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Season 2011-12
Fulham (a) Premier League

In association 

Saturday 21st January 2012, 3pm

 Craven Cottage


Admission: £35




Newcastle United

5 - 2




43 mins Just when it appeared that our domination of the first half wasn't going to be marked with a goal, Danny Guthrie strode forward to power home a superb unstoppable 25 yarder 1-0

Half time: Fulham 0 Newcastle 1

52 mins
Davide Santon brought down ex-Mag Damien Duff - although contact looked to start outside the box - and referee Lee Mason was possibly swayed by the opinion (but not flag) of his assistant, although he chose not to punish the Italian by what seemed like an inevitable second booking. Danny Murphy fired past Tim Krul from the spot with great ease.1-1

59 mins
The home side attacked with Johnson and Zamora exchanging passes and the the latter evading Coloccini and testing Krul. The United 'keeper blocked his effort but the ball bounced across the six yard box and deflected into the net off Clint Dempsey. 1-2

65 mins
Johnson and Zamora this time combined to send Dempsey away and he fired past Krul on the run 1-3

68 mins
A comedy of errors: Andrew Johnson darted into the box and caused the retreating Mike Willamson to topple over, before the notorious diver ensured that he collided with the advancing Krul and won the penalty. Krul remained on the field to watch Bobby Zamora stroke the spot kick home  1-4

85 mins
A moment of comfort and joy as Hatem Ben Arfa collected the ball on the right hand side of the Fulham box and began to bob and weave forward. Rather than attempt a rerun of his memorable effort against Blackburn though, the French trickster shot earlier and buried a low effort between the goalkeeper and his near post in front of the travelling support. 2-4

89 mins
A breakaway goal as United committed resources upfield, lost possession and were duly punished by Zamora's ball over the top and Dempsey's unimpeded run and finish. 2-5

Full time: Fulham 5 Newcastle 2

We Said

Alan Pardew said:

"We couldn't have been in a better place at half-time - their first goal changed the course of the game – I don't know whether we felt an injustice from the penalty or an injustice that they were level with us, but we switched off in that period and it cost us.

"I thought the contact was minimal and the only contact that did take place was on the edge of the box, but it was given and we have to accept that. Our reaction to that goal was disappointing. We just lacked mental discipline.

"The game got away from us in a quite extraordinary fashion, we were so dominant in the first half, it’s difficult sometimes to prepare for what happens.

“Their first goal certainly changed the course of the game, it looked like a really soft penalty. Then we had a really difficult period in the game where we didn’t handle the game very well.

“I can’t complain about my team, they’ve been brilliant all year and we’re in a fantastic position in the league. For 20 minutes today we just lost the plot and conceded, for us, poor goals. They were the type of goals we haven’t conceded all year.

“I would have liked a second goal in that first half - I thought we deserved a second. We couldn’t have played any better in the first half, we’ve had a complete contradiction in terms of our performance today.

“First half was as good as we’ve been and second half was certainly as bad as we’ve been. We’ll have to work hard on the training ground now to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

"Did we miss Tioté in the second half? possibly, You could turn it on its head and say in the first half we didn't miss him. It wasn't about players we did have or didn't have, it was just a lack of concentration in the second half which cost us.

"We mustn't dwell on it too much, it's done."

On the Tenerife trip:

"If I’m honest, it isn’t a work situation in terms of making the players run or work hard. We’ve had a tough programme. It’s a breather, and take away (Fulham), and we have done well.

“We’re doing astonishingly well, and we want to kick on for the second half. We’ll have a rest and a chat, and socialise a little bit. We’ll obviously do some training, and hopefully be refreshed for Brighton.

“Don’t get me wrong, we won’t be drinking, but it is a kind of ‘let’s see where we are and analyse everything’. We’ll enjoy each other’s company, and hopefully stay tight until the end.”

They Said

Martin Jol:

"The first half was sort of Brixton, the second half was a holiday in Jamaica.

"I asked someone who used to play for Liverpool
(Danny Murphy) if they ever scored five in one half and he couldn't remember it - I don't think I've ever experienced it. In the first half we were never a threat.

