Fulham vs. Newcastle United  2 - 1


Sidwell believes win will lift Fulham

11 December 2012 01:29

Steve Sidwell was delighted with the 2-1 victory over Newcastle, ending Fulham's seven-game winless streak.

The former Aston Villa midfielder opened the scoring, before Hatem Ben Arfa's superb strike equalised for Pardew's men.

Hugo Rodallega headed in the winner with 25 minutes to go to make sure Martin Jol's men earned all three points.

Sidwell, 31, believes the win keeps the club in touching distance of the teams above them in the table.

Despite an impressive start to the season, a poor run of form saw the Cottagers drop down the table. However, the former Aston Villa midfielder believes the club are now back on track.

"It was massive. In the table before the game there was a bit of a gap between us and the teams above so it was important for us to get the three points and keep in touch," Sidwell told Sky Sports.

"We came out of the traps (in the) first half and got the goal. The second half they really pushed us and got the equaliser but Hugo popped up with a header and we hung in there."

Despite his goal taking a deflection on its way in, the former Reading player insisted he will fight to have it go down as his own.

"It was definitely going on target so if they don't give it to me, I am after that dubious goals panel," Sidwell said.


Premier League: Fulham 2 Newcastle United 1

10 December 2012 23:19

Fulham overcame a spirited display from Newcastle to clinch a 2-1 win in an end-to-end Premier League encounter at Craven Cottage on Monday.

The hosts took the lead in the first half courtesy of Steve Sidwell's deflected strike from inside the penalty area.

Newcastle equalised shortly after the break through a lobbed effort from outside the box from Hatem Ben Arfa, with Mark Schwarzer wrong-footed following another deflection.

Hugo Rodallega then proved the match winner, prodding home Damien Duff's free kick.

After a high-tempo start that saw both sides pour resources forward, it was the hosts who took the lead through Sidwell in the 18th minute, the Englishman's effort deflecting in off Mike Williamson with Tim Krul sent the wrong way.

Fulham could have added a second moments later when Dimitar Berbatov latched on to a sloppy pass from Vurnon Anita before racing through one-on-one, but Krul did well to stay balanced and palm the Bulgarian's effort away.

Berbatov went close again on the half-hour mark after a superb run and cross by Sascha Riether down the right which saw the former Manchester United's acrobatic effort cleared off the line.

Riether then rose highest to nod Fabricio Coloccini's powerful header from a corner away off the goal-line and blocked a sweetly-struck shot on goal from Demba Ba just before half-time.

This prompted a response from Newcastle and they grabbed the equaliser in the 54th minute courtesy of a sensational strike from Ben Arfa from outside the area on the right which caught the bar on its way in.

Fulham regained the lead in the 63rd minute after Rodallega buried a header at the near post, beating Coloccini in the air after Duff delivered a precise free-kick from the right flank.

With the game opening up and both defences looking vulnerable, Coloccini struck the bar with a magnificent curling effort from inside the box after a rampaging run forwards.

Despite both sides pushing for another goal, Fulham were able to hold on to their lead and secure their first league win in over a month.


Pardew happy with Newcastle ´drive´

10 December 2012 15:54

Alan Pardew believes Newcastle have regained momentum ahead of Monday's away trip to Fulham.

The Magpies suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat away to Bordeaux in the Europa League last Thursday, which came after the club's 3-0 win against Wigan which had ended a run of four consecutive Premier League defeats and eight matches in all competitions without a victory.

Pardew says his club have improved from their run of poor form, which has coincided with a series of absences including that of Yohan Cabaye until next year.

"We are not far away from being a good side," Pardew said.

"We have put a new resilience in the team. The team has a little bit more drive in it, a little bit more energy."

Hatem Ben Arfa is set to be given a late fitness test on a hamstring injury ahead of the trip to Craven Cottage, though Pardew urged his winger to commit to Newcastle's new identity.

"Hatem needs to come in and understand there is a different look to the team," the 51-year-old said.

"I do not care if he's fit or not, he needs to bring that in if he comes in against Fulham or Manchester City."

Pardew opted to field a young side against Bordeaux, and does not believe his side will suffer from a European hangover due to the extra day of rest they have been afforded.

"The Europa League has had no impact on us this week because of the extra day," the Magpies boss said.

"That extra day is massive - huge. If fans do not understand how important it is, they have to trust me. My stats tell me everything I need to know about my players.

"They cannot physically reach that level with two and a half days' rest. Extra rest gives us an opportunity, and I protected the team on Thursday."


Jol was desperate for Cisse´s signature

10 December 2012 15:09

Fulham manager Martin Jol has revealed he wanted to sign Papiss Cisse before the striker's move to Newcastle in January.

The Senegal international scored 13 goals in 14 Premier League appearances following his mid-season move from Freiburg as the Magpies narrowly missed out on qualification for the Champions League.

