Newcastle United score four times to earn an impressive road victory on the final day of the season.
The final whistle has blown at Craven Cottage and the season has officially concluded for Newcastle United. The Magpies finish the campaign on a high note after earning a 4-0 victory on the road. Jonjo Shelvey, Ayoze Perez, Fabian Schar and Salomon Rondon scored the goals for Newcastle and the Toon finish the season in 13th place with 45 points.
Both teams were lively in the opening seven minutes of the game, but in different ways. Newcastle were quick to apply pressure off the ball, but Fulham constantly attacked down the left flank and delivered three crosses for Aleksandar Mitrovic, but Martin Dubravka did well to stop those attacks.
The narrative quickly changed in the ninth minute as Jonjo Shelvey blasted a wonderful volley in the net after receiving a cross from Matt Ritchie’s corner at the edge of the box. Fulham gave Shelvey all the space in the world to trap the ball, lift it up and fire it past Sergio Rico.
The Toon did not stop there as they made it 2-0 two minutes later when Ayoze Perez scored his 12th goal of the campaign. Christian Atsu did well to dribble past defenders to get in the box and take a shot on goal, but his shot bounced off Rico and landed at the feet of Perez who gently tapped in the rebound.
Despite being down two goals, Fulham responded well to the situation as they created four chances over the next ten minutes and were only inches away from pulling one back in the 22nd minute through Mitrovic.
As the game started to slow down around the 34-minute mark, Newcastle’s fans were loud and clear with their anti-Mike Ashley chants after they realized that the business tycoon was in attendance at the opposite end of the pitch. Ashley simply responded with a cheeky grin.
Newcastle almost made it 3-0 in the 44th minute when Shelvey’s corner kick curled much more than Rico had anticipated as the Spaniard punched the ball away before it dipped under the crossbar. At the end of the half, Fulham dominated the stat sheet with 10 shots, none of which were on target, and maintained 67% of possession, but Newcastle made the most of their seven chances by scoring twice.
The second half began as a copy and paste of the opening 45 minutes with Fulham holding on to the ball and pressing forward with crosses that were constantly cleared away by the Magpies. It wasn’t until the 52nd minute when Newcastle were able to string together multiple passes and create a chance through Ritchie, but his shot was blocked.
Fulham continued to press forward, but Newcastle’s back-line took over Dubravka’s duties by blocking every shot that Fulham was taking. Paul Dummett and Jamaal Lascelles were putting their bodies in front of everything.
Although Newcastle spent most of their time defending, they did manage to add a third goal in the 61st minute off a corner kick. Fabian Schar rose up to bury a header down the middle to get the Toon Army going wild behind the goal.
Fulham responded quickly, though, by scoring a goal in the 63rd minute, however, the flag went up and the score remained 3-0. The Magpies made a substitution in the 68th minute as Federico Fernandez replaced Isaac Hayden, who was applauded by the fans as he made his final appearance for the club.
Newcastle almost made it 4-0 in the 71st minute when Paul Dummett found Salomon Rondon wide open in the penalty area, but Rico made an incredible save to keep Rondon’s powerful strike out of the net. The next big play of the game came in the 85th minute when Rondon dribbled around the keeper, but his shot hit the side netting.
Rondon finally got his goal in the 90th minute after he followed up on first attempt, which was saved by Rico, and placed the second shot in the goal. This goal then generated the “Salomon Rondon, we want you to stay” chants from the Toon Army.
Newcastle earned the victory today and fired four impressive goals to secure all three points in West London. The Magpies finish the season in 13th place with 45 points. In other news, Manchester City won the Premier League title for the second straight season with a 4-1 victory over Brighton.