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Played
August 28, 2011 1:00 PM BST
St. James' Park — Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Referee:‬ K. Friend‎
Attendance:‬ 42684‎
 
48′ Leon Best
66′ Leon Best
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Newcastle United 2-1 Fulham

A brace from Leon Best was enough as Alan Pardew's side ensured that Martin Jol's men remained winless in the Premier League season

By Andrew Kennedy at St. James' Park

  • Tim Krul
    35
    0
    4.00

    Tim Krul

    The young Dutch stopper wasn’t forced to make a save of note throughout the first half, but was on hand early after the restart to save well from Steve Sidwell’s point blank header, before showcasing superb reflexes to thwart Danny Murphy’s goal-bound effort.

  • Danny Simpson
    3
    10
    3.00

    Danny Simpson

    Was beaten too easily at times down the left-hand side by Dembele and allowed Sidwell a free header in front of goal that the midfielder should have scored. However he did provide a positive attacking option with Obertan on the right, even if his contribution rarely came to anything.

  • Steven Taylor
    20
    1
    3.50

    Steven Taylor

    The centre-back has made the most blocks in the Premier League so far this season, and again stood up well to the runs of Duff, Dempsey and Dembele. After a sometimes turbulent past couple of seasons, Taylor appears to be maturing into a competent centre-half and looks to be forming a solid partnership with Colocinni.

  • Fabricio Coloccini
    19
    1
    3.50

    Fabricio Coloccini

    The club captain was again a pillar of strength defensively, and is gradually forming a a promising partnership with Steven Taylor that will provide the club with a solid foundation.

  • Ryan Taylor
    7
    6
    3.50

    Ryan Taylor

    The man of the moment at St. James’ Park looked solid in the unfamiliar position of left-back, and whilst his distribution was at times poor, he again provided the creativity and goal threat that was at times lacking from the home side.

  • Yohan Cabaye
    17
    0
    3.50

    Yohan Cabaye

    Appears to be finding his feet in the Premier League, with the Frenchman certainly able to handle himself physically. The former Lille midfielder’s dipping effort early in the second half forced Mark Schwarzer into an uncomfortable save that led to Leon Best’s opening goal.

  • Cheikh Tiote
    13
    4
    3.50

    Cheikh Tiote

    The Ivorian has looked slightly off the pace compared to the combative force of last season, but still gave a dogged performance and gradually settled into the game after a suspect start.

  • Jonas Gutierrez
    3
    6
    3.00

    Jonas Gutierrez

    Always looks a danger when on the ball, but too many times the Argentine winger was unable to produce the quality needed with his final ball.

  • Peter Lovenkrands
    4
    8
    2.50

    Peter Lovenkrands

    The Danish striker went close with an early header, only to direct the ball just past Mark Schwarzer’s goal. Other than that, his movement looked lively but failed to threaten the Fulham backline. Replaced by Demba after an hour.

  • Gabriel Obertan
    9
    4
    3.00

    Gabriel Obertan

    Very quiet start to the game and drifted out of position too many times as he looked to get more involved. The former Manchester United man’s efforts were not in vain though, as he gradually became more involved and sparked a number Newcastle’s attacks.

  • Leon Best
    22
    1
    4.00

    Leon Best Top of the Match

    The striker initially proved ineffective against the centre-back pairing of Hughes and Hangeland, with Best shrugged off the ball far too easily at times and unable to beat the offside trap. Different player second half though, as he grabbed two goals to open his account for the season, the second the result of a delightful first touch. Replaced by Vuckic with fifteen minutes left to play.

Substitutions

  • Haris Vuckic
    7
    2
    3.00

    Haris Vuckic

    Took the place of Best with fifteen minutes left on the clock, before leaving the field himself due to injury.

  • Alan Smith
    1
    7
    3.00

    Alan Smith

    Brief cameo in place of the injured Vuckic

  • Demba Ba
    11
    2
    3.50

    Demba Ba

    Replaced Peter Lovenkrands with half an hour left to play. The Senegalese striker showed glimpses of the player seen at Upton Park last season, with his first contribution to the game a cross to provide Leon Best with his and Newcastle’s second goal of the game. Superb strike nearly brought a debut goal, only for his effort to hit the bar.

  • Mark Schwarzer
    2
    8
    2.50

    Mark Schwarzer Flop of the Match

    Was fooled by the bounce of Yohan Cabaye’s long distance effort in the lead up to the goal, with his weak parry finding its way to the feet of Leon Best who in turn opened the scoring for Newcastle.

  • Matthew Briggs
    1
    3
    2.50

    Matthew Briggs

    Struggled at times with the running of Obertan, Gutierrez and Simpson down the right hand flank, and lost Ba too easily in the build up to the second goal

  • Aaron Hughes
    1
    2
    3.00

    Aaron Hughes

    Not a terrible performance but did lose Best too easily for the second goal, although did block well from the striker’s goal bound shot

  • Brede Hangeland
    1
    3
    3.00

    Brede Hangeland

    Lost possession far too cheaply when under no pressure in the first half, and may have reacted quicker in the build up to Best’s second goal.

  • Chris Baird
    0
    0
    3.00

    Chris Baird

    Solid enough showing from the Irishman, managing to keep Gutierrez relatively quiet on the right hand side. Although did allow Ba too much in the final minutes of the game as the Senegalese striker crashed an effort against the bar.

  • Danny Murphy
    3
    2
    3.50

    Danny Murphy

    His cross supplied Dempsey for Fulham’s late goal, and was desperately unlucky not to have grabbed the equaliser early himself, only for his headed effort to be thwarted by Krul

  • Steve Sidwell
    4
    1
    3.00

    Steve Sidwell

    The midfielder started well, as he found pockets of space in the final third with Fulham dominating possession, however soon became less influential. Wasn’t afraid to pepper the goal mouth from distance, but should have grabbed the equaliser only for his header from six-yard to be directed straight at Tim Krul.

  • Damien Duff
    1
    5
    3.00

    Damien Duff

    Met with a chorus of boos following his acrimonious departure from St. James’ Park two years ago, and gave little in response, as the Irishman endeavored well but to no avail on the right hand side.

  • Pajtim Kasami
    2
    1
    3.00

    Pajtim Kasami

    Positive showing from the Swiss youngster, who looked decent in the middle of the park and certainly wasn’t afraid to shoot from distance. Influential at the start of the game, before seemingly running out of steam in the second half before being replaced by Andy Johnson with 20 minutes to play.

  • Mousa Dembele
    0
    4
    2.50

    Mousa Dembele

    Flattered to deceive at times, with some promising runs from deep that failed to really threaten the Newcastle backline.

  • Clint Dempsey
    3
    2
    3.00

    Clint Dempsey

    The American started lively but soon petered out due to the convincing performances of Taylor and Coloccini at centre-back. Possibly suffering from fatigue as the 28-year-old looked slow off the mark and a shade of the player who scored 12 league goals last season, but did well to loop his header over Tim Krul to grab his side’s first league goal of the season.

Substitutions

  • Andy Johnson
    0
    1
    2.50

    Andy Johnson

    Replaced Kasami with twenty minutes to play as Fulham switched to a front three attack.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0