What an afternoon.
Newcastle’s game against Fulham may not have quite been the spectacle it could have been, but I think that was expected by the majority of fans. But another win for United means we finished the season really, really well.
After losing 3-0 to Brighton, Newcastle were favourites to join WBA and Sheffield United in being relegated. But 5 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses in the next 9 games has not only left Newcastle 17 points above the relegation zone, but all the way up into 12th place?!
An array of results have gone Newcastles way, but in the end they have ended up the same number of points away from Europe as they are to being relegated.
Fulham completely capitulated and other than a brief period of good results around the New Year, it turns out they really weren’t ever quite a PL side.
Bruce will be criticised for his style of play, and Newcastle finishing twelfth whilst in a relegation battle for the majority of the season will not forgotten about quickly, but there should be huge props to the players and staff for pulling together at the end of the season.
Financially, finishing in twelfth should give United some more power in the transfer market, but we’ll have to wait and see whether new club legend Joe Willock can be persuaded and financed away from the Emirates.
Thanks for joining us here today and for joining Coming Home Newcastle for the season. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @ComingHomeNUFC and look out for all the club news, transfer speculation, season reviews and opinions over the summer!
Newcastle ended up being the same number of points away from Europe as they were to relegation.— Arron | NUFC ⚫⚪ (@Concrete_NUFC) May 23, 2021
Regardless of the style, that's quite a turnaround.
Hoping for change over summer but a fantastic end to the season.
90(+1) mins - Full time. Newcastle win 2-0. Very solid performance defensively, cracking goal from Willock and a nice sentiment for Schar to get a goal.
90mins -Just one minute of added time at the Cottage.
Newcastle send bodies forward with Willock, they try and get another but Shelvey’s shot is closed down. The ball almost finds Schar who tries to sneak in behind the Fulham back-line but it’s just cut out.
88mins - GOAL - Newcastle 2- 0 Fulham.
Fabian Schar just came on and he’s scored a lovely little pen. Charges up as if he’s going to smash it, but just slots it in.
87mins - PENALTY NEWCASTLE!
Ritchie is taken out in the box and the ref points to the spot!!
85mins - Joe Willock has just run and run all game. Newcastle have been crying out for a box-to-box midfielder that can score. Surely we have to do what we can to sign him up.
83mins - STAT - Newcastle have the second fewest number of clean sheets in the league this season, only more than Sheffield United.
81mins - Such an anti-climax to the season this game. Classic performance for this season. Entirely forgettable so far, barring Willock’s goal mind.
79mins - Substitution - Newcastle - Almiron OFF, Hendrick ON.
No idea what this is for. Farewell send off? Hopefully.
77mins - ELSEWHERE, Kasper Schmeichel makes a MASSIVE mistake to allow a corner in and Leicester are out of the CL spot. Plus, Aguero has scored again!!
75mins - Newcastle get a freekick after an awful challenge from Anguissa on Krafth. No card somehow.
73mins - Aguero has scored for City off the bench!!!
Fantastic to see him get a goal in his last performance. Looks like every player and coach celebrated that one!
Quiet period here at Craven Cottage.
71mins - Maja gets his chance to give 5under1and fans something to cheer, but he slices his chance way over the bar.
69mins- Players looking tired out there already. Been a long season and many will be looking forward to the summer break, but only 3 weeks now until England get their Euros campaign under way!
67mins - SHOULD BE TWO!!
Newcastle have a free-kick on the left, Ritchie puts a fantastic ball in and Gayle meets it, completely unmarked, but he balloons the header over.
Looks like he shut his eyes!!
65mins - Substitution - Fulham, Lookman (strangely) is off, Josh Maja on.
Newcastle make a change too, Saint-Maximin’s season is done as he makes way for Gayle. Hopefully he’ll be able to make an impact and raise his value before the transfer window.
63mins - United trying too hard here to get the ball to Saint-Maximin with hollywood passes. Noone linking the play to get Newcastle forward at the moment.
61mins - Newcastle have a free kick which Shelvey whips in to the back post. Dummett almost gets a head on it but it’s forced out.
57mins - Much of the same. Might go make a cup of tea and hope Newcastle stay sturdy at the back. Surely pundits must understand why fans don’t want to see this?!
