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Date: Sunday 12th May 2019, 3pm
Venue: Craven Cottage
0 - 4
9 mins A Matt
Ritchie corner from the right found Jonjo Shelvey on the right side
of the area. He controlled the ball before dispatching a fabulous dipping
volley into the far corner of the net at the Hammersmith End of the ground.
Pursued by messrs Hayden, Schar and Lascelles the scorer legged it to the
opposite end of the ground, where his celebrations in front of the away
throng were intense to say the least, clenched fist salutes and kiss blowing
rounded off by the "binocular" gesture seen previously from
The exertions of that
marathon celebration however may well have caught up with him in the second
half, when he looked knackered. 1-0
11 mins Ritchie
played in Christian Atsu on the left side of the box via a deflection and
Atsu managed to get a shot away which was spilled by Sergio Rico straight to
Ayoze Perez who prodded home the rebound from close range. 2-0
Cottagers 0 Magpies 2
Another Ritchie corner from the left was swung in and found the head of
Fabian Schar who rose highest to nod down and into the Putney End goal.
Celebrations this time included Ritchie repeatedly slapping the goalscorer
on the back of his head. 3-0
Perez slotted a through ball for Salomon Rondon who
had just managed to stay onside. Rico saved his first shot but the on-loan
forward reacted first and managed to squeeze the rebound under the 'keeper and into the net.
The delight of the
scorer was evident to all and he was congratulated by the rest of
his team mates, even Martin Dubravka rushing from one end of the pitch to
the other to join in. Ritchie's contribution to proceedings on this occasion
was to tweak Rondon's ear. Rather you than me pal.... 4-0
Full time: Cottagers 0 Magpies 4
Reporter: "They (the fans) were singing we want you to stay,
are you going to stay here?"
"No I'm not going to stay here, I'm going back to Newcastle right now!
"We did well. The main thing is this was the last game of the
season, and to do that when you are safe, away, and in front of a lot of our
fans, Iím really proud and pleased for this group of players.
"If you want to compete against these teams you have to do everything
right. Are we close? You never know. If you spend money you might not stay.
"What I can guarantee is that was my last game this season! We will see
what happens in the future. Obviously, you know we have a meeting coming soon,
and hopefully, we will have more news for everyone.
"Because we have been
talking about this for a while my answer is always the same. We have a meeting
coming soon, hopefully, and then we will see where we are.
ďSomeone will ask me the question, do I
want to stay? Itís very easy. I can see the potential of this massive club
and hopefully we can do things in a way that will be good for everyone to move
forward, maybe together.
(Mike Ashley) said
congratulations to everyone We were in the dressing room, so he was talking to
me and the team, saying thank you very much but nothing special.
"He came to say thank you very much to all the players and everyone in
the dressing room. We will have a meeting hopefully this week and we will see
where we are. I donít know exactly (when): hopefully this week but as
soon as possible.
ďThe fans have been so good all season, since I have been here they have
been fantastic and I am trying my best to give them something back.
"I am always emotional. I am proud to
hear the fans singing my name. They have been like this all season. I am professional and if I can give them something back, like these four
goals on the last day, a sunny day, itís nice to know we did what we had to
"Obviously I think in the end it was
a very good season for us. We have proved that this is a very difficult
competition and I am really proud of this group of players, giving everything
even after the games we were safe.Ē
"I think he was desperate to score another goal! And it was
important for him because heís a striker.
"Even more important for me is the contribution for the team: the way he
was working in defence, linking with the players around, his assists.
"His ten goals was his best score mark in the Premier League and today he
has another one. He is really happy and a key player.
"I think he has been an important player for us. I think he wants to
stay, the problem is because he was so good the more will be watching him.Ē
"Itís true that itís been difficult. Heís someone that loves
football, that wants to play every game... at the end (of the season),
he was patient, working hard.
"Today, Iím really pleased because he scored a good goal and played a
think it was a harsh scoreline, but it is what it is. I donít think it
really reflected the game but, on saying that, we got to the final third
really well but we lacked a cutting edge about us at times.
