Fulham score thanks to a Matt Ritchie (right) own goal
Matt Ritchie unwittingly sent the ball into his goal after it bounced off his face

Callum Wilson scored his eighth goal of the season as a patched-up Newcastle earned a point against 10-man Fulham at St James’ Park.

The Magpies, affected by coronavirus inside the camp during the past two weeks, were second best to the visitors, who came to St James’ Park on the back of two credible draws.

Having taken a first-half lead, Scott Parker’s men looked good for their first win since the 30 November. However, that all changed 62nd minute when they suffered the double blow of Joachim Andersen’s sending-off followed by Wilson’s equaliser.

The Danish centre-back clearly pulled back the striker as he raced into the area, but it was unclear whether the foul took place outside the box. Referee Graham Scott, after a lengthy check of the replays on the pitchside monitor, showed Andersen a straight red and pointed to the spot. Wilson emphatically fired home the equaliser.

It was tough on Fulham, who had looked the more composed with their methodical build-up play, while in spells the Magpies XI played like they met for the first time.

Fulham had been particularly effective with deliveries from the left, so it came as no surprise when Ademola Lookman’s corner caused confusion in the home area in the lead-up to the opener. Young centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo sent his header back into the six-yard area where Bobby Decordova-Reid produced a flick which went in off the face of Matt Ritchie.

Lookman had also gone close with a downward header while Decordova-Reid should have done better with a side-foot effort.

Despite playing more than 28 minutes with a man advantage, Newcastle looked little more threatening.

The point lifts Steve Bruce’s men up to 12th on 18 points, while Fulham are in 17th with 10 points.

Tough luck for valiant Fulham

Matt Ritchie (left) and Ademola Lookman
Ademola Lookman (right) was the standout midfielder for Fulham

Parker will surely have thought his side had done enough for victory.

After a start to the season which saw their relegation odds further shorten following five defeats in their first six Premier League matches, Fulham appear to be finally getting their just rewards for their methodical approach at this higher level.

On Saturday, they did not have to be at their best against a disjointed home side, although there were a handful of impressive performances.

Lookman, on loan from RB Leipzig, has perhaps found his home at Craven Cottage. He was brilliant on the left and almost as a second striker, creating three efforts on goal including two on target.

Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina was back in the line-up and was diligent in both attack and defence. His ball into the area for Decordova-Reid, called up as a late replacement for Ivan Cavaleiro, should have been put away.

Fulham remained spirited even after going down to 10 men, and despite missing out on a possible three points, this performance will have again delighted their fans.

Wilson saves the day for Magpies again

Prior to the match, Bruce highlighted – as he has repeatedly recently – how much his side had been affected by the coronavirus, which initially resulted in the postponement of their match against Aston Villa at the start of December.

However, victory over West Brom and a competent 77-minute display against an effervescent Leeds suggested that his side could continue producing displays that have so far seen them keep clear of the relegation battle.

It was not a lack of fitness but a lack of cohesion that affected Newcastle in the first half on Saturday.

They marginally improved after the break, but with Miguel Almiron and £40m signing Joelinton once again misfiring it was left to Wilson to save the day.

The former Bournemouth striker has arguably been the Magpies’ best signing in recent seasons. Whether he was fouled outside the area or not is debatable, but his pace and nous got him into the position that forced a mistake from Andersen before he coolly dispatched from the spot.

Bruce cannot afford to rest him over this festive period and will be praying he stays fit.

Fulham pay the penalty – stats

  • Newcastle are unbeaten in their last six Premier League home games against Fulham (W3 D3), last tasting defeat in May 2009.
  • Newcastle have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League games at St James’ Park, their longest run without a shutout in the competition since February 2005, when Graeme Souness was in charge (also 11 games).
  • Fulham have picked up points when finishing a Premier League game with 10 men for the first time since April 2013 when beating QPR 3-2. They had lost the previous five instances.
  • No side have conceded more penalties in the Premier League this season than Fulham (five), with the Cottagers doing so in three of their last four matches.
  • Andersen is the third Danish player to see red for Fulham in the Premier League after Leon Andreasen in February 2008 v West Ham and Claus Jensen in April 2005 v Bolton.
  • Newcastle have won a penalty in three of their past six Premier League home games, as many as their previous 58 in the top-flight at St James’ Park.
  • After missing two of his first four penalties in the top four tiers of English league football, Wilson has scored 10 of his following 11 from the spot.
  • Wilson has scored eight goals in 12 Premier League appearances this season, as many as his he did in 35 games in the last campaign for Bournemouth.

What’s next?

Newcastle are at Brentford in the EFL Cup on Tuesday (17:30 GMT) before they go to Manchester City next Saturday (20:00). Fulham are at home to Southampton next Saturday (15:00).

Player of the match

AreolaAlphonse Areola

Newcastle United

  1. Squad number26Player nameDarlow

  2. Squad number13Player nameC Wilson

  3. Squad number2Player nameClark

  4. Squad number24Player nameAlmirón

  5. Squad number22Player nameYedlin

  6. Squad number14Player nameHayden

  7. Squad number18Player nameFernández

  8. Squad number3Player nameDummett

  9. Squad number8Player nameShelvey

  10. Squad number21Player nameFraser

  11. Squad number12Player nameGayle

  12. Squad number11Player nameRitchie

  13. Squad number9Player nameJoelinton

  14. Squad number36Player nameS Longstaff

Fulham

  1. Squad number1Player nameAreola

  2. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa

  3. Squad number16Player nameAdarabioyo

  4. Squad number19Player nameLookman

  5. Squad number18Player nameLemina

  6. Squad number33Player nameRobinson

  7. Squad number34Player nameAina

  8. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid

  9. Squad number5Player nameAndersen

  10. Squad number10Player nameCairney

  11. Squad number15Player nameLoftus-Cheek

  12. Squad number3Player nameHector

  13. Squad number23Player nameBryan

  14. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic

Line-ups

Newcastle

  • 26Darlow
  • 22Yedlin
  • 18FernándezSubstituted forHaydenat 45′minutes
  • 2ClarkBooked at 72mins
  • 3DummettSubstituted forFraserat 79′minutes
  • 11Ritchie
  • 8Shelvey
  • 36S Longstaff
  • 24Almirón
  • 13C Wilson
  • 9JoelintonSubstituted forGayleat 75′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Carroll
  • 12Gayle
  • 14Hayden
  • 15Lewis
  • 16Hendrick
  • 17Krafth
  • 21Fraser
  • 23Murphy
  • 29Gillespie

Fulham

  • 1Areola
  • 34Aina
  • 5AndersenBooked at 62mins
  • 16Adarabioyo
  • 33RobinsonBooked at 81mins
  • 29Zambo Anguissa
  • 18Lemina
  • 14De Cordova-Reid
  • 10CairneySubstituted forHectorat 65′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 19LookmanSubstituted forBryanat 90+4′minutes
  • 9MitrovicSubstituted forLoftus-Cheekat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Hector
  • 4Odoi
  • 12Rodák
  • 13Ream
  • 15Loftus-Cheek
  • 21Reed
  • 23Bryan
  • 47Kamara

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