It was another sucker-punch defeat at the hands of top four opposition for the Whites, and another missed penalty. Deja-vu all around. Sammy James gives his verdict on played well and who struggled up on Tyneside.
Strong performance again from Bernd, who kept Fulham in the match in the first half with a couple of smart saves, particularly when Calum Wilson rolled Tim Ream. Nothing he could have done about the winner. 8.5/10 Man of the Match
Having a fully-fit Kenny Tete has been one of the under-spoken reasons why Fulham’s defence has improved so much lately. Didn’t put a foot wrong defensively today, and was also fantastic at getting Fulham’s counter-attack going on the right-hand side. His telepathy with Willian is nearly as strong as Robinson’s. 8/10
Diop was given the nod over Tosin today and whilst his range of passing is not as impressive, he sure feels like a stronger partner defensively for Tim. Won a number of crucial headers, and his reading of the game was sublime. Only downside was being millimetres underneath the cross that fell to Calum Wilson for Newcastle’s winner. The commentators said he was “ball-watching”, which felt unfair. 8/10
There were plenty of REEEEEEAM moments today, but Tim sometimes ended up the wrong side of Calum Wilson, who in fairness, is one of the league’s key marksmen. After avoiding a booking all season up to now, he racked up his second yellow card in succession in the latter stages. 7/10
Poor old Layvin will be happy if he never has to play Newcastle again after two treacherous tests against the toon. Now he is fit, there was clear improvement from his last Premier League start against Howe’s men, but he struggled today against the formidable Keiran Trippier and Miguel Almiron. The worry was that he wasn’t particularly effective going forward either, which is his supposed strength. Would be interesting to see him against less testing opposition. 5/10
Another tough tackling performance from Joao, particularly when he sped through Allan Saint-Maximan like prime Jonah Lomu in the second half. I feel like he’s delivered a few 7/10 performances in a row, which is a slight dip from some of his sensational displays earlier this season, but 7/10 is absolutely fine most of the time. 7/10
It felt like Harrison Reed was back to his nitty-gritty best today, popping up all over the pitch and driving Fulham up the pitch. Lacks quality sometimes when he gets in advanced positions, but his combination with Willian on the right-hand side caused Dan Burn all sorts of problems in the first half. 7.5/10
After his incredible shift against Chelsea on Thursday, it was always going to be tough for Andreas to repeat it for the full 90. He looked lively in the first half, but faded in the second and was rightly taken off (although personally I think Cairney should have replaced him). Big questions over whether he should become our new penalty taker will be asked. 6.5/10
A game of two halves for Willian, who surely must need a good lie-down after the work he’s put in since Christmas. Had a fantastic first half, but faded after half time. Think Marco needs to use him slightly more sparingly when games come thick and fast. 7/10
Bobby De Cordova-Reid
Was played on the left today, presumably so he could give Kurzawa some defensive support against Trippier and Almiron. However, that meant that Bobby was stifled going forward, and personally I think that he is never as prolific on the left anyway. Won the fateful penalty with quick feet (it was a foul, grow up Newcastle fans) – but didn’t impact us going forward much more than that. 6/10
Oh Mitro, Mitro, Mitro. For all the hundreds of points he’s won for us, his record from the spot has now cost us a few. Arguably three today, and definitely two against Wolves. Nobody is expecting penalty perfection, but surely a 50% record opens things up for debate.
Aside from the double-strike, Mitrovic struggled to impact the game today, and maybe should have dropped deeper in order to get into the game more. Botman and Schar are impressive defenders and not an easy task for any centre-forward. He’s got another eight days to rest up before he can get tucked into that Spurs defence, and that certainly feels like a test he’ll relish. 5/10
Dan James (77′ for Willian)
Understood the logic of bringing him on, but it didn’t work. Too lightweight up front, and it made life easier for that experienced Newcastle defence. 5/10
Tosin (77′ for Periera)
Again, after the success of the back-five in the latter stages against Leicester, I understood Marco’s logic here, but this time it just invited Newcastle pressure and surrendered the middle of the park. Tosin arguably should have tracked Isak better for his winner. 5/10
(Vinicius, Cairney and Wilson all brought on too late to reasonably mark them)
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