Fulham lose 0-1 to Newcastle

Alexander Isak scores for Newcastle
Alexander Isak scores for Newcastle

There was joy for Alexander and sorrow for Aleksandar.

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak came off the bench to grab an 89th minute winner for Eddie Howe’s side.

Yet this came after an extraordinary situation which saw former Toon striker Aleksandar Mitrovic have a 69th minute penalty disallowed after kicking the ball twice.

This meant Newcastle have now kept five consecutive top-flight clean sheets for the first time in their history and on the balance of play they deserved it – despite leaving it incredibly late.

Yet it looked as though Mitrovic had scored his 12th goal of the season to put Fulham ahead.

The west London side were awarded the penalty thanks to VAR after Kieran Trippier kicked Bobby Decordova-Reid just inside the box.

Mitrovic appeared to score against his old club but quite rightly, it was disallowed because the striker slipped and kicked the ball against his standing foot.

The Serb started to celebrate but it was all a bit half-hearted as he knew what was coming and there were no complaints when ref Jones awarded a free-kick.

And then right at the end, £60m signing Isak had an easy chance to score with a header after Callum Wilson hooked the ball across the goal.

To be fair to Newcastle, they were once again difficult to break down and incredibly, have not conceded a first-half goal in the Premier League since August.

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They have now kept a clean sheet in each of their last 15 Premier League first halves, since Wolves’ Ruben Neves netted in the 38th minute against them on August 28.

Newcastle, though, now have an injury worry over Bruno Guimareas who was in tears as he left the pitch at half-time after struggling for much of the half with an ankle injury.

For the first half, Fulham were the better team in parts but Newcastle had the better chances.

Sean Longstaff should have scored at the start of the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Leicester and similarly, had another chance at the beginning but was denied by a brilliant block from Issa Diop.

Wilson was a handful up front and had three chances before-half-time. The first was a header at Bernd Leno while he was then denied by a flying save from the keeper after turning past Tim Ream.

Wilson should then definitely have scored his third opportunity but he fired a shot straight at Leno.

Guimaraes had struggled in the game after falling awkwardly in the 20th minute. He twice needed treatment and on the final occasion, had his ankle strapped while taking a painkiller.

Struggling with his movement around the pitch, it was a surprise Howe did not replace him before half-time.

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It was the first time this season that Fulham had failed to manage a shot on target

Newcastle continued to press, Fabian Schar’s free-kick hit the post and Miguel Almiron’s follow-up was blocked.

Fulham then wasted their golden opportunity with the penalty and Newcastle then started to run out of time.

Saint-Maximin went close and then at the end, in front of the Gallowgate, Isak grabbed the winner.

Longstaff deserved credit for a decent cross to the far post, Wilson beat Diop to the ball at the second attempt and Isak was standing grateful, on the line.

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