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Fulham FC Results

Premier League - Saturday 22nd December 2018, 3:00 PM
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Newcastle
0
(0)
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(0)
0
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Fulham
 
Attendance: 51237
 
Referee: Martin Atkinson(West Yorkshire)
 

Match events
Kenedy
72
Sub On
 
Atsu
72
Sub Off
 
 
76
Sub On
Kamara
 
76
Sub Off
Schurrle
 
82
Sub On
Ayite
 
82
Sub Off
Cairney
 
84
Yellow
Kamara (f)
Yedlin
84
Sub On
 
Manquillo
84
Sub Off
 
 
87
Yellow
Seri (f)
Kenedy (f)
89
Yellow
 
 
Match review



Match Report

Newcastle United (0) 0-0 (0) Fulham

Premier League Match Day 18 1819 at St James' Park

Saturday 22nd December 2018    KO: 15:00

Referee: Martin Atkinson(West Yorkshire)






Fulham striker Aboubakar Kamara
Fulham striker
Aboubakar Kamara
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Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri had asked for a clean sheet and that wish was duly granted as, for the first time in the Premier League this season, Fulham’s defence kept things pristine.

Yet as the final whistle blew and he embraced his old friend Rafael Benítez, disappointment appeared Ranieri’s over-riding emotion.

When his unexpected deployment of three centre halves very nearly paid dividends, Ranieri was left wondering whether Fulham’s shout for a late handball as Aleksandar Mitrovic’s shot struck Jamaal Lascelles’s arm should have been listened to.

“It’s very important to have a clean sheet,” said the Italian, whose side remain bottom. “I don’t know if it was a handball against us but we created more chances than Newcastle.”

Benítez seemed more downbeat. “We have to win these sorts of games,” he said after his players were booed off. “The fans want more but we have to realise we will be in the bottom half of the table all season. If we go higher, it will be a miracle.”

With Fulham’s wing-backs helping sever Newcastle’s supply line to Salomón Rondón, the visitors were well protected by that five man security blanket, with the goalkeeper, Sergio Rico, receiving only rare scares.

His most notable fright arrived after Ki Sung-yueng’s free-kick was met by Lascelles, who directed a powerful angled header across the face of goal. After taking a deflection off Mitrovic – sold to Fulham for £22m by Benítez last summer – the ball seemed set to swerve into the net before Denis Odoi hacked it off the line.

Mitrovic – deemed to lack sufficient mobility by Benítez – assumed centre stage and, after nearly capitalising on a rare concentration lapse by Martin Dubravka by dispossessing the keeper, appealed in vain for the aforementioned penalty shout.

Rafa Benitez would be better off watching repeats of Only Fools and Horses than Match of the Day, for there was very little to smile about during this stalemate.

The Newcastle manager revealed on the eve of the game that he enjoys settling down to watch comedy capers involving the Trotter family.

However Benitez was not laughing at the sight of his team toiling against the division's worst defence, who kept a clean sheet for the first time this season.

Indeed, Newcastle did not have a shot on target and Claudio Ranieri's side could have stolen the three points in the final minute of added time when substitute Aboubakar Kamara strode clear only for Jamaal Lascelles to slide and nick from his toe.

Benitez said: 'There were too many mistakes and we could have lost, everything they had came from our mistakes. This was an opportunity to get three points. I thought we deserved to win, we were in control until the final five minutes.'

It's all very well controlling possession, which they did for the large part, but an inability to do anything with the ball renders such domination meaningless.

'I said after August 31 that this could happen, playing against teams who spent more than £100 million,' added Benitez when asked of their blunt attacking display.

'We need more chances to score more goals. We have to realise we will be in the bottom half of the table all season. To go higher will be another miracle.'

It was a fairly grim, if accurate, assessment. The mistakes he alluded to included allowing Kamara to skip through on goal in the 94th minute but Lascelles saved a point with his last-ditch lunge.

Seconds earlier, the home skipper had again been the goalmouth hero, even if he did appear to use his elbow to block Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal-bound shot.

Much of the pre-match conversation had centred around Mitrovic and whether Benitez had been wrong in allowing him to join Fulham in the summer. Benitez never rated the Serbian striker and he wasn't about to change his mind, despite his seven goals this season.

You would have assumed, then, that Mitrovic needed no motivation to shine here, yet his performance did little to embarrass his former boss.

He was booed from the off, a little surprising given he was something of a cult hero during his three seasons on Tyneside, but so fragile is his mindset on occasions that perhaps the early jeers played a part in his subdued display, for they were rarely heard after one missed chance inside three minutes when he shot tamely at Martin Dubravka.

Fulham's most purposeful strike came when the fist of goalkeeper Sergio Rico connected with the jaw of team-mate Alfie Mawson as they attempted to cut out Christian Atsu's deflected shot. It left Mawson dazed and in a heap.

The second half saw Newcastle defender Fabian Schar go close with a header from Matt Ritchie's corner but it was the introduction of Kamara which sparked belated life into the contest.

It was he who teed up Mitrovic for the effort which was probably deserving of a penalty after Lascelles blocked just yards from goal, and the powerful French forward thought he was about to win it before Lascelles' late intervention.

'I tried to win the match by bringing Kamara on and we nearly did,' said Ranieri, but even the usually jovial Italian had little appetite for merriment after this game. It's just as well Del Boy and Rodney are played around the clock at this time of year.

Match Stats Newcastle Fulham
Goals (0) 0 0 (0)
 ,
Goal attempts 9 4
On target 0 2
Shooting Accuracy 0% 50%
Possession 54% 46%
Passes 498 461
Passes Success 81% 79%
Crosses 36 6
Crosses Success 22% 0%
Corners 6 0
Tackles 24 7
Tackles Success 67% 86%
Saves 2 0
Fouls 9 12
Offsides 2 4
Yellows 1 2
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
Newcastle United: Dubravka, Manquillo (Yedlin 84), Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Atsu (Kenedy 72), Ki Sung-yueng, Diame, A Perez, Rondon

Unused substitutes: Woodman, Fernandez, Hayden, Muto, Joselu

Booked: Kenedy (89,f),

Fulham: Rico, Odoi, Mawson, Ream, Christie, Chambers, Seri, Bryan, Cairney (Ayite 82), Mitrovic, Schurrle (Kamara 76)

Unused substitutes: Bettinelli, Le Marchand, McDonald, Johansen, Vietto

Booked: Kamara (84,f), Seri (87,f),

Referee: Martin Atkinson(West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 51,237






























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