Another bad day at the office for Newcastle United, with us failing to threaten a 10-man Fulham after Callum Wilson’s spot kick drew us level.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with ours marks out of 10:
Darlow – 7 – A few strong clearing punches, came out quickly to deny Decordova-Reid early on and parried away a powerful Lookman strike to keep it at 1-1 in the second half. Didn’t have that much to do but dealt with most things well.
Yedlin – 6 – Considering it was his first Premier League start all season, I didn’t think he did too bad in the circumstances. The odd needless foul or bizarre decision to let the ball bounce and put himself in trouble, but he offered more than most, giving us an outlet down the right at times and delivering one brilliant cross that Joelinton headed over.
Fernandez – 5 – A mixed bag before being taken off at half-time with “fatigue” after only recently returning from Covid. A few solid clearing headers and a decent block to stop Lookman’s free-kick – although he was the man who conceded the foul after diving in on Anguissa right on the edge of the box.
Clark – 6 – A steady display from the reliable Irishman. A needless foul late on got him booked and handed Fulham a decent chance to put the ball into the box, however he didn’t let his standards drop as low as some here, weighing in with a few important headers and timely interceptions.
Dummett – 4 – In his defence he’s been out of action for a long time so is bound to be rusty and not fully match fit, but he didn’t offer enough at either end here. Caught ball watching to allow Decordova-Reid in on goal, hit too many long balls aimlessly up the line and rarely offered any sort of outlet down our left. Looked like a player whose last PL start was in January!
S Longstaff – 5 – After struggling badly at Leeds in midweek, he was only marginally better here. Once again, he played as though he had a 20kg weight on his back, with Fulham’s Anguissa and Lemina skipping past him with ease at times. Picked out a few decent passes in the second half and got stuck in with one crunching tackle, but still looked a shadow of that elegant Carrick-esque ball player that burst onto the scene under Benitez.
Shelvey – 4 – Abysmal in the first half, rarely getting close to Fulham’s midfield and doing little other than gift possession back to them via aimless hoofs when he got on the ball. A bit better in the second as he benefited from us having more of the ball, but he couldn’t unlock the door against 10-men.
Ritchie – 3 – Pretty awful at both ends here. Wayward in the final third, careless in possession and put through his own net to give Fulham a first-half lead. His aggression and intensity is priceless in the right areas, but performances like this make me feel he should be way down the pecking order in the winger department.
Joelinton – 4 – I defended the big man at Leeds in midweek, but very little came off for him in this one. Struggled to get into the game, headed over from a brilliant early cross from Yedlin and failed to get a shot off a few times he burst into the box. Also should’ve done better in the build up to Fulham’s goal, with Adarabioyo towering above him before his header went in off Ritchie.
Almiron – 6.5 – One of few able to make things happen, even if he had mixed success. Played a lovely weighted pass to get Wilson in behind moments before the penalty / red card, pressed more than most and won on several free kicks. Sometimes went down too easily and looked a little too lightweight, but at least he gave them something to think about.
Wilson – 7 – Without his burst in behind, ability to draw the foul and calmly slot home the penalty, I’m quite sure we’d have lost this match. The service up to him was hit and hope at times, but he has a priceless knack of battling for everything and making something of hopeful punts up the pitch. Below his best but the difference maker in the end.
Hayden – 6 – Was forced to slot in at centre-back as Fernandez was forced off at the break. Put his head on the line and didn’t do much wrong.
Gayle – 5 – Saw very little of the ball and was feeding off scraps.
Fraser – N/A – Came on for the final 10 minutes but struggled to get things going, with so many around him appearing to have ran out of ideas or energy.