Fulham 0-4 Newcastle: Scott Parker's side bow out with defeat
Report and highlights with Salomon Rondon scoring late for Newcastle as future remains uncertain
Last Updated: 12/05/19 6:22pm
Fulham bowed out of the Premier League with a 4-0 defeat to Newcastle at Craven Cottage on the final day of the season.
The hosts suffered a double blow inside 11 minutes as Jonjo Shelvey volleyed a superb effort (9) before Ayoze Perez continued his fine scoring form just two minutes later.
Fulham were seeing plenty of possession when Fabian Schar had a free header in the 61st minute for Newcastle's third and, although Scott Parker's side had the ball in the back of the net soon afterwards, it was incorrectly ruled out for offside.
Salomon Rondon, whose Newcastle future remains uncertain, rounded off the victory in the 89th minute as the Magpies ended the season in 13th place. Fulham ended in 19th place but have long known they will play in the Sky Bet Championship next season.
Fulham: Rico (5), R Sessegnon (7), Christie (6), Le Marchand (6), Mawson (3), Bryan (7), Cairney (7), Chambers (6), Anguissa (6), Ayite (6), Mitrovic (6).
Subs used: Babel (5), Elliott (6), Kebano (n/a).
Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Dummett (7), Schar (7), Lascelles (7), Ritchie (8), Hayden (6), Perez (7), Shelvey (7), Diame (6), Atsu (7), Rondon (6).
Subs used: Muto (5), Fernandez (5), Kenedy (n/a).
Man of the match: Matt Ritchie.
How Fulham ended with a whimper
It was a fast start from the visitors as they took the lead in the ninth minute. Matt Ritchie's corner delivery picked out Shelvey at the edge of the area, with the midfielder taking one touch before volleying home into the top, far corner with a sensational finish.
Two minutes later, and the visitors added their second. Christian Atsu burst into the area, getting ahead of Cyrus Christie, but his shot was pushed away by Sergio Rico. But Perez - who had scored five goals in his last four Premier League games ahead of Sunday's finale - was lurking to poke the ball home.
Fulham saw the better of the attacking play for much of the half but could not create too much with it. Their best effort came in the 23rd minute, when Aleksandar Mitrovic got just ahead of Paul Dummett to head a corner wide of the post.
- Scott Parker made two changes with Alfie Mawson and Floyd Ayite coming in for Tim Ream and Ryan Babel.
- Rafa Benitez also made two switches. Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey replaced Sung-Yeung Ki (injured) and Javier Manquillo.
Fulham continued to dominate the possession at the start of the second half, but it was Newcastle who were the clinical ones again just after the hour mark. Ritchie put another superb corner into the area and Schar was allowed a free header by the Fulham defence, powering home past Rico.
Three minutes later, the hosts finally had the ball in the back of the net - but it was ruled out for offside. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa had the initial shot, which Floyd Ayite turned into the back of the net with an outstretched foot. However, the linesman had his flag raised and the goal was chalked off. Replays showed that this was an incorrect decision.
Newcastle rounded off a wonderful away performance with a fourth goal late on. Rondon was played through and his initial effort smacked into the body of Rico, but he managed to get back to his feet, round Alfie Mawson and poke home to seal an impressive final day victory.
- Newcastle United have won their first league match at Craven Cottage since December 2007 - after a run of six defeats away at Fulham.
- There were just 124 seconds between Jonjo Shelvey's opener and Ayoze Perez's second for Newcastle in their match against Fulham.
- Fulham conceded two goals in the first 11 minutes of the match against Newcastle United - the earliest they had conceded twice in a Premier League game since May 2011 vs Liverpool.
- Matt Ritchie has provided 20 league assists since his Newcastle debut in August 2016; seven more than any other players.
Scott Parker: "It's disappointing really. I don't think the scoreline reflects the game but saying that, I thought in both boxes, we didn't do well enough at times.
"We had our chances or at least we got into those final third areas, but we lacked that cutting edge about us. The game ran away from us a little bit and rather than taking a deep breath and getting some sort of control, there were some signs of the old us."
Rafa Benitez: "I think it was a great game. At the end, like last season, we have played really well and we are pleased and really proud of this group of players and the fans were amazing as always.
"This group of players, even in the bad times, they were not putting their heads down, they were always believing and working hard.
"We have to enjoy now and we have finished a difficult season. We did well today and we have a few days to enjoy it and we will see what happens. I've said before, I can see the potential but for now, I think it is time to enjoy and that's it."
Man of the match - Matt Ritchie
There were a few Newcastle players who could have been named man of the match, but it is two assists from Ritchie that sees him take the final accolade of the season. His set-piece delivery was inch perfect and, although Newcastle were aided by some poor Fulham defending, he had a big hand in the victory.