Newcastle finally bests Leno, Fulham penalty mess leads to loss
Aleksandar Mitrovic had a penalty goal taken off the board and Alexander Isak scored in the first minute of stoppage time as Newcastle United found a way past Bernd Leno in a 1-0 win over Fulham at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
Ex-Newcastle forward Mitrovic slipped while taking a VAR-awarded penalty and clipped his shot off his plant leg and into the goal, the double touch eventually spotted and nullifying the visitors would-be lead.
Newcastle had dominated the game aside from one early spell and the penalty, controversially-awarded in the first place, and Callum Wilson’s close-range chip to Isak was nodded home just after the clock read 90:00.
The Magpies move back into third place, a point behind Man City and six back of Arsenal. Newcastle’s played more matches than both, and their 38 points are the same as fourth-place Manchester United.
Fulham sits sixth with 31 points, seven points off fourth.
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Penalty controversy includes attempt itself
Fulham won a second half penalty almost completely against the run of play when Bobby Decordova-Reid came together with Kieran Trippier on the right edge of the box.
Initially waved away by referee Robert Jones, VAR asked Jones to head back to the screen for another look and the referee saw a penalty this time.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, the former Magpies forward, went to the penalty spot. But he slipped as he planted to take the shot and the ball ended up touched both of his feet on its way past Nick Pope.
That’s a double touch, if you will, nullified the attempt and Newcastle had an indirect free kick In the end.
Bernd Leno is having a season, but Newcastle is, too
Ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s move across London is arguably one of the main reasons Fulham is flying so high on the Premier League table.
Leno, 30, has clawed away so many would-be opponent goals for a Fulham team who entered the day with the highest expected goals against total in the Premier League.
The German backstop is second in the league with 4.2 saves per match and is the main reason Fulham’s 35.8 xGA has only led to 29 goals against.
One of those, however, is Alexander Isak’s late winner for Newcastle. It was an easy goal but a well-earned one for the Magpies, who out-attempted Fulham 20-5 and won the xG scrap 2.13-1.14 while holding 62 percent of the ball.
Newcastle is legit and probably should have had this game in the bag by halftime or soon after the break. Allan Saint-Maximin’s good play off the bench and Callum Wilson getting the assist on substitute Isak’s winner will give Eddie Howe food for thought as Miguel Almiron was bright but made way for Jacob Murphy and was not a part of the goal.
What, eventually, will be Newcastle’s Best XI by the end of the season?
Bruno Guimaraes injury threatens Magpies’ season goals
Newcastle’s most important player left the field on his own power but in tears in a move that Magpies supporters will be hoping is just an abundance of emotion.
The Brazilian spoke with the trainers on the pitch midway through the first half but soon returned to the pitch and made it the rest of the half.
It was then that cameras spotted him in tears, still limping a bit, and Allan Saint-Maximin took Guimaraes’ spot for the second half.
But there’s a riddle here, and it involved Guimaraes finishing the half. Surely the trainers wouldn’t have let him risk long-term injury, but the emotional reaction certainly delivers a fair bit of anxiety to the Toon.
Stars of the Show
Newcastle goes to Crystal Palace for a 12:30pm ET match Saturday, while Fulham hosts Spurs two days later.
Aleksandar Mitrovic penalty video: Freak occurrence denies goal
Alexander Isak goal video: Magpies break through
How to watch Newcastle vs Fulham live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9am ET, SundayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Newcastle’s seen one top-four rival beat another and needs a win to guarantee the third-place footing it held going into the weekend. Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin are now healthy, so the Magpies are the closest to full-strength they’ve been in some time. Miguel Almiron’s been the club’s finisher in their absence, while Bruno Guimaraes has been simply sensational.
Fulham’s been magnificent, too, and Carlos Vinicius filled in well for suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic at midweek. The former Newcastle striker has been filling up the nets and will hope to do the same at his old haunt.
Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Jonjo Shelvey (lower leg), Matt Targett (heel), Emil Krafth (knee).
Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Neeskens Kebano (calf), Aleksandar Mitrovic (suspension), Shane Duffy (illness).