0 users online

Fulham 1-0 Newcastle Prem 30 1314 Daily Telegraph

last updated Monday 17th March 2014, 7:12 PM
Daily Telegraph Logo
Ben Findon at Daily Telegraph

Fulham (0) 1 Newcastle (0) 0

Ashkan Dejagah breathed fresh life into Fulham's fight against relegation when he delivered new manager Felix Magath's first victory in four attempts with a beautifully struck second-half winner against Newcastle.

It was as much as the Londoners deserved, for they always looked the sharper side and took full control after the interval. They remain bottom of the table, four points adrift of safety, but have closed up on the sides immediately above them, Sunderland and Cardiff City.

They departed to a roaring ovation from a Craven Cottage crowd infused with new hope.

Newcastle's frustrations boiled over in the final, frantic minute, when the visitors piled everyone - including goalkeeper Tim Krul - forward for a corner. The visitors claimed the ball had struck the arm of Fulham full-back John Heitinga. Referee Howard Webb waved away their protests, to the particular fury of Krul, who confonted the official as he blew the final whistle.

It would all have been disappointing viewing for Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, watching a live feed back at the team hotel at the start of his seven-match ban for butting Hull City midfielder David Meyler two weeks ago.

It was Fulham's first league win since New Year's Day, when they defeated West Ham United, and began to answer Magath's demand to turn Craven Cottage into a fortress. Fulham's next task is at Manchester City on Saturday but Magath believes Fulham can turn home advantage into crucial points in the run-in to emulate the club's great escape from the drop under Roy Hodgson in 2008.

Magath, sporting a pair of black-and-white framed spectacles that could become a cult item around Fulham, said: "I'm happy, proud, a good feeling. The atmosphere here was tremendous, so it was a very exciting afternoon. It wasn't just the result today, it was the game we played. We were the better team today and it can give us the confidence to avoid relegation. I am convinced we can stay in the league and after this victory I am even more certain."

John Carver, Newcastle's assistant manager, revealed that he had talked to Pardew during the afternoon: "I spoke to him coming off the pitch at half-time. It was only a couple of points, then I spoke to him towards the end of the game. We had an analyst in the hotel with the gaffer and one on the bench with us. It was pretty brief. He was really calm at half-time. The manager has been ok this week, he has been lively, he has had a big part to play this week on the traning ground. Other than him not being here for the three-and-a-half hours, he's been right at the front of things."

Fulham made a bright start, twice going close to scoring in the opening 10 minutes. Lewis Holtby's seventh-minute free-kick was delivered perfectly, but no team-mate was able to apply a killing touch. It was a similar scenario three minutes later when Alexander Kacaniklic's corner skidded across the exposed face of the visitors' goal.

Newcastle had won their previous two matches but without 13-goal striker Loïc Rémy, missing with a calf injury, the Tynesiders lacked a cutting edge and came under more sustaned pressure from Fulham after the break.

The home side were unfortunate not to go ahead in the 54th minute. Heitinga's 20-yard blockbuster took a slight deflection, clipping the underside of Krul's crossbar before being tucked away by Cauley Woodrow. Had Heitinga's blast crossed the line before bouncing to Woodrow? No, ruled Webb, despite Fulham claims, with a decision rapidly vindicated by television's goal decision system. And to add insult to injury, Woodrow's touch-in was ruled, also correctly, offside.

There could be no doubting the legality of Fulham's goal, which arrived in the 68th minute. Just seven minutes after being introduced as a substitute, Dejagah seized on to the ball, cut in from the left and from, just outside the penalty area beat Krul with a low drive into the far corner.

Such was Fulham's second-half spirit that they had fully deserved a reprieve moments before the winning goal. Fulham supporters were left with their hearts in their mouths when William Kvist's misplaced pass enabled Papiss Cisse to bear down on the home goal but David Stockdale, preferred by Magath to Maarten Stekelenburg, rose to the occasion, saving the Newcastle forward's shot.

Carver said: "It's been a difficult day and we lacked quality. Papiss gets in there but David Stockdale makes a fantastic save. Then it breaks, then Luuk de Jong gets caught from behind, then they break on us, we defend poorly, let the guy come inside on his right foot and we lose the game."

Fulham ( 4-2-3-1) Stockdale; Heitinga, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Richardson; Sidwell, Kvist; Holtby (Riether 81), Kasami (Dejagah 61, Burn 87), Kacaniklic; Woodrow.
Subs Stekelenburg (g), Riise, Rodallega, Roberts.

Newcastle United ( 4-2-3-1) Krul; Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Colocccini, Dummett; Anita (Marveaux 81), Tiote; Sissoko, De Jong (Armstrong 86), Gouffran; Cisse (Sh Ameobi 71)
Subs Alnwick (g), Gosling, Haidara, Taylor.

Referee: H Webb (S. Yorks).

Attendance 25,664

Source .
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"