Updated Tue 19 Dec 2023, 19:37 by Ash Harrison

Fulham (h) player ratings: Three contenders for POTM as Newcastle return to winning ways at St James'

Fulham (h) player ratings: Three contenders for POTM as Newcastle return to winning ways at St James'
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
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Newcastle United returned to winning ways with a convincing 3-0 victory over Fulham at St James' Park on Saturday afternoon, though were aided significantly by an early red card for the visitors.

We're still not sure what Raúl Jiménez was trying to do in the 22nd minute when he flung himself at Sean Longstaff, but after first seeing yellow the Mexican was given his marching orders after a VAR intervention.

Longstaff picked himself up to continue, but teammates Fabian Schär and Joelinton weren't so fortunate. Both were forced off with muscle injuries, possibly leading to each being on the sidelines for weeks.

Sven Botman was back, though, which was great to see, and the replacements for Schär and Joelinton—Emil Krafth and Lewis Miley, respectively—were excellent, with the latter grabbing his first senior goal.

Both of them were very much in the reckoning for our POTM award but were pipped by a certain number 39.

Our second half showing was like a breath of fresh air

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Reuters
Bruno and Miley were the two stars of the show against Fulham

Martin Dúbravka – 7

After a few really poor performances, it was great to see Dubs get a clean sheet. Fulham's early red card meant that he didn't have to work too hard to earn it, but he still made four saves and a couple of high claims to ensure there was no chance of an upset.

Tino Livramento – 7

We were looking forward to seeing Tino being given a run on the right of the defence, but that only lasted for 14 minutes due to Schär's injury. Returning to left-back thereafter, he played his part in the opener with what is fast becoming a trademark dribble along the box.

Jamaal Lascelles (c) – 8

Although he was helped more than most by the Jiménez red card, he stepped up massively to ensure that he dominated Fulham's makeshift attack. Won 9/9 aerial duels, had 99 touches, and completed 90% of his passes in what was a very commanding display.

Fabian Schär – 6

It was genuinely gutwrenching to see Schär pull up when embarking on one of his usual jaunts from the centre of defence. We might be without the Swiss international for a few weeks now and he'll be missed, but at least Botman was back in contention today.

Dan Burn – 8

What a return to the starting XI this was for the big man from Blyth, who put the cherry on top with the third goal from Bruno's innovative cross. Like Lascelles, he seemed determined to bully Fulham after Jiménez went off, winning 7/7 aerial duels from centre-back.

Sean Longstaff – 6

We'll forgive Longy for displaying a bit of rust on his first start in a while, but he was probably the poorest of the outfield players today. Everything was very neat and tidy, as it typically is, but he could have done more to take command of things against ten men.

Bruno Guimarães – 9 ⭐️

Bruno endured a frustrating opening half before turning on the magic after the break. He had a ridiculous 137 touches of the ball, completed 102 passes, made the first goal for Miley with wonderful dribbling and tenacity, and got a fabulous assist for Burn as well.

Joelinton – 7

We sometimes forget that Big Joe is human but he reminded us today when forced off the pitch in the 36th minute with a hamstring injury. He's run himself into the ground recently, so it's no real surprise, and he was having a very decent game up to that point too.

Miguel Almirón – 6

We dread to think what we'd be scoring Miggy if he didn't grab the crucial second goal, because not much else went right for him here. There were just too many lapses in concentration from the Paraguayan today, though he must be in dire need of a rest.

Callum Wilson – 7

Although he found himself up against two massive opponents, Wilson gave a masterclass on how to lead the line. He probably deserved a goal for his efforts but was either in the wrong place, was fouled at the crucial moment, or tried to force it a little bit.

Anthony Gordon – 8

He did well for the second goal when putting it on a plate for Almirón (via Wilson) and was our most threatening attacker throughout. Was unlucky not to grab himself a goal in the first half when firing off the bar, but it was nice to see his sharpness back.

The two first-half substitutes made a huge difference

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Krafth looked like he'd never been away after replacing Schär

Emil Krafth – 8

The biggest compliment we can pay Krafth is that he doesn't look like he's missed any football in the last 18 months. He showed a few fantastic bursts of speed today, used the ball well, made a big chance for Gordon, and was heavily involved in the contest overall.

Lewis Miley – 9

We're running out of superlatives for Miley, who became the club's youngest-ever Premier League goalscorer today. Even putting the goal to one side he was outstanding, linking well with Almirón and Krafth down the right throughout the second half in particular.

Matt Ritchie – 6

He looked desperate to get on the scoresheet in his cameo and he almost did, offering a good threat at the far post. We would have loved it.

Sven Botman – 6

We've sorely missed those incisive passes from the heart of defence into midfield in his absence and it was great to see them back today.

Lewis Hall – 6

It was nice to see him getting some pitch time after the recent comments about his future, we still think he can be massive for us given time.

Next up for the Magpies is Chelsea away

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Our last visit to West London ended in a 1-1 draw back in May

It's the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening, with the game an 8 p.m. kick-off and set to be shown live on Sky in the UK.

Both clubs are riddled with injuries at the moment so we're not expecting either to field their first XI, which means we'll be in with a decent shout of going through.

Remember, Carabao Cup games do not have extra time until the semi-final stage so if things are level after 90 minutes, we'll be involved in our first penalty shootout of the campaign.

Howay the lads!

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