Football

Denis Odoi.

Denis Odoi produces brilliant skill with his back against Newcastle United

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The new Championship season got underway on Friday and if Newcastle United fans thought life in English football’s second tier would be a breeze, they were given a rude wake-up call.

It was the hosts, Fulham, who recorded a 1-0 win over Rafa Benitez’s side at Craven Cottage thanks to a goal in the 45th minute from Matt Smith.

However, the best moment of the match was undoubtedly a magnificent piece of skill from Fulham’s Denis Odoi.

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The Belgian defender beat Paul Dummett by bouncing the ball off his back before spinning around the Newcastle full-back.

It was a stunning moment of improvisation; a skill that Ronaldinho, Neymar or any of world football’s magicians would have been proud of.

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Video: Denis Odoi’s skill

Benitez: Defeat is a wake-up call

After the defeat, Benitez - who was managing Real Madrid this time last year - told Sky Sports: "We have to realise it will be a tough competition - we have to be much better.

Fulham v Newcastle United - Sky Bet Championship

"We didn't play at the level we expected. We gave the ball away too easily and we conceded from a corner. After that we had some chances but we didn't manage the game today."

Newcastle still expected to secure promotion

Despite the opening-day loss, however, the Magpies are still the 2/1 favourites to secure promotion to the Premier League next May.

Fulham v Newcastle United - Sky Bet Championship

Fulham, meanwhile, have been cut to 25/1 outsiders.

Will Newcastle United seal promotion back to the top-flight at the end of the season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Topics:
Newcastle United
England Football
Football
Championship
Premier League
Fulham

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