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MATCH REPORT ~ Fulham lose to Newcastle United ~ Prem MD37 20/21

last updated Sunday 23rd May 2021, 9:40 PM

Match Report

Fulham (0) 0-2 (1) Newcastle United

Premier League Match Day 38 at Craven Cottage

Tuesday 18th May 2021    KO: 18:00

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)

Live on Sky Sports

Match Stats Fulham Newcastle
Goals (0) 0 2 (1)
Scorers - Willock 23
Scorers - Schar pen 88
Goal attempts 14 10
On target 0 4
Shooting Accuracy 0% 11%
Possession 64% 36%
Passes Success 90% 81%
Corners 5 4
Tackles Success 44% 23%
Saves 2 0
Fouls 12 6
Offsides 1 0
Yellows 1 0
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
On 7 March, after Fulham won at Anfield to go a single point behind Newcastle, this fixture looked like it could be a relegation decider.

Since then Scott Parker’s men have secured two draws from nine games, while Newcastle have earned 18 points in the same period, after winning the deadest of rubbers.

One of the key reasons behind Steve Bruce’s side’s revival is the form of Joe Willock, who equalled an Alan Shearer goalscoring record to end the 21-year-old’s coming-of-age loan spell in fine style.

Renovations at Craven Cottage meant only 2,000 returning home fans witnessed Willock’s eighth goal since joining on loan from Arsenal in January. He has been the key factor in the club staying up, as he proved in the 23rd minute when his direct running culminated in the opener, with Fabian Schär adding gloss late on.

Bruce confirmed he will try to lure Willock back but his reputation and price tag have risen in the past four months, meaning the loan has worked for both parties in the short-term. If he does not return Newcastle would be left with a gaping hole next season.

“Watch him play and you can see a young player enjoying himself and enjoying the freedom we have given him,” Bruce said of Willock. “He gave us something we didn’t have before. We would love to bring him back but he’s an Arsenal player. Let’s hope we can test their resolve.”

Willock equalled Shearer’s record of scoring in seven consecutive Newcastle games in a manner more fitting of Paul Gascoigne than the club’s most famous No 9. The midfielder collected the ball well inside his own half near the right touchline, from where he spotted a large amount of open space to run into, until he reached the Fulham box, where he bundled through a couple of challenges before finding the bottom corner with vicious accuracy from near the penalty spot after the ball bounced up favourably for Willock to hit.

Fulham had 13 shots during the game but failed to get a single one on target. Ivan Cavaleiro was the main culprit in front of goal. The striker almost brought Fulham back into the game in the 38th minute when he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the Newcastle box. He found enough space to aim a powerful effort towards the top corner but it went just over the bar.

Despite failing to find the target it was the catalyst Fulham needed to get back into the game, and they enjoyed their first couple of minutes of sustained pressure of the match, which resulted in nothing tangible but did give the crowd much-needed hope on their first visit.

After the break Fulham built on the momentum garnered at the end of the first half but, unsurprisingly for a side with 27 goals and two home wins all season, they failed to use it productively. It was Willock who gifted the hosts a chance to get back into the game when his poor pass backwards was intercepted by Fabio Carvalho, who laid it across for Cavaleiro in space to finish but he blasted his shot well over the bar from inside the area.

Matt Ritchie was tripped in the box by Kenny Tete late on, allowing Schär to wander up from centre-back to calmly slot home the penalty. The result, ultimately, summed up the two teams’ seasons, as Fulham completed theirs by beating only the other two relegated sides at home, while Newcastle collected the points thanks to the ability of Willock.

“In the second half we played the majority of the game in their half, we missed some big chances – Cavaleiro’s chance which goes over is a massive chance,” Parker said.

“In a snapshot, that game was our season in one.”

Fulham: Rodak, Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream, Bryan (Francois 76), De Cordova-Reid, Anguissa (Loftus-Cheek 45), Onomah, Cavaleiro, Carvalho, Lookman (Maja 64)

Unused substitutes: Lemina, Aina, Areola, Hector, Jasper.

Booked: Tete (75,f),

Newcastle United: Dubravka, Krafth (Schar 73), Fernandez, Ritchie, Murphy, Dummett, S Longstaff, Willock, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Gayle 65), Almiron (Hendrick 80)

Unused substitutes: Carroll, Gillespie, Manquillo, Matthew Longstaff, Clark, Lewis.

Willock, 23 (It's seven in seven for Willock, who may or may not be playing his final game in a Newcastle shirt this afternoon. It's a typically smart finish from the Arsenal loanee too, firing low past Rodak from the edge of the box after pouncing on the loose ball from a blocked cross.)

Schar pen 88 (The £2m penalty! Schar strolls up to it like on a leisurely walk in the country and waits for Rodak to go before rolling it into the far corner.That, as it stands, lifts Newcastle up to 12th!)

Referee: Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)

Attendance: 2000

Source Will Unwin at The Guardian
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