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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Early red card condemns Fulham to miserable afternoon as Magpies fill their boots

Fulham (0) 1 De Cordova-Reid 88

Newcastle United (3) 4 Wilson 11, Almiron 33, 58, Longstaff 44

Fulham had a Bobby Robson Derby to forget as they were reduced to 10 men after just eight minutes and duly put to the sword.

Undefeated at home up until now, this one was only going one way after that early match-defining moment.

Nathaniel Chalobah’s out-of-control lunge for the ball did not seem to worry ref Darren England, but Mike Dean, the VAR overseer, flagged it up and for all Marco Silva’s protestations on the sidelines, the Whites could have no real complaints about the red card that followed.

It did not take long for Newcastle to take advantage. Callum Wilson had already clipped a post from close range after Bernd Leno had palmed a Dan Burn shot into his path, when he bundled home the opener.

Kieran Trippier swung in a wicked cross from the right and although Joe Willock miscued his attempted header at goal, it fell into the path of the lurking Wilson, who netted from point-blank range.

The Magpies had all of the ball and soon a second – and it was a beauty of a strike from Miguel Almiron with the outside of his left foot as he raced in behind Layvin Kurzawa to latch on to a perfect Bruno Guimaraes chip into the danger zone.

Leno had no chance as it flew over his head and into the far corner.

As if things could not get any worse for Fulham on a wretched day, they then lost Aleksandar Mitrovic to injury – Carlos Vinicius coming on in a team already looking a bit unrecognisable, with Kevin Mbabu making his first start in the Premier League for the Whites and PSG loan signing Kurzawa also making his bow.

Neither newcomers would even last the first half as Kurzawa went off injured and Mbabu was hooked.

And the chances kept coming. Wilson and Jacob Murphy both went close and it was no surprise when Longstaff tapped in a third before the break after Sven Botman’s towering back post header had been tipped onto a post back into his path.

It was all about damage limitation after the break, with Dan James, the best player for Fulham before the break, pressed into wing-back duty as the Whites went with a back three.

Leno’s fine save to deny Wilson set the standard. But he could do nothing about the next one to beat him as Willock’s simple sliding ball to the far post was put away by Almiron for his second of the afternoon.

The Paraguayan almost had a hat-trick too, but a linesman’s flag spared the struggling Whites more agony.

There was a late consolation for the home fans as Bobby De Cordova-Reid nodded home a cross from sub Neeskens Kebano. But it only lifted a tiny bit of the gloom.

Even if the suspended Joao Palhinha had been playing, it is doubtful he could have made much of a difference.

Whites: (4-2-3-1) Leno – Mbabu (Cairney 45), Tosin, Ream, Kurzawa (Diop 45) – Reed, Chalobah – James (Kebano 70), Pereira, Decordova-Reid – Mitrovic (Vinicius 37). Subs not used: Rodak, Duffy, Onomah, Harris, Parkes

Magpies: (4-3-3) Pope – Trippier (Lewis 83), Schar (Lascelles 83), Botman, Burn (Targett 83) – S Longstaff, Guimaraes (Anderson 59), Willock – Almiron, Wilson (Fraser 65), Murphy. Subs not used: Karius, Drummett, Joelinton, Wood

Attendance: 22,913


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