Seventeen-year-old Lewis Miley became Newcastle’s youngest Premier League goal scorer as the Magpies bounced back from Champions League elimination with a win over 10-man Fulham.
Fulham had striker Raul Jimenez sent off after 22 minutes following a dangerous, jumping challenge into Sean Longstaff, which caught the Newcastle man in the face.
On-pitch referee Sam Barrott originally showed Jimenez a yellow card before video assistant referee Michael Salisbury told Barrott to review the Mexican’s challenge, which was then upgraded to a red card.
Anthony Gordon hit the crossbar for the hosts in the first half, before substitute Miley, who joined the club’s academy at the age of seven, fired a low shot past Bernd Leno early in the second half.
Miguel Almiron added a second goal shortly afterwards when the ball broke to him a few yards out after Callum Wilson thought he had been fouled by Antonee Robinson.
Dan Burn grabbed a third late on, bundling the ball over the line after his header had been parried by Leno.
The result ended Newcastle’s run of three successive defeats. It came three days after the 2-1 home loss to AC Milan not only led to elimination from the Champions League, but also saw them finish bottom of their group to end their involvement in European competition this season.
That had been Newcastle’s first European adventure since 2012-13 and their first Champions League campaign since 2003-04.
Manager Eddie Howe and defender Burn, writing in the matchday programme, stated how they wanted an instant return to that level next season.
“Every disappointment becomes the motivation to push on and we are all hungry to experience the Champions League again and we will work hard to earn the right to compete in it once more,” said Howe.
“Had our squad been less stretched, we believe we had the quality to go further and compete in the latter stages.”
This win, which always looked inevitable after Jimenez’s first-half red card, saw Newcastle move up into sixth and above Manchester United, with the Red Devils playing at Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday.
It also extended Newcastle’s excellent home league record, with this being their seventh successive victory at St James’ Park in the competition. Of the 29 points they have earned, 24 of those have come at home.
For Fulham, the outcome meant their poor away run continued and they have now failed to win any of their last eight league matches on their travels. They had beaten both Nottingham Forest and West Ham by 5-0 margins in their past two games, both at Craven Cottage, but hopes of another win were severely dented by Jimenez’s dismissal.
Just before being sent off, the frontman had been caught by a flailing arm by Jamaal Lascelles, with the Newcastle defender not getting booked. Nevertheless, Jimenez’s challenge on Longstaff proved costly to his club with the home midfielder lucky to avoid any injury.
Fulham, even with 10 men, were a threat on the counter-attack in the first half with Alex Iwobi having a shot saved, but they were overrun after the break.
Indeed, Newcastle’s winning margin could have been greater but England striker Callum Wilson shot against the post in injury-time.
The negatives for Newcastle were first-half injuries to Fabian Schar and Joelinton, who both sustained what appeared to be hamstring problems, although Howe’s team received a late boost with the return of defender Sven Botman for his first appearance since a knee injury in September.
Both Newcastle and Fulham will be aiming for wins in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, away at Chelsea and Everton respectively.