Date: Saturday 11th March 2017, 3pm
Venue: St. James' Park
1 - 3
15 mins Stefan
Johansen's through ball
reached Scott Malone on the Fulham left. He cut infield and found Tom Cairney in a central position.
Matt Ritchie was a
bit slow to close him down but the alleged Toon target let fly from 25
yards, beating Karl Darlow with a left-footed howitzer. 0-1
Magpies 0 Cottagers 1
51 mins The
visitors broke down their left
flank through an offside-looking Johansen, whose hopeful cross saw Paul Dummett make a
hash of his clearance. Sone Aluko took advantage, back-heeling the ball to
Ryan Sessegnon, who promptly drove it into the corner of the Gallowgate goal. 0-2
A classic counter attack cost United dear, Clark bungling a headed clearance
just inside the Fulham half. Aluko broke forward down the middle of the
pictch before slotting in the onrushing Ryan Sessegnon to his left. The
Darlow with an emphatic finish. 0-3
76 mins Christian
helped on a headed clearance up to Daryl Murphy on the edge of the box with two
Fulham players in attendance.
He turned before striking an excellent low left-footer from the edge of the box
into the far corner.
Full time: Magpies 1 Cottagers 3
"We knew it could be a difficult
game, and we knew we had to do well at the beginning and not make mistakes.
But we started making mistakes, and we paid for that.
"Fulham are a good team - they passed
the ball well and they have pace. We were giving the ball away, and that was
giving them the chance to play in the way that they like to play.
"When you have tried and have made
mistakes, you have to analyse why.
"It is not as though the players were not
trying in terms of effort. Sometimes, it is just the wrong decision, and that is something we have
Slavisa Jokanovic commented:
Sessegnon is working very well, we tried to use him in a little bit of a
different position but in the past we have used him in more of an offensive
"We expected that he could find the space in behind the back four of
Newcastle and he did that twice. He finished with a great level of quality and
he completed a very good football game and he must be satisfied with the team
and himself too.
"We played very good football and
we tried to win the game. With our style, we move the ball and we had
control. We were more clinical.
"I believe at the end my team deserved the result. It is a great step for
us, everything is open, although some teams have more points than what we
have right now.
"I believe Newcastle will be a Premier League team. They play a different
style of football - they are physical and a very strong team full of
"We knew they
would try and attack behind our full-backs and we would be in a good distance
from them with good positions.
"We are not in a position to think about being a promoted team, but we are
going to push hard for the top six. If you have enough strength for this
then we have a 25 per cent chance to be a Premier League team next season."
The Magpies were beaten in the Championship
for the first time in 12 games, as Fulham joined Blackburn
Rovers in claiming a league double over Rafa's side.
Daryl Murphy scored his fifth goal of the season in all competitions
for Newcastle, four in the Championship and one in the FA Cup. This was his
second from the bench, the first coming at Brentford back in January.
Cottagers in Toon - last
lost 1-3 Murphy
won 1-0 Ben Arfa
2012/13 won 1-0 Cisse
2011/12 won 2-1 Best 2
2010/11 drew 0-0
2008/09 lost 0-1
2007/08 won 2-0 Viduka, Owen
2006/07 lost 1-2 Parker
2005/06 drew 1-1 N'Zogbia
2004/05 lost 1-4 Bellamy
2003/04 won 3-1 O'Brien, Speed, Robert
Maybe it was the shirts.
The results of googling red include "energy, strength, power,
determination, desire, danger", while putting that through a black
and white filter though produces Huddersfield Town, Blackburn Rovers, Bristol
City and now Fulham: a quartet of red-clad sides who have prospered at SJP
Make no mistake, this was classic Newcastle United: build you up to knock you
down. Sending fans back with tales of success from far-flung fields only then
fluff their lines in bewildering fashion on their own stamping ground. The
names of the players may change, but the frustration remains.
Having come within a rotten penalty of matching their best-ever victory at
Gallowgate, thoughts of Fulham's 4-1 win here quarter of a century ago were
invoked - another day the visitors wore red and the likes of Gordon Davies and
Ray Houghton found acres of space to punish.