"We could have played 24 hours and not scored. I could have played for them. You could have played for them. In the second half I made the decision to play a more direct style with Andy Johnson. That was what we did the whole second half. I wouldn't say we were fantastic but we played to our strengths."


Our unbeaten record for 2012 went by the wayside after three successive wins.

This was Newcastle's heaviest defeat at Craven Cottage since February 1967 (1-5).

We conceded two penalties and saw them both scored by different players for the second time this season, following the Manchester City game.

This was the first time we've conceded five goals since the 1-5 loss at Bolton in November 2010 and the first that we've conceded more than four goals in a single half since January 2008, when caretaker manager Nigel Pearson saw 0-0 half time scoreline at Old Trafford morph into a 0-6 loss.

Toon @ Craven Cottage since WW2:

2011/12: Lost 2-5 Guthrie, Ben Arfa
2010/11: Lost 0-1
2008/09: Lost 1-2 Ameobi
2007/08: Won 1-0 Barton (pen)
2006/07: Lost 1-2 Martins
2005/06: Lost 0-1
2004/05: Won 3-1 Ambrose, Kluivert, Ameobi
2003/04: Won 3-2 Robert, Shearer 2*
2002/03: Lost 1-2 Shearer*
2001/02: Lost 1-3 Speed
1983/84: Drew 2-2 Beardsley, Keegan
1982/83: Drew 2-2 McDermott, Varadi
1981/82: Lost 0-2 (LC)
1979/80: Lost 0-1
1978/79: Won 3-1 Connolly, Withe, Shoulder
1967/68: Lost 0-2
1966/67: Lost 1-5 B.Robson
1965/66: Lost 0-2
1960/61: Lost 3-4 Allchurch, Hughes, Woods
1959/60: Lost 3-4 Eastham, Hale 2
1955/56: Won 5-4 (FA) Casey, Keeble 2, Milburn, Stokoe
1951/52: Drew 1-1 G.Robledo
1950/51: Drew 1-1 Walker
1949/50: Lost 1-2 Milburn
1947/48: Lost 0-3
1946/47: Won 3-0 Bentley, Wayman

* played at Loftus Road

Total record against Fulham:

  P W D L F A
SJP 29 13 8 8 50 37
CC/LR 29 7 5 17 43 60
League 58 20 13 25 93 97
SJP(FA) 3 3 0 0 15 0
CC 1 1 0 0 5 4
SJP(LC) 2 1 0 1 4 2
CC 1 0 0 1 0 2
Cup 7 5 0 2 24 8
Tot 65 25 13 27 117 105

Danny Guthrie netted his second goal of the season and the ninth of his Magpies career on the occasion of his 95th senior appearance. This was his third Premier League strike and the first since Boxing Day 2008 away at Wigan Athletic.

A fourth competitive outing for the all black change kit brought a first defeat wearing it, after a draw at QPR and victories at Stoke and Bolton.

Despite this setback, we remain an astonishing 31 points better off than last season in the equivalent 22 games: 

Fixture/ venue

2011/12 outcome 2010/11 outcome
Arsenal (h) DREW DREW
mackems (a) WON DREW
Fulham (h) WON DREW
QPR (a) (DREW) n/a
Villa (a) DREW LOST
Blackburn (h) WON LOST
Wolves (a) WON DREW
Spurs (h) DREW DREW
Wigan (h) WON DREW
Stoke (a) WON LOST
Everton (h) WON LOST
Manchester City (a) LOST LOST
Manchester United (a) DREW LOST
Chelsea (h) LOST DREW
Norwich City (a) LOST n/a
Swansea City (h) (DREW) n/a
West Bromwich Albion (h) LOST DREW
Bolton Wanderers (a) WON LOST
Liverpool (a) LOST LOST
Manchester United (h) WON DREW
QPR (h) (WON) n/a
Fulham (a) LOST LOST



The only thing more baffling than Martin Jol's post-match comments what is exactly happened to a rampant Newcastle United side, who dominated the opening half in a manner rarely seen away from home but ended the second 45 minutes in something approaching disarray. 

This was outlandish in the extreme - almost like playing on an arcade football machine with one of the buttons stuck down. And remarkably quickly it was game over for Alan Pardew and his troops.

