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Friday, August 12, 2022

Magpies humbled at Craven Cottage

Fulham’s Danny Murphy celebrates with his team mates after scoring his side’s first goal of the game

Newcastle United were outclassed by hosts Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday, going down 5-2 in West London.

Though the Magpies bossed the first half and opened the scoring through Danny Guthrie, they were totally outplayed in the second stanza by a Fulham side that were inspired by a hattrick from Clint Dempsey and a hard-running performance from striker Andy Johnson.

Newcastle dominated the first half but were unable to really force home their dominance, though Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale did pull off a couple of fine saves to keep his side on level terms.

Just under ten minutes before the break, a tactical error by Cottagers manager Martin Jol handed the visitors even more impetus. An injury to midfielder Steve Sidwell saw Fulham introduce striker Andy Johnson in his stead.

This left the hosts light in midfield and Newcastle piled forward through the centre of the park. Magpies midfielder Danny Guthrie duly broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute with a fantastic long range strike that nestled in the top corner of the net and gave Stockdale no chance.

Newcastle looked to be right on top as the second half got underway, but Fulham soon turned the game around, having bolstered their midfield with Chris Baird. The London side earned a penalty six minutes after the restart when Damien Duff was fouled by Fabricio Coloccini in the 18-yard box. Danny Murphy coolly converted the spot kick to make it 1-1.

Seven minutes later the Cottagers went ahead for the first time, with Clint Dempsey directing the ball into the back of the net from close range after Tim Krul could only half save a shot from Bobby Zamora.

On 65 minutes Dempsey was on target again, driving a low shot past the right hand of Krul after cutting inside from the left flank to latch onto a good pass from Johnson. The American attacker’s second goal made the score 3-1 to Fulham.

Jol’s side added to their advantage just three minutes later to go 4-1 up when Bobby Zamora converted a penalty. The spot kick was earned by the excellent Johnson, who beat Mike Williamson for pace before drawing a foul from goalkeeper Krul.

Newcastle pulled a goal back on 85 minutes when Hatem Ben Arfa beat Stockdale at the near post with a fiercely-hit low drive, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal for Alan Pardew’s men after Dempsey completed his hat-trick in the dying moments of regulation time to make it 5-2.

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