1 users online


Fulham enthusiastic - S. Telegraph

last updated Sunday 18th November 2001, 10:15 AM
Fulham 3 (2) - 1 (0) Newcastle
"YOU'LL NEVER win in London," cried the Fulham fans and at 3-1 up with 10 minutes to go they could be fairly confident that Newcastle would be travelling home without a win for the 27th consecutive visit to the capital. When seconds later Alan Shearer missed a penalty, the Geordie fans knew it too.

Blond bombshell: Louis Saha is elated after scoring his fantastic goal at Craven Cottage
It was not a happy homecoming for Bobby Robson, the Newcastle manager, who cut his managerial teeth at Craven Cottage. It was his first visit in a competitive nature since he was sacked by Eric Miller 33 years ago. When the Fulham hatchet man later committed suicide, Robson remarked: "It just goes to show how well he could handle pressure."
The blonde Louis Saha
Louis Saha celebrates a super goal
Louis Saha Profile
Louis Saha Stories

His Newcastle team did not handle Fulham's incessant pressure too well yesterday, two goals in nine first-half minutes by the former Newcastle player Louis Saha and Sylvain Legwinski doing nothing for their fragile confidence in this part of the world.

Even so, Newcastle had started the more brightly and indeed might have scored seconds before Fulham did had it not been for the alertness of Edwin van der Sar, who managed to block an effort from Craig Bellamy despite slipping as he came out to deal with the fleet-footed forward.

Talking of quick strikers, Saha has lost a little confidence after his lively start to the season, as a complete mishit after seven minutes seemed to indicate, but the goal he hit after 19 minutes should rectify that. Following a weak clearance by Robbie Elliott, he curled a magnificent shot with his left foot around Shay Given from 20 yards for his first Premiership goal since Sept 9.

By the time Nikos Dabizas became the second Newcastle defender to be booked, after 27 minutes, the alacrity of the Fulham attacks was beginning to tell on Robson's side. Fulham's second goal a minute later was as fluent a move as one could wish to see. John Collins started it with a crossfield run. Saha and Steed Malbranque maintained the momentum of the move before a ball behind the Newcastle left-back opened the way for Legwinski to score with an emphatic finish.

Given then stood up to Malbranque and Barry Hayles in quick succession before Aaron Hughes came to his keeper's rescue when he cleared a Legwinski shot off the line.
The very very long Edwin van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar saves Shearers penalty
Edwin van der Sar Profile
Edwin van der Sar Stories

Only momentarily did Newcastle threaten to get back into this game when Gary Speed headed home a Hughes cross after 65 minutes. Four minutes later, Fulham regained their two-goal advantage when a Malbranque corner was flicked on at the near post by a Newcastle head and Hayles headed home.

The referee, Eddie Wolstenholme, had amazed fans of either side with some of his decisions but none was as bizarre as his penalty award to Newcastle after 80 minutes, when Alain Goma was penalised for a perfectly fair challenge on Shearer. The former England captain saw his spot kick driven against the post by Edwin van der Sar and as he followed up was bundled over by the Frenchman. Predictably, Wolstenholme waved play on.

Van der Sar, Finnan, Melville, Goma, Brevett, Davis, Malbranque (Goldbaek 88), Legwinski, Collins (Clark 67), Hayles, Saha.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Ouaddou, Stolcers.

Saha 19, Legwinski 28, Hayles 70


Given, Hughes, Dabizas (Distin 75), O'Brien, Elliott, Solano (Lua-Lua 77), Lee (Ameobi 90), Speed, Robert,
Shearer, Bellamy.
Subs Not Used: Acuna, Harper.
Booked: Elliott, Dabizas, Robert, O'Brien, Lee, Shearer.

Speed 64

Att: 21,159 Ref: E Wolstenholme (Blackburn).
Source Sunday Telegraph by Clive White
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"