Final game of the season, United enter the Craven Cottage with only pride on the line for both sides. This is Scott Parker's last game in the Premier League for at least a year so the Cottagers will want to end the season on a high. Steve Bruce can actually find himself on more points than last season with a win today. Bruce has kept the formation of 5-3-2 with Dubravka staying in goal. Murphy, Krafth, Fernandez, Dummett and Ritchie all apart of the back five. Longstaff, Shelvey and Almiron play in the centre with Willock pushing ahead in a forward role alongside Saint-Maximin who has passed a late fitness test.
Five minutes into the game and it's Fulham with the first chance when Cavaleiro's cross reached Anguissa who couldn't get enough on the ball to hit the target as the ball went wide.
Two minutes later Allan Saint-Maximin obtained the ball near the Fulham box and did what he does best, break through the defence and have a shot, unfortunately, the keeper got a fingertip to it and put it out for a corner. The corner came in and was blocked by the defence ruling in another corner which was taken nervously by the keeper.
Ten minutes in and Cavalerio found himself out wide one-on-one with Krafth who was backing off . Cavalerio switched the ball onto his right foot and took a low shot which went wide at the near post.
On the 20th minute Cavalerio ran through the center. He had Lookman and De Cordova-Reid on either side of him but he decided to take the shot , twenty yards out but his curling effort went wide of the mark.
Then just three minutes later Willock picked up the ball from outside of the area. The Arsenal loanee dribbled into the box with Fulham player challenging him left, right and centre, but after two stabs of the ball, Willock got his shot off and, you guessed it, made it seven goals in seven games, equaling Alan Shearers record of goals scored in consecutive games. Slotting the ball into the bottom corner. What a fantastic future this lad has, I sincerely hope his future lays with us. 1-0.
On the 24th minute Almiron fancied his chances after running with the ball thirty yards, but unfortunately his shot was tame and the keeper held on to the ball with ease.
Half an hour in and a cross came in which Krafth dealt with but not as well as he'd have liked as the youngster Carvalho latched onto the ball and had a shot but it was blocked by the veteran Fernandez.
Seven minutes later Lookman laid the ball of for Bryan who had a shot from twenty five yards out which deflected to Cavalerio inside the box. Cavalerio turned Krafth and got a shot away but it just nicked the top of the crossbar and went out for a goal kick. Half Time 1-0.
47th minute, Ritchie switched the play out wide to Murphy who sent in a low cross to find the inform Willock who scuffed his shot and the ball fell away from the near post.
On the 56th minute Fulham should have levelled up when Willock gave the ball away from a poor back pass for Fernandez. Carvalho intercepted the back pass and got in on goal. With Fernandez backing off Carvalho squared the ball to Cavalerio who only had Dubravka to beat but the striker blasted the ball over the bar. Truly a contender for miss of the season.
Two minutes later Fulham came back again with Loftus-Cheek who got into a shooting range but decided to selflessly give the ball to Tete who had his shot blocked by Dummett.
Just passed the hour mark on the 64th minute, Carvalho turned on the edge of the box and got his shot off but again it lacked accuracy as it was bending but not enough to get it on target.
Three minute later Ritchie's free kick found Krafth who looked to emulate his goal against Manchester City, but this time he couldn't direct his header on target s the ball sailed over the bar and out for a goal kick.
On the 71st minute, Maja showed that it was not Fulham's day as they have had plenty of chances but the ball is not going where the Cottagers would like it to go, as Maja's shot from range flies over the crossbar.
But Fulham came closer on the 82nd minute when Tim Ream latched onto a cross from out wide to have his effort deflect off of a Newcastle defender and into the very grateful arms of the awaiting Martin Dubravka.
And Then just six minutes later, Fulham's day was well and truly capped off when Matt Ritchie was brought down by Alex Tete in the box. Penalty to Newcastle. Up stepped the returning centre back Fabien Schar who calmly and sweetly side footed the spot kick into the corner past the keeper who was heading the other way. 2-0. Game over. Season over. Final Score: Fulham 0-2 Newcastle United.
This game has capped off a fantastic end to the campaign for Bruce and his Mags. Bruce had found a system which incorporates his key players and keep to the style that the players are used to. To be fair to him, it has brought us the results we needed and at the right time too. Do I think we need a change of manager going into the next season? Well, if we want to progress then yes we certainly do. Bruce will struggle to get us top ten, but the Manager situation is only the front man to the band of underperforming faculty. We cut the head off of the Hydra that is Mike Ashley, and the Bruce/Charnley and the army of coaches called Steve will fall too. But as for today, today is a day for celebration. Finishing 12th on 45 points and above Wolves (Alphabetically) is something to be pleased with. Bring on the next season!
By Sam West
Howay The Lads!