A check through the archives revealed that particular game came on the back of
a trio of away treks: an epic 5-1 victory at Rotherham, a backs-to-the-wall
1-0 success at Leeds and finally a 2-2 stalemate at Oldham achieved by a
tiring team. Sound familiar?
Back to the 2017 vintage and having set themselves up
nicely with seven points from three away games, United conjured up one of
their worst performances as Rafa Benitez marked a year here.
His side remain top of the table on goal difference, but were a
pale imitation of that which has led the Championship for most of the
Our sluggish and sloppy performance was at times reminiscent of the opening
game of the season when Fulham won 1-0, but it was a far more impressive
display of passing and movement from a visiting side now unbeaten and seven
and coming up on the rails in the playoff stakes.
The pace and movement of the Cottagers exposed our shortcomings, proving to be
the very worst opponent to face after the three away games that seem to have
sapped both legs and brains.
Tom Cairney's rocket gave Fulham the lead and further goals could have followed as
Darlow made one
smart stop and saw another deflected effort pass across his six yard box as
Despite starting with Dwight Gayle, an incredibly toothless performance from
United failed to improve after the break and 16 year-old Ryan Sessegnon
scored twice to end the contest by the hour.
There was a suspicion of offside in the build up to his first, Paul
Dummett's mis-kick in the box crucial. The second came after another
lightning counter exposed our trundling midfield again.
A fine strike from substitute Daryl Murphy gave United a glimmer of hope with less than 15
minutes left but a memorable comeback never seemed remotely possible
and Fulham even managed to miss a late penalty - conceded by Dummett (whose
below-par offering was matched by right back Vurnon Anita, while the performance
of Jamaal Lascelles was as wayward as his at Craven Cottage).
The spot kick was won by Sessegnon and he looked to have the chance
to complete his treble, only for Tim Ream to pull rank and promptly slice his
spot kick wide of the Gallowgate End goal.
It's difficult to convey the awfulness of today's display - and there's some
dismay that no half time changes followed a woeful
opening 45 minutes. Wins for Brighton and Huddersfield combined with our
defeat undid much of the
good work done last week and our goal difference is being eroded.
We at least finished with 11 men and Matt Ritchie and Jack Colback avoided the
bookings that would have seen them suspended for two games. That threat has
now been lifted giving Rafa something to work with in midfield - an area that
he rightly tried in vain to strengthen in January.
The return of Isaac Hayden
for the final part of the season may offset being unable to pick Anita in
midfield until DeAndre Yedlin is available again - the USA international's
forward running a significant loss to us. There's nothing suitable in the U23s
and one look at the bench today told its own story: three forwards, three
defenders and a goalkeeper. Achraaf Lazaar seems to have disappeared while
Sammy Ameobi's brief return to first team life looks to have ended.
The points gap at the top of the table means this wasn't a total
disaster, but following a similarly pedestrian opening gave Bristol City
a two goal start, our home form is of increasing concern.
More positively, Leeds were held to a draw while Reading and Sheffield Wednesday
both lost - leaving the Terriers as the main threats to a Seagulls/Magpies
double in the top two spots.
It's still very much in our own hands - although letting such a strong position slip through our fingers now would be
Nine games remain to guarantee that
the good work done in the first 4/5ths of the season isn't wasted, before
the real personnel battle off the field starts.
PS: Returning to that red for danger thought, maybe it's just as well
that our penultimate opponents Cardiff City have now reverted to their
traditional blue shirts - although Barnsley will doubtless close the season
off here wearing their usual home colours. Hopefully by then it won't matter
and this wobble will have been forgotten.
sad to report the passing of Wallsend -born Paul Devine, a long-time
member of Toon Army Dallas who had been battling cancer.
Paul's affable personality made him popular with those who
gather to watch Newcastle on TV games at The Dubliner - while his own unique live
commentary (described by a fellow Mag as "a steady stream of poetic
profanity") gripped many with fear and incomprehension in equal measure.
A proper Geordie lad, our thoughts are with his many friends and his family at
By way of a small tribute, here's a photo of Paul in happier times, meeting some bloke
from Gosforth - we'd like to think he was asking him for a blow-by-blow
account of that incident with Neil Lennon...