Sels; 5 Janmaat 5.5, Hanley 4.5, Lascelles 4.5, Dummett 6; Hayden 6 (Shelvey 77, 5), Colback 4 (Aarons 61, 5.5); Anita 4, Perez 5 (Armstrong 70, 5.5), Ritchie 6.5; Gayle 5
Subs not used: Darlow, Mbemba, Sterry, Gamez.
Booked: Hanley, Dummett, Janmaat
Fulham made the perfect start to their Championship campaign as they beat title favourites Newcastle at Craven Cottage on Friday night.
The Whites were, for the majority of the game, the better side as Rafa Benitez's Magpies failed to cope with their intensity and pace.
Criminal defending led to the host's decisive goal as Matt Smith had the time and space to head home Tom Cairney's corner.
Despite looking to be more defensive as the second half wore on, Fulham were always dangerous on the counter attack, spearheaded by the exciting Denis Odoi.
After the departures of Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembele, there is now pressure on Matt Smith to deliver for Fulham.
And he did it with aplomb just before half-time when he headed home Tom Cairney's corner to give the Whites the lead.
It was criminal of Newcastle to give the former Leeds striker time and space to guide his header into the far corner of the goal.
He was a constant thorn in the Magpies' defence Smith kept Grant Hanley and Jamaal Lascelles on their toes for the 68 minutes he was on before he was replaced by Lasse Vigen Christensen.
Unfortunately for Simon Hooper, he made anything but as he missed two first half penalties, one for each team.
Hanley went in recklessly on Sone Aluko inside the area but the official waved play on, although replays suggested the Whites had been hard done by.
Worse was to follow as Ryan Tunnicliffe clearly handled in the penalty area, turning the ball behind.
Instead of pointing to the spot, Hooper gave the corner and the second chance of a spot kick went begging.
Defending, especially from set pieces, was Fulham's weakness last season and Slavisa Jokanovic made improving the back line a priority.
Michael Madl impressed during his loan spell and was made a permanent signing with Tomas Kalas joining the club from Chelsea on loan for the season.
The pair have already clicked as a partnership and the defence, although only early in the season, appears much harder to break down.
Newcastle did have some joy on the counter down the wings but, when going through the middle, Fulham's organisation stood strong.
A good goalkeeper gives the defence confidence and David Button is among the best in the Championship.
Although the former Brentford man, who made a league leading 165 saves last season, had a quiet game, when he was needed he stood up and was counted for his new club.
When the Magpies had joy down the left flank after beating the offside trap, the ball was played across to Matt Ritchie.
The midfielder hammered the ball towards goal but Button's positioning ensured he was able to keep the ball out.
Newcastle are expected to bounce back to the Premier League with the squad they have at their disposal but Fulham looked the more composed side.
The Whites' intensity constantly put the pressure on the visitors, who looked to slow the game down at any opportunity.
When Fulham had the ball they looked to attack with pace and verve and it gave the Magpies a shock and led to unforced errors.
With the squad and budget Newcastle have, anything but promotion back to the top flight would be indicative of something drastically wrong at St James' Park.
For Fulham, a much-improved season appears on the cards, which will be a welcome relief to the Craven Cottage faithful.
Denis Odoi has the potential to be one of the signings of the season.
The right back gave Magpies players a headache throughout the evening with some powerful runs.
Newcastle produced some heavy challenges on the full back but he just shrugged them off.
He also has an extra bit of skill if need be which gave Magpies left back Paul Dummett a torrid time; indeed he could have been sent off for a heavy, reckless challenge on Odoi.
The Belgian also can do the defensive work as he produced sliding tackles that were perfectly timed.
There will come occasions where the attacking right back is caught out of position but it's something you accept when there is a player that exciting on your books.