"Ultimately theyíve got some good players who
obviously hit us on the break, they scored with a world-class strike for the
first, and it proved costly.
"It's disappointing really. I don't think the scoreline
reflects the game but saying that, I thought in both boxes, we didn't do
well enough at times.
"We had our chances or at least we got into those final third areas, but we
lacked that cutting edge about us.
"The game ran away from us a little bit and rather than taking a deep breath
and getting some sort of control.
"It is frustrating, really frustrating. We had become a
bit more resilient but today I felt at times there were signs of the old us.
"When the game becomes a basketball match for us, which I mean back and
forth, we are the side that look like they are going to concede.
"Of course it has been a disappointing season but in football as quick as
you are down you are always around the corner from a new challenge and the
new challenge is the Championship next season.
"There were signs in our play
today of what we are trying to do and that is something I love but, of
course, there are some other things I am not keen on.
"We will be in tomorrow and will go through the finer details of pre-season.
We will take a break next week and then it will be foot to the floor."
The last time Newcastle scored four goals on this ground was in a 5-4 FA
Cup victory in 1956.
their successes at Burnley, Huddersfield Town and Leicester City.
The Magpies won their fourth Premier League away game of the season,
United scored four goals away from home in the PL for the first
time since a 4-1 win at Hull City in March 2014.
won by four clear goals on the road
in the PL was a 4-0 success at Bolton Wanderers in October 2001
and they've done it just once previously in that competition - a 5-1 romp
against Coventry City at Highfield Road back in September 1998.
Hey big scorer - NUFC biggest PL away wins:
May 2019 Fulham 4-0
Mar 2014 Hull City 4-1
Mar 2008 Spurs 4-1
Apr 2006 mackems 4-1
Dec 2005 West Ham 4-2
Sep 2001 smoggies 4-1
Oct 2001 Bolton Wanderers 4-0
Dec 2001 Leeds United 4-3
Sep 1998 Coventry City 5-1
Mar 1999 Derby County 4-3
Mar 1994 West Ham 4-2
(The 6-0 win at QPR in 2016 and 4-0 victory at Ipswich in
were both in the Championship).
Away from home
this season, United lost just seven times in 19 PL games, their best
return since suffering five reverses on the road during the 2003/04 season.
This final day flourish
also made it
18 goals scored away from home in the PL
this season, matching last season's tally exactly.
last Capital success came at West Ham - a 3-2 victory in December
2017. Five visits to London this season before today harvested just
(0-0 at Palace) and a solitary goal (1-2 at Chelsea), with defeats at Spurs
(0-1), West Ham and Arsenal (both 0-2).
The Magpies took maximum points at Craven Cottage for the first time since
December 2007, ending a run of six successive defeats there in Premier
League and Championship fixtures.
The absence of
on-loan defender Antonio Barreca
from the matchday squad confirmed him
as the Newcastle player with the shortest-ever competitive senior career
for the club - a whole four minutes against Spurs at Wembley Stadium back
in February of this year.
Before his singular cameo, the PL record was held by James Coppinger
for his 11 minute substitute outing in August 2000 - also against Spurs.
Here are the shortest competitive NUFC careers we've been able to
trace, all of whom made single appearances from the bench except for luckless
Joe Ford who broke his leg on his debut in 1932:
Shortest NUFC playing careers - top 10:
Antonio Barreca 4 minutes (PL sub)
James Coppinger 11 minutes
Lewis Guy 11 minutes
Phil Airey 12 minutes
Justin Fashanu 20 minutes
Keith Mulgrove 22 minutes (D1 sub)
Ford 22 minutes (D2 starter)
Steve Guppy 27 minutes (LC sub)
Lubo Satka 31 minutes (FA sub)
Martin Gorry 45 minutes (D1 sub)
(There may be others who played less than 45
minutes, but older match reports often don't provide enough detail. In
pre-substitute days, it wasn't uncommon for injured players to leave the field
and not return, or to spend time on the sidelines and then rejoin
Two in double figures - for the first time since Ba and Cisse in 2012
NUFC PL Scorers 2018/19:
Ayoze Perez 12
Salomon Rondon 11
Fabian Schar 4
Ciaran Clark 3
Matt Ritchie 2
Christian Atsu 1
Isaac Hayden 1
Sean Longstaff 1
Yoshinori Muto 1
Jonjo Shelvey 1
DeAndre Yedlin 1
The loan periods of Salomon Rondon, Kenedy and Antonio Barreca have now
concluded, while Mo Diame is on course to become a free agent. Missing out through injury
meanwhile were Florian Lejeune, Miguel Almiron, Sean
Longstaff, Ki and DeAndre Yedlin. Javier Manquillo was excused duty and
remained on Tyneside for the birth of his son.
