Carlton Cole has praised Alexander Isak after Newcastle United beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 on Friday. His goals also put the Toon in a good place to qualify for the Champions League.

Newcastle came from behind to seal all three points at the City Ground through Isak’s 93rd-minute penalty. The forward had also equalised in first-half stoppage-time after Emmanuel Dennis (26’) broke the deadlock. He fired home on 45+2 during a sublime showing all night.

The Reds struggled to find an answer for Isak as the 23-year-old regularly peppered efforts on Keylor Navas’ net. Serge Aurier had to react well to deny the Sweden forward a second goal earlier in the second period. While Isak also created Elliot Anderson’s denied attempt.

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Isak inspired Newcastle to a 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest with both goals

Isak dug his cross out to Anderson open at the far post as the 20-year-old leapt over Aurier to head home. But VAR Peter Bankes and referee Paul Tierney agreed to rule the effort out after judging Sean Longstaff offside. Yet two Reds players had intentionally played the ball.

Anderson’s effort not counting would not cost Newcastle in the end as Isak got his second goal at Nottingham Forest. Moussa Niakhate raised his arm to block Isak’s header and give the Toon a stoppage-time spot-kick. The 37-cap forward would send Navas the wrong way.

Isak had already shown his intelligence to beat Navas to score Newcastle’s equalising goal at Nottingham Forest, too. The Magpies’ £63m club-record signing from Real Sociedad last August produced a brilliantly improvised finish to volley Joe Willock’s cross in off the post.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Cole feels Isak’s double could help the Toon qualify for the Champions League

Isak leapt to contort his body and volley Newcastle level with his first goal at Nottingham Forest. His endless threat throughout the City Ground affair impressed former West Ham United star Cole. The Irons hero also feels the win can help the Toon in the top-four race.

Newcastle have enjoyed a surprise challenge for qualification to the Champions League in their first full season under Saudi-led ownership. Friday’s win over the Reds moved them to within a point of the top four. But the Magpies still have one game in hand over Tottenham.

“Isak’s the main man,” Cole said on talkSPORT (17/3, 22:18). “He’s the main goalscorer and that win means a lot and pushes them into a great position.

“They are looking at that Champions League spot and fair play to them. This is a big win and they can chase the pack.”

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