Fulham defeated Newcastle 2-1 at Craven Cottage last night in the Premier League to move seven points clear of the relegation zone. Fulham made the stronger start to the game and were ahead in the 19th minute.
Damien Duff found Steve Sidwell in the penalty box and the midfielder’s effort took a hefty deflection off Magpies defender Mike Williamson, before looping past Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal.
The goal ended Fulham’s 317 minute drought in front of goal. Dimitar Berbatov could have made it two just minutes later, but was denied by Tim Krul when one-on-one with the Dutchman. Berbatov was denied again in the 30th minute, as Krul and Danny Simpson combined to clear an effort from the Bulgarian off the goal line.
Newcastle went close to equalising in the 32nd minute. Hatem Ben Arfa’s corner was met by a powerful header from Fabricio Coloccini, only for Sascha Riether to superbly head the ball off the goal line.
The visitors came more into the game towards the end of the first half and the beginning of the second and it was the Magpies that struck next. Hatem Ben Arfa picked up the ball on the right flank and there looked like nothing was on.
The Frenchmen then proceeded to produce a fantastic dipping effort that hit the underside of the crossbar and beat Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal. However, the home side regained the lead in the 63rd minute.
Damien Duff’s inviting free-kick was headed home from close-range by striker Hugo Rodallega. The visitors went close to equalising in the 71st minute, as a superb curled Coloccini effort came back off the crossbar.
Fulham nearly made it three with just a minute remaining, Mladen Petric’s effort from the edge of the penalty area clipping the crossbar. That was the last of the meaningful action and Fulham claimed a vital three points.
Who will finish higher in the league this season Newcastle or Fulham?
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