Sun 28 Jan 2024, 12:04 by Ash Harrison

Fulham (A) player ratings: We're still wondering how we won this one 2-0

Fulham (A) player ratings: We're still wondering how we won this one 2-0
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
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Newcastle United advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup for only the second time in 17 years with a 2-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

That byline doesn't tell the full story at all, though, as the Magpies put in arguably their poorest first half of the season and were fortunate to head into the interval 1-0 ahead.

Sean Longstaff got the crucial goal but was abysmal otherwise. Dan Burn, Bruno Guimarães, and Jacob Murphy also had stinkers before Jarred Gillett mercifully blew for half-time.

Burn turned things around after the break and smashed home the second, but there weren't too many standouts for the green-clad visitors, who look bereft of confidence on their travels.

Still, this was a massive win for Eddie Howe and his players. All involved deserve credit for pulling out a result in the circumstances. Here's how we saw it from one to eleven.

We still can't believe we came away with a 2-0 win here

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Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images
Longstaff got the vital first goal but otherwise had another tough night in midfield

Martin Dúbravka – 7

The big Slovakian only made two saves in the contest but his effort to deny Muniz when the game was at 0-0 was genuinely world-class. His distribution was fine otherwise, too, but he still worries us with his refusal to command his box from crosses and through balls.

Kieran Trippier (c) – 6

Most of Fulham's threat came down the opposite flank through Wilson, but on the rare occasion the home side did attack up their left Trippier was equal to the task. His delivery for the second goal was quality, but this was an unusually quiet night for him otherwise.

Fabian Schär – 7

Although his long-range passing was again fairly wayward and he misses having Joelinton as an outlet on the left, his sweeping up for colleagues was of the highest order. Second only to Burn in terms of defensive actions, this was a solid outing for our number five.

Sven Botman – 8 ⭐️

Having struggled a little bit in the immediate aftermath of his return to injury, Botman is returning to his Terminator-like best. He was a calming influence on a tough night for some teammates and did his fair share of covering for Burn during the opening period.

Dan Burn – 7

This was the quintessential game of two halves for BDB, who was having a shocker before the break until completely turning things around after the interval. In addition to scoring the second goal, he passed the ball well and seemed to get his head to everything.

Lewis Miley – 6

He received some heady praise from ITV's hideous commentary pairing, but this was far from Miley's best performance in a Newcastle shirt. He kept the ball well and showed good composure, but he's lost the early spark he had when first coming into the side.

Bruno Guimarães – 3

We're a bit lost for words about what we saw from our Brazilian maestro in West London last night. Next to nothing he tried came off and some of his attempted passes were bordering on farcical in terms of their execution. All-in-all he lost possession 19 times.

Sean Longstaff – 6

It was a cracking finish for the opening goal, but Longy is struggling badly at the moment in open play. In his post-match interview with NUFC TV, he alluded to being exhausted and a lack of energy impacting his performances. We'd hope a week off would've sorted that out.

Jacob Murphy – 4

Let's put this performance down to rust, eh? He missed a sitter, failed to hit an easy through ball soon after, and was miles offside for the chance he did bury. Otherwise, he managed just 20 touches, won none of his duels, and created next to nothing for his teammates.

Alexander Isak – 6

This was the sharpest and fittest we've seen Isak for some time, but he suffered from almost everyone around him being off their usual level. He only got one shot away and was ignored numerous times when in fantastic positions between the two central defenders.

Anthony Gordon – 6

He was constantly berating himself when the camera was on him as not much he tried came off, but aside from him leaving Burn exposed too often we didn't have too many qualms with Gordon's overall performance. He'll be a different proposition when Barnes returns.

We would've liked to see more substitutes used again

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Gaspafotos/Getty Images
Burn endured a stinker in the first half but turned things around after the interval

Tino Livramento – 6

He replaced Murphy and played from the left wing in his 20-minute cameo, looking sharp but perhaps being a little too unselfish on occasions when he got into the final third.

Emil Krafth – 5

Had to finish the game due to Trippier taking a knock. The contest was over by the time he arrived so he wasn't asked to do too much heavy lifting to help secure the win.

Matt Ritchie – 5

This was a seemingly customary few minutes from the bench for Ritchie, who didn't even have enough time to get a touch of the ball.

Next up for the Magpies is Aston Villa away

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Getty Images
Villa ran us ragged in April and could easily have won by more than three goals

We return to the scene of one of our poorest results of last season, with Villa Park the venue on Tuesday night for a meeting with Unai Emery's high-flying Villans.

It's an 8.15 p.m. kick-off and will be shown live on TNT Sports. Villa currently sit fourth in the table, having won nine and drawn one of their 10 home matches to date.

As such, this is written very much in hope rather than expectation… Howay the lads!

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