Joe Willock signed off from his Newcastle loan in style with his seventh goal in as many games the opener in their 2-0 victory at relegated Fulham.
Willock, who will be sought after by the Magpies this summer after his sensational run of form since joining from Arsenal in January, settled a game of poor quality at Craven Cottage when firing a loose ball into the far corner after his own mazy run had been stopped.
His individual quality was the kind Fulham were crying out for, and when Willock himself provided them a chance to level with an awful backpass, Fabio Carvalho fed Ivan Cavaleiro but the Portuguese winger fired over when clean through.
Their victory was sealed late on by Fabian Schar, who netted from the spot after Matt Ritchie had been fouled to lift Newcastle above Wolves and into 12th place on goal difference.
The Cottagers were given a warm reception for most of the game from the 2,000 home fans welcomed back to Craven Cottage but never looked in danger of giving them something to cheer about and were booed by a small section of their home support at full-time, after a game which summed up a season of disappointment for the Cottagers.
Fulham: Rodak (6), Tete (5), Ream (6), Adarabioyo (5), Bryan (6), Anguissa (6), Onomah (5), Cavaleiro (5), Carvalho (6), Lookman (6), De Cordova-Reid (6).
Subs: Loftus-Cheek (5), Maja (6), Francois (5).
Newcastle: Dubravka (6), Krafth (5), Fernandez (6), Dummett (6), Murphy (6), Willock (7), Sean Longstaff (6), Shelvey (7), Ritchie (7), Almiron (6), Saint-Maximin (7).
Subs: Gayle (5), Schar (7), Hendrick (6).
Man of the match: Joe Willock
Willock shines again as Newcastle end on high
Even having seen their team only twice in person all season, it all felt depressingly familiar for Fulham's supporters, who watched their side control possession but manage little with it in a frustratingly toothless opening period.
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Cavaleiro had carved out two half-chances mostly of his own making before the normal outcome followed, as Newcastle showed their clinical edge. Willock strode 40 yards with the ball before picking up the ball again when challenged, and beat Marek Rodak with a typically smart finish.
Portuguese forward Cavaleiro would go close again for Fulham before the break, kissing the bar with a curling effort, and after half-time provided a miss far worse, blazing over when played clean through after Willock's blind pass back.
That drew the first boos from an otherwise patient home support and more would follow at the full-time whistle, by which point Newcastle had cemented their victory - and lifted themselves above Wolves in the process.
Ritchie's run into the box was halted by pressure from Tete which saw him throw himself to the deck, and after Chris Kavanagh pointed straight to the spot, Schar coolly rolled home to confirm Newcastle's victory.
What the managers said...
Fulham manager Scott Parker: "The fans have been brilliant with me and the team for the time I've been here. I'm forever grateful for that, the support they've given us and the team. I realise how important they are.
On his future: "We need to take a breath a little bit, when you've been in the firing line all year, in terms of the pandemic and things like that, it's wise to take a breather, clear our minds and then sit down and come to a plan of what we need to do which is best for the club."
Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce told BBC Sport: "We'll never say it's an achievement to finish 12th for a club of our stature but it's an achievement. I hope the people who have written us off, they'll eat humble pie and give us some credit."
Man of the match - Joe Willock
If Willock had been in this sort of form for the whole of the season, he would have been talked about joining England in a few weeks' time.
He made his opener, and near-enough winner, himself, and was excellent on the ball barring one dreadful pass back after half-time. Newcastle face a battle to keep him, but if they are to push on, he is exactly the sort of signing they need.
- Fulham are the first side in Premier League history to fail to hit double figures for home goals in a single season, with the Whites netting just nine in their 19 games in 2020-21.
- Newcastle have won five of their last eight Premier League games (D1 L2), after enjoying just two wins in the 19 before that (D6 L11).
- Fulham have lost six home league games in a row for only the second time in their history, since losing seven in a row between November 1961 and February 1962.
- Since April, Newcastle have scored 18 goals in the Premier League, with only Liverpool (20), Tottenham and Manchester City (19 each) managing more.
- Joe Willock is only the second Newcastle player to score in seven consecutive Premier League appearances, after Alan Shearer in 1996, with this just the 13th occasion overall a player has achieved this in the history of the competition.
- Since his Premier League debut for Newcastle on February 6, Joe Willock has scored eight goals in the competition, a haul only Harry Kane, Kelechi Iheanacho (11 each) and Gareth Bale (10) could better.
What's next? Euros, transfer window, 2021/22 key dates
Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday June 11 - just 19 days after the conclusion of the 2020/21 Premier League season - and runs until Sunday July 11.
The 2021/22 Premier League campaign will start on the weekend of Saturday August 14 - 34 days after that Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Clubs will be able to start planning for the new term when the top-flight fixtures are released at 9am on Wednesday, June 16 but transfer business can start in earnest before then, with the summer transfer window opening on Wednesday June 9.
- 2021/22 season - all the key dates
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- Euro 2020 - full fixtures and schedule
The 2021/22 Championship season begins a week before the top-flight one on the weekend of Saturday August 7. All Sky Bet EFL fixtures will be announced at 9am on Thursday June 24.