The Tyneside faithful were left stunned on Boxing Day as Nottingham Forest pulled off a remarkable 3-1 comeback victory over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park. Despite an early penalty from Alexander Isak in the 23rd minute, the Magpies were ultimately left reeling by a devastating hat-trick from Chris Wood, silencing the home crowd and leaving Eddie Howe’s men with their heads bowed.
Isak’s goal seemed to put Newcastle firmly in control, but just before the half-time whistle, Wood slammed home a stunning equalizer, a powerful strike that injected a spark of hope into the Forest ranks. The second half exploded into a one-man show for the New Zealander. In the 53rd minute, he capitalized on a defensive lapse to tap home from close range, grabbing the lead for the first time. Seven minutes later, he completed his remarkable hat-trick with a clinical header, putting the game beyond reach and sparking joyous celebrations amongst the travelling Forest fans.
Nottingham’s victory was a masterclass in resilience and opportunism. Steve Cooper’s men weathered the early Newcastle storm, soaking up pressure before turning the tide with decisive finishing. Wood’s performance was undoubtedly the headline act, his power and precision proving impossible for the Magpies to handle. This win represents a crucial three points for Forest in their relegation battle, while Newcastle’s Champions League aspirations took a significant blow on a day they will want to forget quickly.
The atmosphere at St. James’ Park went from raucous anticipation to utter disbelief as the game unfolded. Newcastle’s dominance early on looked unstoppable, only to be shattered by Wood’s late first-half equalizer. The second half belonged entirely to the visitors, with each Wood goal adding another layer of shock and disappointment to the home crowd’s silence.
Nottingham Forest’s stunning comeback at St. James’ Park will be remembered as one of the Boxing Day’s great footballing upsets. With Chris Wood emerging as the unlikely hero, this victory not only injects vital hope into their relegation fight but also serves as a stark reminder that in the unpredictable world of football, even the strongest fortress can be breached.