Wood haunts former team with hat trick as Nottingham Forest beats Newcastle 3-1

Chris Wood of Nottingham Forest scores their sides second goal past Martin Dubravka of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest at St. James Park on December 26, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images

Chris Wood scored a hat trick against his former club as Nottingham Forest beat Newcastle 3-1 in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Wood, who signed with Newcastle for £25 million ($32 million) in January before joining Forest in the summer, took advantage of woeful defending at St. James’ Park to help Forest end a seven-match winless league run and give new manager Nuno Espirito Santo his first victory.

Newcastle took a 23rd-minute lead through Alexander Isak’s penalty but missed several opportunities to build on its advantage.

Forest then pulled even in first-half stoppage time when Morgan Gibbs-White sprinted upfield and played a ball to Anthony Elanga, who slid a pass which Wood easily tapped in.

After Gibbs-White sent a header wide in the opening moments of the second half, Wood ran onto a pass from Elanga, turned defender Dan Burn inside out and lifted a shot over Martin Dubavka to put Forest in front in the 53rd minute

Forest then made it 3-1 seven minutes later when Murillo’s through-ball split a ragged defence and Wood deftly stepped around the Dubravka to complete his hat trick.

Isak saw a 67th-minute shot deflected wide and Lewis Miley only just missed the target two minutes later as Newcastle tried to scrap back into the game, but meeting both fierce resistance and devastating counter-punching, the damage was already done and there was no way back.

The win lifts Forest up to 16th place while Newcastle’s fourth defeat in five league games keeps it seventh.

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