for me."

While Guimaraes has avoided a booking in each of his last three Premier League matches, he must still go the next eight league matches without being shown a yellow card in order to avoid a two-match suspension.

And what a blow that would be for Newcastle.  

Eddie Howe shows his emotion at full-time

The full-time whistle confirmed a fourth successive away win for Eddie Howe's side as well as seven points out of the last nine available to see them climb back up to seventh in the Premier League table.

Howe's decisions have been justifiably scrutinised over the past week but The Magpies boss was bold with his team selection and tactical approach at the City Ground and it paid off, just.

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And the former Bournemouth man led the post-match celebrations as he let out a passionate fit pump in front of the travelling fans.

"That was because they haven't had many positive moments away from home, not as many as we would have liked," Howe explained. "We appreciate and value their support so it was a big win for us today and hopefully we can look forward to next week at home." 

Next match sees Howe come up against his former side Bournemouth looking to pick up his first league win against The Cherries.