English Premier League

Fulham 0 – 1 Newcastle United

Bruno Guimaraes scored his fourth goal of the season as Newcastle beat Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Brazilian struck the winner inside the last 10 minutes after good work from substitute Harvey Barnes, shortly after Fabian Schar had an effort ruled out for a foul in the build-up.

Newcastle are now one point adrift of sixth-placed Manchester United and firmly in the tussle for a place in Europe next season.

Willian, Joao Palhinha and Rodrigo Muniz missed great chances for Marco Silva’s home side as Fulham stayed in 13th spot.

Fulham started the game brightly after a poor loss to Nottingham Forest during the week, but missed chances allowed Eddie Howe’s visitors to grow into the game.

Anthony Gordon, who returned to the Newcastle starting line-up after suspension, was a constant threat and came close to breaking the deadlock with a 20-yard drive that whistled inches wide.

Magpies eyeing a return to Europe

Behind Tottenham and Aston Villa’s battle for fourth place, the quest for lower-rung European football next season continues.

West Ham came from behind to win at Wolves to stay seventh, with the Hammers and Newcastle both closing in on a Manchester United side who face Liverpool on Sunday.

After a taste of the European experience in the Champions League earlier this term, Newcastle want and expect more of the same in years to come, although it is Europa League and Europa Conference League places they are contesting this time.

With injuries having ravaged Eddie Howe’s side for much of the season, the goal from Guimaraes was celebrated with huge amounts of joy and relief from the travelling fans.

After soaking up huge amounts of pressure from Fulham during the game, the Magpies proved they are up for this late-season mission.

What next for Fulham?

The loss to Newcastle leaves Fulham in lower mid-table, with their season apparently petering out.

At times this term, Marco Silva’s side have competed well with those higher up the league and the prospect of them challenging for a European spot in future has not seemed outrageous.

Not particularly known for his finishing, Palhinha had the best chance of the game for the Cottagers but could only stroke his effort wide from six yards.

After eight goals in nine Premier League matches, Muniz was expected to score when presented with a clear chance in the first half but his effort went straight at Martin Dubravka.

Results for Fulham have tailed off since a 3-0 win over Tottenham on 16 March. A 3-3 draw with bottom side Sheffield United was followed by the 3-1 loss to relegation-battling Forest on Tuesday.

Six points from those two games would have pushed Silva’s side into the mix for a European place, but they are seemingly now out of that picture.

With summer additions and Silva having more time to work with his squad, Fulham may feel a more sustained push for Europe will be realistic, having discovered the hard way the damage a late-season dip can cause.


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