Mitrovic penalty blunder was the flash point Newcastle needed, says Howe

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Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe claimed his side were given the spur they needed to beat Fulham by Aleksandar Mitrovic's calamitous double-touch penalty.

Alexander Isak came off the bench to head an 89th-minute winner, with a 1-0 victory sending the Magpies third in the Premier League, after former Newcastle striker Mitrovic failed to capitalise from the spot.

In bizarre scenes, the Serbia international slipped as he took his attempt, illegally hitting the ball twice as he sent his effort into the net, with the goal disallowed and Newcastle given a free-kick as a result.

"The double touch I couldn't see, but I was really pleased to see it go that way," Howe said.

His high-flying team were lifted, and Howe said: "These moments can sometimes do that. Something happens, a flash point, we didn't concede. The crowd were really good for us from that moment on."

Fulham were awarded their penalty in the 66th minute after a challenge by Kieran Trippier on Bobby De Cordova-Reid, with Fulham already demanding a spot-kick after Andreas Pereira was, to their mind, fouled moments earlier.

"I thought the first challenge could have been a penalty. That wasn't given. The second one I didn't think was but was bizarrely given," Howe told Sky Sports.

Newcastle's victory puts them third in the Premier League, level on points with fourth-placed Manchester United who have a game in hand against Crystal Palace to play in midweek.

Fulham head coach Marco Silva felt the match officials gave his team very little "from the first minute" of the game at St James' Park.

"So many things to say about the ref's performance. But first I will say that I am really proud of the players and my team," Silva told Sky Sports.

"We had ambition, quality, desire and showed why we are doing so well this season."

Pointing to the first incident for which Fulham wanted a penalty, as Dan Burn seemed to impede Pereira, Silva said: "It is a clear penalty, red card for the player and the game would be completely different. The fourth official gave it, but the referee made his decision."

Silva added: "Credit to Newcastle, they are a really strong side as well. We missed a penalty, and we should have attacked more. Credit to them for not giving us more chances.

"We knew that we could not press for the full 90 minutes. We were very unlucky this afternoon. Very unlucky the way we lost this game. It went against us."