Match Analysis: Newcastle United 1-0 Fulham

Yoan Gouffran and Philippe Senderos battle for the ball on April 7, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole analyses Newcastle United's 1-0 victory over Fulham at home in the Premier League on Sunday.

Newcastle United headed into their Premier League clash against Fulham on Sunday desperate for a win that would ease their relegation worries.

Alan Pardew's side dominated proceedings for most of the time at St James' Park and struck the woodwork no fewer than three times in the second half.

Then Papiss Cisse scored deep into injury time to wrap up a 1-0 victory for Newcastle.

Here. Sports Mole takes a closer look to see if the result was fair.

Match statistics:

Newcastle:
Shots 28
On target 5
Possession 50%
Corners 10
Fouls 13

Fulham:
Shots 8
On target 2
Possession 50%
Corners 3
Fouls 11

Was the result fair?

Yes, it was. Newcastle were much the better side for most of the 90 minutes at St James' Park and fully deserved the win. Alan Pardew's side struck the frame of the Fulham goal no fewer than three times in the second half before eventually scoring the winner in injury time.

Newcastle's performance

The Magpies looked vulnerable at the back when Fulham made attacking forays in the first half, but in the second 45 minutes they were on top of their game. Newcastle dominated the midfield and the attacking third and kept the Cottagers firmly on the backfoot in the second 45 minutes. They could have won by a bigger margin had they not struck the woodwork three times.

Fulham's performance

Fulham came into the match as the in-form team and started brightly too, but fizzled out as the match progressed. Martin Jol's side did venture forward from time to time in the first 45 minutes and ended the half the stronger of the two teams, but in the second period they were completely dominated and overpowered.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Papiss Cisse: Cisse had a number of chances in the match and should have taken them, but even then he did not get down and lose his confidence. The way he took his goal in the dying seconds of the game is a testimony of his class and quality and his ability to retain his cool even in the most trying of situations.

Biggest gaffe

This was largely a gaffe-free match but the most notable incident occurred in the final 10 minutes of the match. John Arne Riise decided to shoot on goal himself from a narrow angle instead of playing the ball to Dimitar Berbatov, who was in a better position. The full-back's effort went wide and the Bulgarian striker was none too pleased. Riise should have made a better decision on this occasion.

Referee's performance

Kevin Friend had a good game and got his decisions correct. It was not one of the most difficult games to officiate and the 41-year-old did not try to make it any worse by making himself conspicuous. There was a suspected handball incident concerning Sascha Riether inside the Fulham penalty area, but Friend cannot be blamed for that as even television replays are inconclusive.

What next?

Newcastle: Next up for the Magpies is the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie against Benfica on Thursday.

Fulham: The Cottagers will next play Aston Villa away from home in the Premier League.

Yoan Gouffran and Philippe Senderos battle for the ball on April 7, 2013
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