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Opinion

Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players

6 months ago
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A few weeks ago, this was touted as perhaps Newcastle’s most important game of the season.

By kick-off it meant nothing at all. Even Sky’s commentator sounded like he was there against his will.

To my surprise, Newcastle gave it a proper go in the first half and should maybe have scored more than the one they did.

Fulham gave it a good go too but they didn’t really look like getting a goal. Our defence should take some credit for that.

The whole thing ran out of steam, unsurprisingly, but we did win an extremely dodgy penalty, which Schär finished like the coolest man on the planet.

Seventeen points in the nine games since the Brighton capitulation is Champions League form, even if we look a world away from being a Champions League side.

However, we have finished 12th, above Wolves, Palace and Saints, with 45 points, and that is creditworthy.

I’m not exactly quivering with anticipation at the prospect of next season but I’m finishing this one feeling a lot better than I thought I would.

Martin Dúbravka – 7

Called upon to deal with crosses rather than shots but did it well

Jacob Murphy – 7

A typical Murphy performance.

Looked dangerous going forward on occasion. Looked dangerous in defence on occasion.

Emil Krafth – 8

A word of praise for this lad. Most of us wouldn’t have him on the team sheet but he’s improved over recent games.

Good positioning in defence. Good decision-making going forward. Subbed off with a leg injury.

Federico Fernández – 8

Solid as ever. He’d be my captain.

Paul Dummett – 8

Another excellent display from Mr Dummett.

Fulham don’t have the best attack he’ll face, but they threw everything they had at him, and he stood firm.

Matt Ritchie – 7

Made more noise than the 2,000 Fulham fans and covered lots of ground. Won a snappy pen.

I’m glad he made up with Bruce. We have improved since then

Sean Longstaff – 6

He has struggled this season. You could see he was trying hard today; maybe he was trying too hard.

A lot of the game seemed to pass him by. Next season is make-or-break, I’d say.

Jonjo Shelvey – 7

He’s been rank most of the season but he has looked the part in recent weeks.

He seems to enjoy playing alongside a forward-looking player like Willock. Did OK today.

Miguel Almirón – 6

Always gives 100% effort, but – for me – lacks a bit of quality.

Too anxious to get rid of the ball and lots of passes that went astray.

Extremely one-footed. Subbed knackered.

Joe Willock – 9

Bags of energy and a decent amount of talent.

Good goal and would probably be our player of the season if the season started in January. We want him to stay and he seems to love playing for us.

He has a big decision to make this summer. Fingers crossed it’s the one we want.

Allan Saint-Maximin – 6

The usual box of tricks, although very little in the way of end product.

Looked like he wanted to come off as soon as the second half started, got his wish.

SUBS

Dwight Gayle – 2

Missed an open goal with a free header. That was his most significant contribution.

I’d pick Joelinton ahead of him every time and I don’t rate Joelinton.

Fabian Schär – 7

I’m always a bit nervous when defenders are subbed on but he fitted in well.

Scored a very cool pen. Ich mag es sehr!

Jeff Hendrick – 2

The charitable view is that he is the definition of anonymous. So let’s be charitable.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Sunday 23 May 4pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Willock 23, Schar pen 88

Fulham:

Possession was Fulham 64% Newcastle 36%

Total shots were Fulham 14 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Fulham 0 Newcastle 4

Corners were Fulham 5 Newcastle 4

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

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

Unused Subs:

Mark Gillespie, Ciaran Clark, Javier Manquillo, Matty Longstaff, Jamal Lewis, Andy Carroll

Crowd: 2,000

(Fulham 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s victory – read HERE)

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