Failing to appear in any of the last ten games since a brief sub outing
against Burnley was Joselu (out of contract in 2020), while Ciaran Clark
hasn't kicked a ball in the PL since netting at Chelsea in January. He's under
contract until 2021.
two new names on the
bench today were locally-born reserve defenders Lewis Cass (wearing 49) and Kelland
Watts (clad in 53). Neither player got on to make their senior bow.
This result meant that Newcastle failed to concede a goal in any of
their six PL meetings with the three sides relegated this season (Cardiff 3-0
home & 0-0 away, Huddersfield 2-0 home & 1-0 away, Fulham 0-0 home
& 4-0 away).
For only the second time in
23 PL seasons, United won their closing
away game. Their only other success was against QPR at Loftus Road six years
ago to the day, in 2013.
Final away game results -
2018/19: won 4-0 at Fulham
2017/18: lost 0-1 at Spurs
2015/16: drew 0-0 at Aston Villa
2014/15: lost 1-2 at QPR
2013/14: lost 1-2 at Liverpool
2012/13: won 2-1 at QPR
2011/12: lost 1-3 at Everton
2010/11: drew 2-2 at Chelsea
2008/09: lost 0-1 at Aston Villa
2007/08: lost 1-3 at Everton
2006/07: drew 1-1 at Watford
2005/06: drew 0-0 at Birmingham City
2004/05: lost 0-2 at Everton
2003/04: drew 1-1 at Liverpool
2002/03: drew 2-2 at West Bromwich Albion
2001/02: lost 1-3 at Southampton
2000/01: lost 0-3 at Liverpool
1999/00: drew 0-0 at Derby County
1998/99: lost 0-2 at Leicester City
1997/98: lost 0-1 at Blackburn Rovers
1996/97: drew 0-0 at Manchester United
1995/96: drew 1-1 at Nottingham Forest
1994/95: lost 0-1 at Blackburn Rovers
1993/94: lost 0-2 at Sheffield United
Magpies @ Fulham - PL
2018/19: Won 4-0 Shelvey, Perez,
2016/17: Lost 0-1
2013/14: Lost 0-1
2012/13: Lost 1-2 Ben Arfa
2011/12: Lost 2-5 Guthrie, Ben Arfa
2010/11: Lost 0-1
2008/09: Lost 1-2 Ameobi
2007/08: Won 1-0 Barton (pen)
2006/07: Lost 1-2 Martins
2005/06: Lost 0-1
2004/05: Won 3-1 Ambrose, Kluivert, Ameobi
2003/04: Won 3-2 Robert, Shearer 2*
2002/03: Lost 1-2 Shearer*
2001/02: Lost 1-3 Speed
(All at Craven Cottage except *Loftus Road)
(All in Premier League except +Championship)
Until we meet again....
doubts may remain over the future of the manager and many of his players,
but Rafa Benitez and his side signed off for the season with an emphatic
success at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon.Full
time at Craven Cottage brought no grand farewell gesture from the manager though, simply crossing the
pitch with the players and applauding the cheering hordes behind the goal
whose admiration for him remains undiminished.
Goals from Jonjo Shelvey, Ayoze Perez, Fabian Schar and Salomon Rondon
delighted thousands of away supporters - including around 1,500 who arrived in
a flotilla of specially-chartered boats.
It took less than ten minutes for the party to kick into gear, Shelvey bagging
his first senior goal in over a year
with an unstoppable effort following Matt Ritchie's corner.