To call it a game of two halves is an understatement on a grand scale: one could be forgiven for thinking that Newcastle had been replaced by a celebrities XI in some sort of "X Factor" -type wheeze, or the teams had swapped shirts before returning from their Cottage cuppa. 

Returning to our "nothing new under the sun" theorising, the mid-season break factor was advanced as a possible theory for our loss, as was the case in February 2001 when we strolled to a 0-2 defeat at Charlton before departing for La Manga with Bobby Robson admitting he'd rather just go home. 

The first reaction to this setback was to assume that at 45 minutes our heroes were high-fiveing each other, believing that the job was done and metaphorically pulling on their flip flops while deciding which in-flight movie to watch.   

To be honest though, the catalogue of dark days was well and truly ransacked in a post-match inquest that saw the shocking turnaround of our 2005 UEFA Cup Quarter Final implosion in Lisbon mentioned and a half-forgotten 1-0 lead at Villa under Keegan that turned into a 1-4 loss recalled (coincidentally refereed by today's whistler, Lee Mason).

In the cold(ish) light of day though, the roots of the heaviest loss of Alan Pardew's Tyneside tenure lay in that first half display that we foolishly believed had exorcised the ghost of last season's post Carroll wake here, when both players and manager appeared to be in mourning.

While our domination was belatedly asserted by that goal, the manner of its arrival gave a window into our pattern of play in this game, coming as it did from a midfielder. What on one level looked like total football could alternatively be classified as a glorified schoolboy game, with a formation that ranged from the fluid to the random and saw Best at outside left, Ben Arfa wandering where he wanted and Gutierrez dropping inside. 

What was missing though was anyone playing as an orthodox striker - Ba missed as much as Carroll had been here almost a year ago. And from behind the goal at least, there also looked to be an absence of onfield leadership - as a team whose progress this season has been founded on unity looked to revert to 11 individuals. 

None of that mattered at the time though, as the home side were dreadful and showed absolutely nothing - Damien Duff's inept efforts to spark his side into life greeted with disdain by the away contingent and our alleged former transfer target Brian Ruiz managing to be dreadful in three roles.   

Having defended from the front when beating Manchester United earlier this month, we simply failed to repeat that and were duly punished by a Cottagers side who could scarcely believe their luck at how easily we capitulated. And those same forwards equally failed at their own chosen task 

Fulham's performance only moved from hopeless to below par when the injured Steve Sidwell was replaced by Andy Johnson shortly before our goal - with Ruiz failing to reappear for the second half and Jol's side belatedly fielding a full strength XI.

What happened next almost defied belief, as we conceded a slightly doubtful penalty and rather than setting off to regain our advantage, turned to dust - apparently mesmerised by Fulham's unsubtle ploy of hiking balls upfield for their front trio to chase down. Conceding four goals in seventeen minutes incredibly made Fulham more prolific than Arsenal had been at SJP last season, when the Gunners grabbed four in 26 minutes. 

Our defence parted time and time again, the centre halves bisected and Williamson attacked at ground level with disastrous consequences. Trailing 1-4, Pardew opted to withdraw midfield duo Guthrie and Yohan Cabaye in an effort to keep the score down, only to then get to within two goals of the opposition and fleetingly raise hopes of an Arsenal-like comeback before reality intervened. 

As we've known all season, our first choice side is a match for anyone. However when we can't get that lineup on the park, the cracks begin to show too often for comfort. Alan Pardew knows that and has managed to convince his employers in recent days that significant investment is required. And as he's come close to admitting, this period is about scraping what we can in league and cup before we're again able to field that chosen side - slightly dispiriting, but not unrealistic.   

Having managed to get to the end of this report without mentioning the statue that now (dis)graces Craven Cottage, we can't resist concluding that a) this was bad, bad, really, really, bad and b) it doesn't matter if you're black and white. Positives still outweigh the bad stuff at this point in the season, but our immediate task is to ensure there's no repeat of this at Brighton and Blackburn.

Best result of the weekend? Zambia 2 Senegal 1.


Page last updated 01 February, 2013