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Fulham 2-1 Newcastle Premiership Matchday 16 1213 The Sun

last updated Tuesday 11th December 2012, 9:05 PM

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Charlie Wyett at The Sun

Fulham (1) 2 Newcastle (0) 1

Alan Pardew became the second manager in the North-East to suffer an unhappy anniversary.

The Newcastle boss completed two years in charge on Sunday - but last night Hugo Rodallega condemned his side to a third straight away league defeat.

The previous week, Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill completed 12 months in the job by seeing the club drop into the bottom three.

And Newcastle, just four points above the drop zone, are not doing much better.

With Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all coming up this month, Pardew faces the toughest spell of his reign.

Fulham, following a desperate winless run of seven games, can breath a bit easier this morning.

Steve Sidwell scored the club's first goal for 317 minutes, with the help of a deflection, only to see Hatem Ben Arfa grab a spectacular equaliser.

Although wasteful with their chances, Fulham grabbed the win courtesy of the head of Rodallega.

Despite not scoring since the 3-1 home defeat to Sunderland on November 18, Fulham looked as though they meant business.

They threatened in the first minute with Alex Kacaniklic sprinting clear but Danny Simpson did well to put the Swedish international off his stride and he miskicked.

Rodallega then wasted a good chance by volleying the ball over in a dangerous position.

But he made amends with his part in the build-up to the 19th-minute opener.

Rodallega released former Newcastle star Duff, booed throughout by the massed ranks of away fans.

The Irishman fed Sidwell and his effort from the edge of the box hit Mike Williamson and looped into the net via the underside of the bar.

Dimitar Berbatov, looking silly in his black tights, should have scored a couple but was denied by two excellent saves from Toon keeper Tim Krul.

Fulham nearly paid for their poor finishing, though, as Newcastle could have scored twice before half-time.

Sascha Riether did well to clear two efforts off the line, the first a stunning header from Fabricio Coloccini and the second a strike from Demba Ba.

Berbatov sent a flashy side foot into the side-netting at the start of the second half but then Newcastle levelled.

Ben Arfa, who missed the previous four games with a hamstring injury, stepped inside Sidwell on the edge of the box and his effort appeared to take a small deflection off the leg of John Arne Riise and into the roof of the net to outfox Cottagers keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Fulham then got their noses back in front - although Pardew will be furious with Coloccini.

The central defender did not get tight enough to Rodallega and he rose unchallenged to head Duff's free-kick into the net.

Coloccini was better at the other end and he unleashed a curling effort against the bar, while Fulham sub Mladen Petric almost made it 3-1 with an effort that scraped the woodwork.


FULHAM: Schwarzer 6, Riether 7, Hughes 6, Hangeland 6, Riise 6, Duff 7, Baird 6, Sidwell 7, Kacaniklic 6 (Dejagah 6), Rodallega 8 (Petric 5), Berbatov 6.
Subs not used: Etheridge, Senderos, Karagounis, Richardson, Diarra.

NEWCASTLE: Krul 6, Simpson 6, Coloccini 5, Williamson 5, Santon 6, Gutierrez 6, Tiote 6 (Bigirimana 5), Anita 6 (Marveaux 5), Ben Arfa 7 (Sh Ameobi 5), Cisse 6, Ba 5.
Subs not used: Harper, Perch, Ferguson, Tavernier.

Referee: Lee Mason

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