Newcastle – Fulham: Newcastle United took advantage of a second-half penalty to take an undeserved point off of 10-man Fulham at St. James’ Park on Saturday.
Newcastle’s Callum Wilson converted a 64th-minute spot kick after winning a controversial penalty off of Joachim Andersen. The Dane was sent off after VAR review of the infraction.
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A Matt Ritchie own goal just before halftime gave Fulham the lead and the Cottagers held the possession advantage despite their 28 minutes down a man.
Newcastle now has 18 points, good for 12th place. They sit 10 points above the drop zone, while Fulham is only out of the bottom three on goal differential.
Fulham has taken six points from their last five matches including three draws.
Three things we learned from Newcastle – Fulham
1. Fortune smiles on Steve Bruce (and Bruce says, ‘Thanks, Fortune, but we wouldn’t want to be greedy’): The disorganized Magpies looked better after halftime but needed a fortunate penalty call that turned into a surprising sending off of Anderson in order to level the score and have a chance to take all three points against the Cottagers. Yet the Magpies barely looked prepared to deal with the man advantage and were as close to conceding as scoring a second, as if Steve Bruce’s philosophy was to stare at a gift horse’s molars.
Newcastle has been the beneficiary of a number of close calls this year — notably against Spurs — after a few seasons of barely heading to the spot. On top of that, there’s very little answer in chance creation when Allan Saint-Maximin is out of the lineup.
2. Parker’s Cottagers showing grit: Fulham got rocked 3-0, 4-3, and 3-0 to start the season, the 4-3 including a 4-1 deficit before two goals after the hour mark made it a close finish. They’ve sorted themselves into a side that took points in three of its last four heading into this one and has only lost by more than one goal on one occasion (against Manchester City, no less). Frankly, Parker’s men deserved all of the points depending on your view of the penalty.
3. Yedlin v Robinson: American wide men squared off on one side of the pitch, where DeAndre Yedlin was at right back in Newcastle’s 4-4-2 while Antonee Robinson was at left back in Fulham’s 4-2-3-1. Robinson has been quite good in recent weeks and has a hold of the Fulham starting spot, constantly stretching the opponent’s right side. Yedlin had some wonderful passes and completed four-of-five long passsses.
Man of the Match: Tosin Adarabioyo
Callum Wilson was lively but this one’s going to a Fulham man. Robinson was good again, Mario Lemina influential, and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has come of age. But it was the center back who marshaled the back line and had the header than turned into Ritchie’s comical own goal (Hopefully his head is okay). Shelvey was Newcastle’s best player.
Newcastle – Fulham recap
There were early moments of danger for both teams, but Jonjo Shelvey’s long rip was blocked and Tom Cairney’s shot from the heart of the box looped to Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow.
Ademola Lookman then headed a Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa shot down that Darlow gathered to keep the match scoreless after a dozen minutes.
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The Magpies were decidedly better over the next stanza of the game, Joelinton nodding a DeAndre Yedlin cross over the goal in the 23rd minute.
Anguissa then drew a free kick off Fernando Fernandez less than a foot outside the 18. Lookman then thought he’d won a penalty off Yedlin and Bobby DeCordova-Reid couldn’t turn a Mario Lemina cross past Darlow. Fulham was knocking on the door at St. James’ Park.
Matt Ritchie sent Miguel Almiron into the box for a 38th-minute low shot that was saved by Alphonse Areola.
Fulham scored off a corner, Tosin Adarabioyo’s header back across goal catching Matt Ritchie in the face and going in for an own goal.
Yedlin played a gorgeous ball to meet a Joelinton run, but the Brazilian forward was tackled by Joachim Andersen.
Newcastle got a chance from the spot when Almiron played Wilson through on goal and the English forward hit the deck when Andersen got a piece of his shirt. VAR review sent Graham Scott to the pitchside monitor, and Andersen was then shown a red card for the infraction.
Wilson made his penalty count and then won a free kick that Sean Longstaff sent over the wall to a diving Areola.
Darlow made a parry of Lookman in the 68th as Newcastle hadn’t asserted its man advantage.
Areola charged out to deny Joelinton with a slide as Newcastle got a chance off classic Shelvey service but Fulham was still very much producing danger.