Jonjo Shelvey’s fabulous strike helped Newcastle earn a comfortable victory at Fulham who said farewell to the Premier League with their 26th defeat of the season.
It was a yet another tale of good application by the Cottagers without much bite in attack, and a defence that underlined why they were the worst in the league this season.
The Magpies barely broke sweat for this 4-0 win.
Rafael Benitez’s side were two goals up in a two-minute spell early in the match. Shelvey ended his year-long run without a goal with a thunderous half-volley from just inside the area before Ayoze Perez grabbed his 13th of the season when he tucked home after keeper Sergio Rico failed to adequately deal with Christian Atsu’s shot.
Defender Fabian Schar nodded in the Magpies’ third just after the hour mark before Salomon Rondon capped off his own brilliant display with angled strike which produced the loudest cheer of the afternoon.
The Magpies finish in 13th with 45 points, one more than they managed last season, and Scott Parker’s side end their campaign in 19th and with 26 points.
A penny for Scott Parker’s thoughts as he stood in deep contemplation during the final stages of the match.
The former assistant was handed the top job permanently this week and with it the task of reinvigorating an expensively-assembled outfit that many expected to do well, but in the end failed to meet acceptable standards.
He said after his appointment that “success comes from a foundation, that foundation comes from a culture and setting standards on a daily basis”.
In the first few minutes of the match, his side set high standards as they tested the visiting defence with balls flung in from both wings – Aleksandar Mitrovic went close with a header that drifted a foot wide of Martin Dubravka’s post.
The ex-Newcastle striker also had a chance with another header that should have found the target but aside from that, and a good strike by 16-year-old substitute Harvey Elliott, the Slovak keeper had a fairly quiet day at the office.
It has been at the defence which has been been Fulham’s Achilles heel. Every time Newcastle attacked, they looked liable to concede. Rondon’s late strike was the 81st conceded in the league this season – five more than bottom club Huddersfield.
Top of Parker’s summer shopping list must be a new backline.
Source – BBC