Bruno Guimarães gives Newcastle narrow victory over Fulham

Bruno Guimarães marked his 100th appearance in all competitions for Newcastle with tjhe late winner in a 1-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday, keeping alive the visitors' faint hopes of qualifying for Europe next season.

Eddie Howe's team are unbeaten in four of their last five matches and sit eighth in the Premier League on 47 points, a point behind both sixth-placed Manchester United -- who have a game in hand -- and West Ham.

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"It does feel like a big three points off the back of the week we have had. We have a small squad at the moment, we are really stretched but everyone is really fighting for the cause," Howe told the BBC about his injury-depleted team.

"It was a very difficult game today. Fulham started well, we didn't. It took a huge effort from the lads to get the win in the end."

Newcastle were outplayed in the first half and fortunate to reach the break without conceding any goals.

"I can't repeat what I said [at halftime] but we just needed to wake up," Howe said. "In this game, in the Premier League, the ruthlessness of teams, if you are off it you will be punished. We were lucky to still be in the game at halftime."

Bruno Guimarães scored a late winner for Newcastle at Craven Cottage.
Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Newcastle grew as the game went on though, before Guimarães silenced the Cottagers crowd in the 81st minute. Harvey Barnes' cross was hooked clear by Antonee Robinson and the ball fell at the Brazil midfielder's feet for a hard shot into bottom left corner.

"What a day, what a day for me," Guimarães told Premier League Productions. "The first 20 minutes was not good enough from us, but after that and then in the second half it was an unbelievable performance from everyone."

The goal was a terrific response from Howe's side six minutes after they had a goal from Fabian Schär chalked off when VAR showed a push by Dan Burn on Calvin Bassey, who was knocked out of position to defend Schar's shot.

"It was a moment when the fans were singing a lot, a very good moment to score. I was looking forward to getting this goal for a long time," Guimarães said.

Fulham had Newcastle hemmed in their own end for much of the first half but squandered several chances. Willian had two cracks at goal, including a bruising shot that Sean Longstaff blocked with his chest -- and a painful grimace.

And João Palhinha fired just wide of the far post after Timothy Castagne slid to save the ball from going out of play, sending it straight to Palhinha's feet.

The clean sheet was Newcastle's first on the road since their 8-0 thrashing of Sheffield United in September.

The one negative on the afternoon was the loss of Joe Willock, who limped off in the first half. Howe's side have been battered by injuries, losing captain Jamaal Lascelles to a torn ACL in their 4-3 win over West Ham a week earlier that is expected to keep him out for six to nine months.

Newcastle are also missing Tino Livramento, Miguel Almirón, Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson to injuries.