Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle 3, Fulham 1

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle 3, Fulham 1

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

The man is outrageous, an artist who paints with sweeping strokes of genius.

Where Alan Shearer is a predator scoring priceless scruffy goals by the bucketload as is a centre-forward's wont, Laurent Robert struts and demands that his finishes are of eye-catching, cheek-puffing, mind-blowing wonder.

Having notched two of the greatest against Tottenham - and won Goal of the Month for one of them - he strode into double figures last night with outlandish cheek.

Beginning the move himself, it was a finish that bore his personalised signature.

He fed Jermaine Jenas, who cut the ball inside an opponent to Nobby Solano.

Another wide player of culture, Solano teed up his cross with a golfer's precision on to the green from a deep lie and Robert caught it mid-air, his outstretched right foot around the heel arcing the ball back across goal and beyond the despairing fingers of the huge Edwin van der Sar.

This was a finish not of controlled blinding power but of swashbuckling accuracy.

When Robert is in this mood - happy head firmly in place - he is a joy to behold and a thorn in any side United play.

If we were robbed of the sight of one elegant Frenchman, Louis Saha, then this one did the reputation of his country no harm whatsoever.

Robert's goal on 54 minutes was United's third and hauled the game beyond Fulham, who played the ball around well enough but defended abysmally.

The Sahara Desert is a never-ending barren land. Saha's deserting of Fulham may have a similar effect of rendering what is left infertile. Barry Hayles was a workhorse, no more, in the Saha role of lone leader but right now what must also concern manager Chris Coleman, a defender himself, is the way his back four mark up. They couldn't curb the movement of St Mary's Lighthouse!

United had tied Fulham firmly to the rack in the first half with set-pieces of great delivery and superb movement in the box. …

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