Magnificent Seven for Willock as Joe matches Shearers goal record!

Fulham 0-2 Newcastle United


Newcastle United would start this one without a recognised striker in their team, with Saint-Maximin and Willock leading the line for the Magpies against already relegated Fulham.


No matter as, for the seventh game in a row, the young lad on loan from Arsenal would not let us down. His brilliant run and fierce finish after picking the ball up near his own 18 yard box would cap a rare moment of quality that the game so desperately needed.

A miss early in the second half from Cavaleiro will be one that will haunt the striker all summer. Quite how you miss the target completely from 8 yards out with the keeper out of position only he will know. Dwight Gayle might think similar after missing a clear header from 6 yards out himself.


But with two minutes left, a trip on Ritchie inside the Fulham area would allow Fabian Schar the opportunity to slot home a brilliant penalty. Game and season over!


To be fair, a lack of quality had made for a largely uninspiring last game day for both these teams as the game struggled its way to full time. Newcastle at least showing they did possess that little extra quality that demonstrated exactly why Fulham had dropped to the Championship with a whimper.


The only real ray of sunshine today, Joe Willock, will at least live long in the memories of Newcastle United fans.


With Mike Ashley at the game, and rumours of a meeting with Steve Bruce to discuss what is needed next season one thing is clear. Keeping the basis of this team together and adding Joe Willock, at almost any costs, must be the priority if Newcastle are going to go into the next campaign with anything other than the smell of another relegation fight in their nostrils. A rumoured £12m transfer kitty and the Magpies naming a price for Saint-Maximin will certainly not fill Magpies fans with optimism for the close season.


Same old same old, as another horrid season comes to a close.


#BruceOut #AshleyOut

 

Newcastle United travelled to Craven Cottage this afternoon in the final act of what has been an unforgettable season for the Magpies.


Unforgettable in so much as football having to cope with the effects of a global pandemic, some of the worst football ever played by a Newcastle top flight team with a run to match, Steve Bruce pilloried by his own fans whilst lauded by sections the media, and the ongoing rumblings of a Takeover that looks like it will never happen with Arbitration and a Court Case both instigated during the season.


The players, at least, will have wanted to finish on a high, but went into this one without a recognised striker in the team with Wilson and now Joelinton injured and Gayle and Carroll apparently only worthy of a place on the bench.

And whilst Lascelles and Clark would also be missing, there was better news as Saint-Maximin, Dubravka and Willock (who had the chance to match Shearer's 7 goals in 7 consecutive games) would all make the starting line-up.


For the United fans, they will be desperately hoping this is not the last time they are seeing the current footballing heroes, with Willock looking very likely to be retained at Arsenal next season and Allan Saint-Maximin challenging the club on TalkSport this week to do more that just fight perpetually against relegation.


And it would be the home side, clapped on by a smattering of fans with paper clappers (oh my word), who would start the brighter of the two sides. Forcing an early corner with Carvalho afforded time to work between the lines.


Newcastle's best and only chance of the opening exchanges a well saved attempt from Allan Saint-Maximin who had broken free of three Fulham players before driving the ball at the back post.


Fulham, playing their usual style of passing possession football would look good in spells, but it was already looking like more of the same for them this season with a lack of end product apparent once more. Lookman and Cavaleiro both finding themselves in good positions only to fire wastefully wide.


The opening goal would come from, well who else, but Joe Willock. Picking the ball up in his own half the Arsenal loanee would drive at the Fulham box and, after a bit of luck with the a blocked ball falling into his path, firing the Magpies ahead on 25 minutes.


Rumours of just £12m in the transfer kitty for Bruce (or whomever) this close season are certainly not going to ensure an opportunity to secure his services and allow him a change to set a new record of eight. Gutted!


But what a loan spell from the lad.


Some sloppy play from the home side would allow Saint-Maximin, who was cutting a largely frustrated figure, to fire wide as the home side did at least start to turn the screw with a decent spell of pressure.


There would be some resolute defending too as Fernandez in particular would be the stand out figure at the back for United as they successfully negotiated their way to half time with their lead in tact.


Into the second half and by far the best chance of the game would fall to Cavaleiro. Willock with an awful pass only finding Lookman who would square to the Fulham striker, 8 yards out and totally unmarked only for him to blaze the ball over the bar. What a miss!


United were playing with every man in their own half as the game moved into it's final third.


On 67 minutes a huge miss at the other end. Gayle, having only just come on for ASM, would get his head on the end of a Matt Ritchie free kick. But finding himself totally unmarked, he too could only fire over the bar, this time form just 6 yards. A massive miss.


Fulham would continue to dominate possession with United once more content to hit their hosts on the break.


And with just 2 minutes left on the clock, again after some good work from Willock, Matt Ritchie would be tripped in the Fulham penally area. Up would step Fabian Schar to take one of the coolest penalties you'll ever see, waiting for the keeper to commit before passing the ball into the opposite corner.


2-0 and game over.


Another painful season over with only one question remaining...

What's the point?!

 

Match FACTFILE


Team news and stats will appear here following the game...

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