Fulham entered Saturday’s match against Newcastle United dead bottom of the Premier League. Fulham had conceded a league-high 42 goals in 17 matches. And most notably of all, the Whites were yet to keep a clean sheet all season.
But Fulham departed St. James’ Park with a 0-0 draw, earning their first clean sheet in the process and exposing the unacceptable performance of the Newcastle attack.
The Magpies have struggled at home all season, but their futility reached a new low against Fulham. Facing off against the league’s leakiest defence, Newcastle could not even manage a single shot on target the entire match — an embarrassing statistic.
Although Fulham did shift to a more compact five-man defence, Rafa Benitez’s attack looked largely lost for ideas all match, with Salomon Rondon, Christian Atsu, and Ayoze Perez ineffectual throughout.
Despite Newcastle’s recent uptick in form, the Magpies must improve their home form to further distance themselves from the relegation battle — the club boasts just two victories at St. James’ Park all season..
Newcastle’s attack needs fundamental changes, as their lack of creativity and cutting edge handed the worst rearguard in the Premier League a first clean sheet all campaign.