Instant Reaction: Newcastle United 1 - 0 Fulham

Michael Regan

Martin Jol signalled his intent from minute one. Just like last season, a late show of brilliance would earn Newcastle 3 points.

I want to be surprised, but I can't be surprised.  For the second consecutive match, Martin Jol has brought his Fulham side into St. James' Park with the intent of "parking the bus" from minute 1.  While Newcastle United looked better in possession than they have this season, they lacked the attacking speed and intent to prevent Fulham from getting 10 men behind the ball every time Newcastle entered the attacking third.

There were bright spots for the Toon even if the match was frustrating on other levels - Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had a solid match in the back alongside Captain Colo while Davide Santon and Mathieu Debuchy were active all over the pitch (if not always effective with their crosses).  The match also saw the season debut of villain-for-a-window Yohan Cabaye and Bedo's only "signing" Loïc Remy who took the field to rather contrasting ovations.

For the second match in a row, Newcastle turned up the heat around the 65 minute mark and especially so after Remy came on and Fulham 'keeper David Stockdale was called into action a couple of times, most notably a save on a very good header from Papiss Cissé.  He was not made to work as Yoan Gouffran found himself free in the six-yard box but put his header wide of the post - shades of last weeks miss again.

Newcastle were very lucky that late Fulham sub Adel Taraabt did not put them ahead when he had the ball well free in the box, but he shot directly at Krul.  It be mere minutes that Hatem Ben Arfa would provide that moment of brilliance that makes us all put up with the long stretches of questionable play - placing a brilliant shot that had Stockdale nailed to the ground and earning Newcastle their first victory of the new Premier League season.

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