NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — Alexander Isak’s stoppage-time penalty kept Newcastle’s Champions League bid on track in a 2-1 comeback win against Nottingham Forest in the English Premier League on Friday.
The Sweden international evened the score late in the first half after Emmanuel Dennis fired Forest in front at City Ground.
Isak’s late winner moved Newcastle to within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand on its rival for the last Champions League qualifying spot.
“We believe and we know that we have it in our own hands and have a good chance,” Isak said.
The Magpies were five points clear of sixth-placed Liverpool, with Eddie Howe’s team winning back-to-back league games for the first time since the turn of the year.
Isak fired home from the spot in the third minute of stoppage time after Moussa Niakhate handled in the box.
Forest took the lead in the 26th minute after Sven Botman’s backpass was intercepted by Dennis, who dinked past Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Newcastle twice hit the woodwork, but the game was level by halftime after Isak volleyed in a cross from Joe Willock in the second minute of added time.
Newcastle endured a troubled start to 2023 after looking like an improbable title challenger in the first half of the season.
The Saudi-backed club also lost the League Cup final against Manchester United, but its bid to secure a place in the Champions League has been boosted by the wins against Wolverhampton last week and Forest.
“It was a difficult experience the cup final because we were desperate to win, but the players have responded brilliantly,” Newcastle manager Howe said.
The late goal saw Forest beaten at home for the first time in the league since September and leaves the team just two points above the relegation zone.