BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Craven Cottage, England

Attendance: 25270

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Fulham

  • Steve Sidwell 19'
  • Hugo Rodallega 63'

2 - 1

FT

Newcastle United

  • Hatem Ben Arfa 54'

Sidwell hails 'massive' win

Goalscorer Steve Sidwell hailed a "massive'' win for Fulham as they beat Newcastle 2-1 at Craven Cottage.

Martin Jol's men won their first Premier League match in eight thanks to Hugo Rodallega's second-half header after Hatem Ben Arfa's deflected shot cancelled out Sidwell's opener.

"It (the win) was massive,'' Sidwell said on Sky Sports 1. "In the table before the game there was bit of a gap appearing between us and the teams above, so it was important to get the win.

"We came out of the traps and got the goal. In the second half they got the equaliser and really pushed us, but Hugo got the match-winner and we hung on.''

Rodallega described his goal as a "special moment''. "I am happy with that, maybe I need more goals,'' he added.

Jol described the win as "vital''. He added: "I was so happy we could score the first goal, that was our problem the last couple of weeks. After the first goal we should have scored at least two or three (more). (Dimitar) Berbatov should have scored.

"I think we were the better team before that (the equaliser), but they've got all the quality in the world so I was a bit concerned.''

Jol was full of praise for Berbatov, who covered a huge amount of ground and linked up the midfield and attack well in the absence of the injured Bryan Ruiz.

"He is unbelievable. He worked everyone hard, he was on the left, on the right, he was all over the pitch. Bryan Ruiz is the creative player, but he is injured so he (Berbatov) had to do another job.''

Jol also claimed Rodallega's performance was his best since joining the club in the summer.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew felt his side only had themselves to blame for the defeat.

He said: "It's a really soft second goal - a soft free-kick, soft defending on the free-kick and you can't do that at this level because we had the game by the scruff of the neck at this point.

"We played some of our best attacking football of the season, but we've still come away with nothing. Performances don't get you points. In the second half we were terrific other than those two or three moments. We've got no-one to blame but ourselves.''

The Magpies have still not won away from home this season.

"I think we've conceded poor goals at crucial times and away from home it's costly,'' the manager said.

Newcastle's next game is at home to champions Manchester City had Pardew insisted his side would go into that clash with confidence. "I think at home we are a threat to anybody,'' he said.

Scoring Summary

  • Fulham
  • Newcastle United

Match Stats

  • Fulham
  • Newcastle United
16(7) Shots (on goal) 20(8)
14 Fouls 11
5 Corner kicks 4
0 Offsides 1
45% Time of Possession 55%
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
7 Saves 5

Teams

  • Fulham
  • Newcastle United
Substitutes
Substitutions