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Season 2022-23
Fulham (h) Premier League


Sunday 15th January 2023, 2.00pm
Live on Sky Sports

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Slipshod/sure-footed





1 - 0





Half time: Magpies 0 Cottagers 0

(69 minutes Mitrovic penalty disallowed)

89 mins Jacob Murphy laid the ball out to Kieran Trippier on the United right just shy of the box. An off-colour Tripps hadn't crossed well all day and played it back to Sean Longstaff, whose cross found Callum Wilson at the far post.

Wilson's initial header glanced off Issa Diop but United's number 9 had the presence of mind to instantly return the rebound across goal to Alexander Isak who headed into the empty Gallowgate End net from a yard out.

Full time: Magpies 1 Cottagers 0

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"Certainly a crazy second half: a lot happened in it.

"I thought the first challenge could have been a penalty. That wasn't given. The second one I didnít think was but was bizarrely given. The double touch I couldnít see, but I was really pleased to see it go that way.

"These moments can sometimes do that. Something happens, a flash point, we didnít concede. The crowd were really good for us from that moment on.

"It's been a really good first half of the season for us. We've improved from the start of the season to now. I think there's still more growth in the team to come.

"I'm very pleased with the player's commitment and what they've delivered for the team and for me and the club, so I think we're in a good place - but the challenge only gets harder."

On Joelinton:

"Difficult decision for me to make. I spent a long time yesterday debating that with my coaching team. There was a lot to consider. We understand the seriousness but have to a take a lot of conditions and thoughts into account."

On goalscorer Isak:

"The goal was a special moment. So pleased for Alex. You want to hit the ground running at a new club and he did before the injury. He had to wait and watch the team do well in his absence. Heís worked hard. For these moments the work was worth it."

On injury victim Bruno:

"He was in distress, and he was worried about his ankle after the game too. It was a twist. He felt he could carry on until right at the end of the first half when he signalled to come off. Thatís never a good sign from our perspective, and weíll have to get it scanned and checked out, and see what the damage is.

"We hope itís not long term, but at this moment in time, we donít know.

"Should he have come off a bit earlier? Yeah, probably, with hindsight. But the player wanted to stay on and I always tend to go with the player as long as it's not a concussion. The players know how difficult the Premier League is, and they know their bodies better than I do.

"He was probably limping for five minutes or so at the end of that first half, but itís always a difficult one, right on half-time, to make a change. You like to try to do that in the calm of half-time to make a proper decision. He played very well in the first half, despite the injury.

"Weíll see how he is. Iíll assess the injury, but we are light in midfield, thereís no doubt about that. Weíre missing Elliot (Anderson) as well, whoís another player who can play there, with what we think is a minor calf problem.

"Weíll get a diagnosis on Brunoís injury and then make a decision.Ē

On the latest Wor Flags creation:

"I didn't expect it or know it was there, so to come out and see that was a really nice surprise for me personally. I'm very thankful for that to everyone connected with Wor Flags."

They Said

Marco Silva said:

"So many things to say about the ref's performance. But first I will say that I am really proud of the players and my team. We had ambition, quality, desire and showed why we are doing so well this season.

"I have to say Newcastle's physicality and quality is really good. From the first minutes, we demonstrated our quality. We did not have enough time to prepare well after we had a tough, tough game 60 hours ago.

"Newcastle were much fresher than us. We never lost our organisation. We showed always that we were very compact as a block. Unlucky afternoon for us.

"The referee. It is a clear penalty, red card for the player and the game would be completely different. The fourth official gave it but the referee made his decision.

"On Andreas Pereira, it was clear that it was a red card. The red card would have made it completely different, with 10 men. I felt it from the first minute unfortunately.

ďItís difficult to see how the referee did not see at least one before the VAR. There were many fouls from Newcastle but the decisions today were almost all against us.

"It can happen; I can have bad afternoons and the referee did not have his best game. But the first foul
(by Dan Burn) was a clear penalty and red card. It is a clear mistake from the referee and I donít see how VAR missed the red card. It made a huge impact.

"I have much more problems with that than the penalty itself. If Mitrovic touched it twice, it has to be disallowed.

"Credit to Newcastle, they are a really strong side as well. We missed a penalty and we should have attacked more. Credit to them for not giving us more chances. We knew that we could not press for the full 90 minutes.