And with his side preparing to face the prolific forward at Craven Cottage on Monday, Jol has spoken of his admiration for the 27-year-old.

"Cisse was always on my list," he told reporters.

"He made the choice for Newcastle and that was it. Three or four last year were too expensive or stayed and he was one of them.

"He was top scorer in Germany and played for not the biggest club. It's always a little gamble, as you know. But he came here and he scored some goals for Newcastle. But that's a fact of life."

Jol did explain, however, that missing out on targets was common.

"With Dimitar Berbatov it will be the same - Arsene Wenger said the other day he didn't know that he was on the transfer list," he said.

"So there will be other clubs thinking: 'Oh, we could have had him'. That will always happen."

Fulham have not scored for three consecutive games since their defeat to Sunderland in November, but the Dutchman remains calm about his side's form.

"We have got very good players," he said.

"I don't think it was a big problem before the Sunderland game, so for us failure and success is an unbelievably thin line. Against Sunderland, for example, before Brede Hangeland's red card, I thought we were the better team.

"It all started on that day and we got injuries to Bryan Ruiz and Alex Kacaniklic so after that we had to change things and I feel we are good enough to come up with a solution.

"We had a loss after that against Stoke, then we had a draw at Chelsea and lost against Spurs so everything happened in two weeks.

"Even in the first half against Spurs we had three or four chances - more chance than they had, more attempts on goal.

"We have to pick up ourselves and pick up some points."


Hangeland hanging for Fulham return

8 December 2012 07:20

Fulham captain Brede Hangeland is desperate to return to action after missing three matches due to suspension.

The Norway international received a straight red card against Sunderland on November 18, with Fulham's following two matches resulting in defeats to Stoke and Tottenham, as well as a commendable draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Goal.com revealed earlier in the week Hangeland is on the verge of signing a new contract and he also looks set to come back into the team for the visit of Newcastle on Monday, but on the back of a winless streak stretching back to October 20, the 31-year-old understands it will be a tough encounter.

Hangeland told reporters: "It's been a new and frustrating experience to be away from games for a few weeks so I can't wait to get back.

"I'm used to playing all the games. I've missed a few games but that's been when I was rested or possibly been injured for one game.

"It's been unusual and it's not something that I want to experience again. I want to get back playing as soon as possible. I think any game we play is going to be tight and we know that we can win on a good day and lose on a bad day.

"I expect it to be a hard-fought game again on Monday night under the floodlights. It will be tight but hopefully we can edge it.

"I think we've had a bad spell lately and we've gone too long since our last win and we need to get back on track as soon as possible and play the type of football that we know we're capable of."


Premier League preview: Fulham v Newcastle

8 December 2012 04:09

Newcastle United's winning chances away to Fulham on Monday could hinge on the fitness of Demba Ba, Cheick Tiote and Davide Santon.

In last week's 3-0 win over Wigan, Tiote (hamstring) and Santon (groin) were both taken off early in the second half, while Ba limped down the tunnel a few minutes before full-time with hamstring tightness, leaving Newcastle with 10 men in the closing stages.

But Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was hopeful that the injured trio will be available for Monday's trip to Fulham, particularly Ba, who scored twice in the win against Wigan, and is tied for the lead in the Premier League golden boot race.

"I think they'll all be OK," Pardew said after the Wigan match.

"Hamstring for Cheick, hamstring for Demba, a tightness, and Davide is a groin.

"I think the three we took off were kind of precautionary rather than tears and horrible scans tomorrow.

"Fingers crossed, we think they might all make Fulham."

Monday's clash will bring together two teams with some of the worst form in the Premier League with Newcastle's win last week earning them their only points in five matches, while Fulham have two draws and three defeats in the same period.

If Ba fails to play, Pardew will have to do something drastic up front as the big Senegalese striker has scored 10 of Newcastle's 17 league goals this season.

Papiss Cisse, who took England by storm in the latter half of last season, has only scored two, although in good news for Newcastle, tricky attacker Hatem Ben Arfa could play his first game since November 22 having been out with a hamstring injury.

Newcastle will head to Fulham on the back of a 2-0 loss away to Bordeaux in the Europa League, although they still advanced to the knockout stages.

Fulham manager Martin Jol will hope both Ba and Ben Arfa remain on the sidelines when Newcastle come to London as the Dutchman's defence is one of the worst in the Premier League.

Only Southampton, Wigan, Reading and Queens Park Rangers have conceded more often than Fulham so far this season with Jol's side having let in 26 goals in 15 matches.

Having lost 3-0 at home against Tottenham last week, Fulham have not won in seven games but will be hopeful if Newcastle start with a toothless attack.

The London-based club are in the top six of the Premier League for goals scored (25) although having not hit the back of the net in their past three games, since injuries to attacking midfielders Bryan Ruiz and Alexander Kacaniklic, Jol needs to instil some creativity into his starting line-up.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25