And the game was effectively over just two minutes later when Perez knocked home a
second from close range after Christian Atsu's initial shot was blocked by
goalkeeper Sergio Rico.
Both scorers had opportunities to add to
their tally before the break while
Fulham's best chance saw Aleksandar Mitrovic power a header just
wide of the goal following a corner - the former Magpie striker clearly not
appreciating negative comparisons with Rondon made by the away support.
The home side's best period of play came after the interval as United began to
snooze in the sunshine, but the leakiest defence in the division was breached
for a third time after
the hour when another Ritchie corner was nodded towards at the back post by
the unmolested Schar.
Within three minutes the hosts thought they'd made a breakthrough, when a shot from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was deflected by Floyd Ayite past Martin
Dubravka. However the
linesman raised his flag indicate he'd detected an offside that replays didn't
Three ahead, further goals looked on the cards for the visitors whenever they
advanced, Rondon seeing one goalbound effort deflected narrowly wide and
blasting another into the side netting.
United's biggest victory of the season was completed in the final seconds though
when Rondon notched his goal, shooting home at the second attempt to round off
the season in the great style we've come to enjoy at Gallowgate in recent
campaigns under Rafa.
Beginning with the 5-1 win over Spurs in 2016 as we bid farewell to the
Premier League, Barnsley were then defeated 3-0 on Tyneside a year later and
Villa held Brighton to unexpectedly deliver the Championship title. And 12
months ago came another perfect day, as Chelsea shipped three goals without
reply at a sun-drenched SJP.
We wrote then that it was "a joyous affirmation of the Geordie Nation;
a celebration of their beloved football team and a expression of gratitude for
the work of a certain Spanish manager."
A year later and not much has changed, except we've finally broken our
transfer record and ended up a point better off than in 2018 with 45, but a
finishing position of thirteenth rather than tenth.
There's justified frustration also that our recruitment inertia last summer
and the consequent slow start could well have cost us the opportunity to even
improve on that tenth spot. Rondon's first Premier League goal came against
Bournemouth in November, game 12 of a 38 game PL campaign.
Be it Watford at Wembley, Liverpool and Spurs in Madrid or Chelsea and
Arsenal in god knows where, there couldn't be more pride and fervour than
were on display here today for a team who were still capable of being
relegated until just three weeks ago. How and why this cannot be harnessed
for the common good (and fiscal gain) remains a complete mystery.
The popular perception furthered by the media is that Benitez enjoys
complete and unconditional support amongst Newcastle followers. From our own
experience that isn't quite the case, with variable transfer dealings and tactical
negativity the most common gripes we encounter.
What does unite fans is a respect for his work here and a genuine fear of
relapsing into comedy club status, with some discredited has-been washing up
on Barrack Road as Rafa's successor - willing to work for a fraction of his
wages and toe the SD party line in press conferences or private briefings.
Whether Rafa stays or goes still seems yet to be decided; whether the
limited concessions that the club are prepared to make will be sufficient
to keep him on board. Ultimately though, the decision may be decided by
the actions of owners elsewhere; offering him the means and the
opportunity to be genuinely competitive as a manager once again. If he
gets that, he's off, despite the love-in.
Attempts were made recently to draw Benitez into discussion of Klopp's
Liverpool versus his Anfield side and a certain night in Istanbul. All
harmless stuff, but doubtless reminding him that it's some time since his
mode of travel included open top buses and time is passing. He's 60 next
Whether today proves to be a staging post to somewhere else or a high point
before yet another decline remains to be seen. Given the anticipated
decimation of the squad between now and August 8th (reasons for up to 18
senior players seen this season to depart aren't difficult to find), it's
certainly the end of something, but what it's the beginning of is rather
Over to you Mike.
As is customary at this point, we'll express our gratitude to the whole damn
lot of you. Be it tipoffs, rants, corrections, comments or anything in
between, we remain eternally grateful for the input and encouragement. To
those who contribute in different ways meanwhile, caps are duly doffed.
Biffa & Niall