"We were very unlucky this afternoon. Very unlucky the way we lost this game. It went against us."


Newcastle made it 14 successive league games without defeat, only the third time that they've achieved that feat in the top flight. Unlike the other two instances however, they have done it in a single season.

Their 14 game unbeaten run in Division One began with the closing three of the 1949/50 and was then extended by the first 11 in 1950/51. Similarly, their 14 game unbeaten run in the PL began with the final trio of matches in 2010/11 and then included the opening 11 in the 2011/23 campaign.

38 points from 19 games represents Newcastle's highest halfway tally since the 2001/02 season, when Sir Bobby Robson's side had amassed 39. In our 28 seasons of Premier League participation, we've only exceeded that points tally twice (and matched it on one other occasion):  

Halfway in* - NUFC 19 games in, PL era:

2022/23 38 points, 3rd
11 points 19th
2020/21 19 points, 16th
2019/20 25 points, 10th
2018/19 17 points, 15th
2017/18 18 points, 15th
2015/16 17 points, 18th
2014/15 26 points, 9th
2013/14 33 points, 8th
2012/13 20 points, 15th
2011/12 30 points, 7th
2010/11 22 points, 13th
2008/09 22 points, 12th
2007/08 26 points, 11th
2006/07 25 points, 11th
2005/06 25 points, 11th
2004/05 22 points, 14th
2003/04 26 points, 7th
2002/03 32 points, 6th
2001/02 39 points, 1st
2000/01 27 points, 7th
1999/00 20 points, 15th
1998/99 24 points, 12th
1997/98 26 points, 10th
1996/97 31 points, 6th
1995/96 45 points, 1st
1994/95 38 points, 3rd
1993/94 32 points 4th

(*1993/94 and 1994/95 were 42 game seasons; 19 games wasn't halfway)

It's also worth recording that 38 points is a higher total than we registered in the entire 2008/09 (34 points) and 2015/16 (37 points) seasons.

In 19 PL games this season, United have conceded 11 goals and Nick Pope has kept 11 clean sheets. It's eight games and 722 minutes since he was last beaten in all competitions, his PL stats five games and 452 minutes.

Newcastle haven't conceded a goal at SJP during their most recent eight games, five in the Premier League, three in the League Cup. Since Ivan Toney's penalty conversion there in October, they've kept the opposition out for a total of 756 minutes (486 minutes in PL only).

Five successive top-flight league clean sheets has never previously been achieved by a Magpies side.

United completed their first seasonal win double over Fulham since 2007/08.

Alexander Isak
has three goals on his first four PL outings for United - taking 262 minutes to reach that total. That compares favourably with current colleague Callum Wilson (330 minutes) and former favourite Alan Shearer (495 minutes) but is inferior to Les Ferdinand (174 minutes).

Cottagers in Toon - PL era:

2022/23 won 1-0 Isak
drew 1-1 Wilson(pen)
2018/19 drew 0-0
2016/17 lost 1-3 Murphy (Ch)
2013/14 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
2002/03 won 2-0 Solano, Bellamy
2001/02 drew 1-1 Dyer

SJP old boy Aleksandar Mitrovic faced Newcastle for the fifth time since leaving SJP. He is yet to find the net (legally) or finish on the winning side.

Although we don't recall seeing a penalty hitting both feet as Mitro did in a game involving Newcastle, Andy Cole netted from open play in similar fashion at Oldham Athletic in November 1993.

Boro's Boudewijn Zenden got away a two-footed spot kick conversion against Bolton Wanders in the 2004 League Cup Final at Cardiff in 2004. His double kick hit goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen's foot and went in and the goal stood - referee Mike Riley missing the illegal touch and awarding the goal, with no VAR in existence to overturn his onfield decision.

Steve McClaren's smoggies ran out 2-1 winners that day, Riley's rick depriving Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan of silverware.



Newcastle reached the halfway point in the season third in the table after an incident-packed second half at SJP on Sunday that saw Aleksandar Mitrovic mess up his penalty before Alexander Isak headed a late winner.

The Magpies took to the field unchanged from Tuesday's League Cup success - Joelinton keeping his place despite a midweek drink-driving incident.

A Fulham side seeking their sixth consecutive league and cup victory made it to the break without conceding; Bernd Leno twice defying Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff denied by a last-ditch block.