55mins - Huge chance for Fulham. Fernandez can’t reach a pass back from Willock and Cavaleiro just has Dubravka to beat but he puts it wide!!!
53mins - Not comfortable watching this. Newcastle really lacklustre, look like they’re happy to let this game end. Frustrating to watch.
Get those strikers on Brucey and give them a chance at the end of the season.
51mins - Matt Ritchie gets a smash in the face and is down for quite a while. Big stoppage which the lads use to get some water in.
49mins - Willock is down holding his stomach. No idea what’s happened there, but he seems alright to continue for now.
Lookman - who will surely be out in the summer - looks to get Fulham going again but his final ball lets him down again.
47mins- Newcastle start strongly. Murphy finds space down the right and gets a dangerous ball in which Willock nearly gets a toe on.
45mins - Fulham get us back under way for their last 45mins of PL football for at least a season.
Quite a Newcastle first half that. Gave a lot of possession up, invited possession, but were resilient and organised defensively.
It’s not pretty, but it’s working. Dubravka has hardly had a thing to do, with Fulham hitting the majority of their shots either over the bar or directly into a Toon defender.
But it’s that Maggie Joe Willock again for Newcastle. 7 goals in 7 games, matching club legend Alan Shearer. It was a great run and finish from the young Arsenal loanee.
⚽ Joe Willock has scored 8 PL goals for Newcastle since joining on-loan from Arsenal in February. The top PL scorers for Arsenal in that time are Aubameyang & Lacazette (both 5) #FULNEW pic.twitter.com/WEMKc0IOjJ— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 23, 2021
HALF-TIME ⏰— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 23, 2021
The scores from around the grounds after an action packed first half!
45 minutes to until the Premier League season draws to a close...
45(+1)mins - Just the one minute added time.
Fulham attempt to carve one last opening but United hold firm to see the half out.
Fulham 0-1 Newcastle. Hardly beautiful football, but defensively sound and a fantastic goal for Willock puts United up at the break.
44mins - Saint-Maximin does really well to bring the ball out and draw a foul. Newcastle taking a breather from here.
ELSEWHERE, it’s all change in the fight for Europe and the Golden Boot.
Harry Kane has equalised against Leicester, dropping Leicester out of the CL spots and putting Kane top of the goalscoring charts.
42mins - That’s where Newcastle miss a striker. Almiron breaks on the counter, find s Willock on the right who feeds Murphy along the byline. He puts a good ball in, but there’s no-one there other than Longstaff who’s just ran the length of the pitch to arrive a second or two late.
40mins - I think Cavaleiro has had about 40 shots this first half?! Not stretching Dubz though, in fact majority of shots have been blocked well. Newcastle putting bodies on the line, happy to let Fulham shoot from outside the box.
38mins- Pressure mounting on United’s defence. Struggling to clear their lines and the ball drops to Cavaleiro who skims the crossbar with an effort from the left side of the box.
36mins - Scotty Parker is fairly loud isn’t he? Can hear the manager shouting instructions out over the commentators and crowd.
Lots of possession going the Cottagers’ way but Newcastle defending really really well.
34mins - The Cottagers getting some good challenges in. Saint-Maximin been pick-pocketed twice in succession.
They just lack a clinical edge going forward. Much like Newcastle if it weren’t for Willock and Wilson.
32mins- Fulham have definitely picked up their intensity. They’re holding a high press, putting Newcastle’s defenders (+Longstaff) under pressure.
30mins - In the battel for CL football it looks like Leicester have taken the advantage. They’re 1-0 up against Tottenham whilst Chelsea and Liverpool are both still drawing their games 0-0.
Elsewhere, McGoldrick has put Sheffield Utd ahead against Burnley, Fornals but West Ham up against Southampton and Rodrigo has Leeds up against WBA.
28mins - Almiron gets away on a break and manages to get a shot in on target.
End-to-end stuff here, Fulham looking to respond quickly through Lookman and Cavaleiro mainly. Definitely a criticism of this Newcastle side is the amount of goals they’ve conceded directly after scoring.
