After a first half which offered very little from both teams, the game really did look like it was going to be a 0-0 draw as goals did not look likely. But after half time a fierce shot from Cabaye from outside the box could only be parred by Schwarzer for Leon Best to slot it home. It took the striker just under 20 minutes to double his and teams tally, with a good turn and shot to make it 2-0. At that point it looked like we would easily see out the rest of the game with a second consecutive league win. However the final 10 minutes seemed a little bit tense, with the ref seeming to want Fulham to get a goal. Tim Krul continued his fantastic form producing some very good saves to stop Fulham from finding the back of the net. In the 88th minute a well worked free kick and header from Clint Dempsey saw the consolation goal for Fulham, although the 5 minutes of injury time were rather tense!
I had been criticizing Leon Best since his awful performance against Scunthorpe on Thursday night (much deserved) and it was good to be proven wrong about him, but he must become more consistent. But he done well to score twice and Demba Ba (who’s Newcastle career hasn’t started well) deserves some praise for setting Best up for his second.
I thought the main problem we had in the first half was due to Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye both playing very deep in the holding roles often ending up right next to Colo. Something which seemed to be sorted out in the first half. Tiote is still looking off the pace, but slight improvements can be seen with each game. Cabaye had a few shots in the game, making the goalkeeper work. Looks very good when higher up the pitch, so let’s hope in the next game we see him higher up from the start with Tiote in the holding role.
My biggest complaint from this game comes towards Peter Lovenkrands. He really is just not good enough to play at this level, it’s like playing with 10 men as he really adds nothing to the team. I really cannot see him getting many more games and I will be happy with that.
I was very excited to see Haris Vuckic come on as a sub, but unfortunately for the young lad he went off injured. Something wrong with his hand? Such a shame but I am sure he is going to get a lot of playing time this season, hope the injury is not too bad.
7 points out of 9. Only conceded 1 goal. If I had been told that’s where we would be after the first three games of the season I really wouldn’t have believed it. Such a fantastic start after supposedly letting our “top” players go. Team spirit looks better than ever to me, very proud of the start we have made!