Marco Silva's side then looked set to end our shutout record after VAR reviews of two possible penalty incidents resulted in a 69th minute spot kick award.

An initial incursion into the home area by Andreas Pereira saw him tumble when pulled back by Dan Burn. Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Trippier then clashed a moment later after United failed to clear their lines - although the Fulham man appeared to make first contact before going to ground.

Play was at the other end of the field when belated notice of a VAR review came and a further delay before referee Robert Jones was summoned to the screen in front of the East Stand to rubber-stamp Mike Dean's decision - although it wasn't clear from inside the ground which tackle was penalised.

Aleksandar Mitrovic sent Nick Pope the wrong way from 12 yards, but the Serb was denied a first goal against his former club after illegally striking the ball with both feet, play restarting with our free kick. Outrageous fortune followed the clear let-off from not dismissing Burn for his indiscretion.

With a reinvigorated home crowd roaring them on, United continued to press for the vital goal; Allan Saint-Maximin narrowly off target - the closest we'd come since Fabian Schar's free kick struck a post just past the hour.

Frustratingly through, some fluid approach play from Newcastle wasn't accompanied by crossing to a useful standard; Leno not tested as often as one would have hoped given the amount of goal efforts we managed.

Finally though the breakthrough came in the 89th minute, just as our third 0-0 draw in as many Premier League games began to look inevitable. 

An acrobatic interception just into the Fulham half by Jacob Murphy prompted one more home attack; Trippier, Wilson, Alexander Isak and Murphy again combining to find Longstaff on the right of the box.

His cross to the back post reached Wilson and he reacted quicker than Issa Diop to ping the ball across goal for Isak to nod in from point-blank range.

Having fielded questions about whether Wilson and Isak could play together, Howe saw the pair provide an emphatic answer within 18 minutes of them sharing a pitch for the first time.

Over five minutes of added time included a treble switch by Fulham that seemed to cause general confusion; the BBC alleging that the Newcastle bench told officials their opponents had too many players on the field.

That required a stoppage in play while a head count was conducted, to the evident consternation of Marco Silva - one of several examples of what we're apparently obliged to call "sh*thousery" these days during this game.

Bruno's injury in the first half was followed by a mysterious requirement for Nick Pope to receive treatment, allowing his outfield colleagues to cluster by the home dugout to receive instructions.

Press box occupants meanwhile observed Portuguese speaker Joelinton loitering within listening distance of the Fulham pow-wow, overseen by Portuguese speakers Silve and Luis Boa Morte.  

The penalty decision meanwhile reportedly prompted a home player to tread on the penalty spot before a certain Serbian's misadventure from 12 yards. And what may be evidence that we're keeping abreast of the dark arts as exhibited elsewhere was the appearance of a second ball on the field - one from the Leeds playbook here in December perhaps.

Perhaps the only piece of gamesmanship not deployed was the meddling from substitute Jamaal Lascelles that has already brought him two bookings this season despite not being on the field at either point in time. Surely a third instance would see him on an FA charge?

As the banner displayed said though, "we're not here to be popular, we're hear to compete". We've become canny in a rather different way to the usual meaning of that expression round these parts; somewhat different to our previous ploys of making funny faces in front of the 'keeper at set pieces or sticking a (206 goal) arse out down by the corner flag. 

Press profiles of our manager routinely include reference to his emergence as a defensive coach since leaving Bournemouth, but our collective massaging of the rules is less celebrated. The development of our game management also looks to coincide with the arrival of Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid - a slightly different sort of delivery to his crosses and free kicks.

While both he and Schar avoided the booking that would have sidelined them for one match, the news wasn't as good for Bruno Guimaraes. He played much of the first half with an ankle problem and now faces an unspecified time out. His presence in the post-victory dressing room photo was encouraging but he left SJP on crutches with a boot on his right foot.

Another improbable afternoon then in a remarkable season for this club. At the halfway point we're still waiting - as we have been since August - for the stick in the wheel, the upturned rake, the discarded banana skin....for something to go wrong, as it inevitably always has.

Instead we have in our midst a team and a manager who seem to be hell-bent on dispelling decades of disappointments on Barrack Road - Eddie the exorcist casting out demons if you will.

Their first target of the season has almost been attained, that of staying up. Let's see how many more we can nail between now and June.



Page last updated 20 January, 2023