26mins - We don’t really have to send him back do we? Arsenal going to keep on to Willock I reckon, then not play him, then he’ll be back next winter.
24mins - GOAL. Who else? Joe Willock. Fulham 0 - 1 Willock.
It’s a fantastic run from inside the Newcastle half. He strides through the middle of the park, almost loses it on the edge of the box but it sits nicely for him and he rifles a shot into the far post. Get in.
22mins - Newcastle look like they’re struggling to get out without a striker.
But Almiron and ASM manage a little one-two to set up Willock who hits a deflected shot behind for a corner. The corner is deep and headed away.
20mins - Lookman has looked dangerous this first half. He makes a great run down the middle and picks up Cavaleiro on the left who tries to curl an effort in the far post but doesn’t trouble Dubz.
18mins - Corner in was a poor one, Saint-Maximin looks to bring it out but it hits referee - Chris Kavanagh - and play is stopped.
Just seen a fantastic stat. Even if Newcastle had lost their last 8 games straight, we’d still be level on points with Fulham. They’ve struggled of late.
16mins - Cavaleiro taken out about 40yards out, right side of the pitch gives Fulham a freekick. Dangerous delivery is dealt with well by Dummett for another Fulham corner.
14mins - Scrappy this. Looks like what we’d have imagined the game to have been if this were for PL survival...
12mins - News from elsewhere...
Champions Man City have put a pretty full strength side out for their home game against Everton. KDB has opened the scoring there.
Man Utd however have put a much weaker side out ahead of their Europa League final, but teenager Elanga has got them ahead against Wolves.
At the Cottage, lots of toothless play, as expected under Bruce however Newcastle are surrendering the majority of possession.
10mins - Lookman does well to skip away from a couple of challenges before getting a decent effort away, wide of Dubravka.
Lots of big challenges being put in, wouldn’t be a surprise to see a card or too in this one.
8mins - Ritchie’s corner punched away but brought straight back in and after a little pinball in the box, Longstaff gets a deflected shot away for another corner.
Shelvey this time and again punched clear.
Chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” at the ref.
6mins - Dubravka does well under pressure not to give the ball away just outside his box to get the Toon forward.
ASM drives into the box and hits a good left-footed shot which gets put behind by Rodak.
4mins - Good possession from Fulham and after Cavaleiro is screamed at to shoot, he get’s it out-wide to Decordova-Reid who wins a corner off Ritchie.
The corner is towards the back post and Anguissa gets a good head on it but sends it well wide.
2mins - A nervy first couple of minutes, Dubravka having a slip and Fulham keeper Rodak only just beating Murphy to a through ball.
Having fans back is great though, I thought i’d got used to the fake crowd noises but nothing can replace this!
0mins - We’re off after the players are given a warm-round of applause after the players take a knee to show their solidarity against racism.
It’s here! The final day of the 2020/2021 Premier League season. In what has been a topsy turvy season, it’s almost time to look ahead to next season (well, the Euros first!) and hope for greener pastures. The fans were back last week against Sheffield United, Newcastle have scored more goals than any other side in the Premier League since Daylight savings shifted and Sunderland are stuck playing football in League One for another season. Things are looking back to normal.
Although effectively a dead-rubber now, it was only a few weeks back that this game was billed to be a deadline day scrap for survival. But an upturn in form - 17points in 12 games - was perfect timing in ensuring Newcastle were safe with 3 games to go.
There is the chance to better last seasons’ total of 44points with a win and with that a potential 12th placed finish which will bring with it a bit of extra muscle to take into the transfer window. That is, if Ashley sees fit. Reports today from The Times have stated that Newcastle only have £17m to spend in the summer, so fans will be hoping the long disputed takeover may come to fruition this summer.
Fulham have only won twice at home all season going in to this game, but they’ll undoubtedly be buoyed by the return of fans and will be looking to take some form into the Championship. Lots of loan players and players at the end of their contracts who will be looking to increase their prospects going into the summer.
Ritchie, Fernandez, Murphy, Krafth, Dummett;
Longstaff, Shelvey, Willock;
Fulham Football Club
Tete, Ream, Tosin;
Anguissa, Onomah, Bryan, Decordova-Reid;
Carvalho, Cavaleiro, Lookman