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Premier League

  • 21 January 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 25692
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Fulham 5-2 Newcastle: Clint Dempsey hat-trick leads impresssive comeback & sends Pardew's men crashing to defeat

Fulham 5-2 Newcastle: Clint Dempsey hat-trick leads impresssive comeback & sends Pardew's men crashing to defeat

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Despite a poor first half from Martin Jol's men they rallied in the second and secured victory thanks to goals from Murphy, Zamora and a superb treble from the American

Fulham recorded their fourth win in five home games in the Premier League after a thumping 5-2 win in a dramatic match against Newcastle United at Craven Cottage.

The first half was controlled by Newcastle, yet they entered the half-time break with just a Danny Guthrie wonder strike to show for their efforts.

The second half couldn’t have been more different to the first as Fulham dominated from start to finish, with goals from Danny Murphy and Bobby Zamora sandwiching a double from Clint Dempsey.

Hatem Ben Arfa replied late on for the visitors before the American sealed the match ball with a late strike for his hat-trick.

Martin Jol was forced into just the one change with Moussa Dembele failing to recover from a knock picked up in the defeat at Blackburn a week ago - Steve Sidwell deputised in central midfield.

The visitors also made just one change to the side which picked up all three points at home to QPR a week ago. Ryan Taylor started the game on the bench, with Ben Arfa being rewarded for his fine substitute display against Mark Hughes’ men.

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye recovered from a knock which saw him taken off in the game a week ago to start in the heart of midfield.

Ben Arfa was providing a threat early on and it was his low effort which brought the first save of the game from David Stockdale in front of the onlooking England boss Fabio Capello.

With midfield maestro Murphy unable to get on the ball, the visitors began to dominate the encounter and almost took the lead on the half-hour mark.

After Jonas Gutierrez had whipped a teasing ball into the Fulham area, Fabricio Coloccini showed a striker's instinct in getting ahead of Philippe Senderos, but the captain saw his half-volley well saved by Stockdale.

The Fulham goalkeeper was again called into action by a Shola Ameobi drive, but just a few minutes later the shot stopper could do nothing to prevent his side from falling behind.

Sloppy play by Bryan Ruiz gifted the ball to Gutierrez and the Argentinian slid the ball to Guthrie, who took a touch before unleashing a piledriver with his left foot, arrowing into the top corner past the despairing dive of Stockdale.

Davide Santon was perhaps fortunate to escape with just a yellow card after hauling down Andy Johnson when through on goal, as boos rang around Craven Cottage when Lee Mason signalled for half time, the home supporters clearly unhappy at a lacklustre half from Jol’s men.

Bad day at the office | A dreadful second half for Newcastle saw them heavily beaten

If Santon was fortunate on the stroke of half time, his luck had well and truly ran out by the second half.

As Damien Duff looked to latch onto a lobbed through ball, the full-back nudged him in the back sending him tumbling to the ground. The contact appeared to first take place outside the area, but after a few seconds of contemplating, referee Mason pointed to the spot despite there being no indication of a foul from linesman.

Murphy stepped up to coolly send Tim Krul the wrong way and restore parity for his side and by the hour mark the hosts had turned the game on its head.

Great work from Johnson set Zamora away, the forward stepped inside leaving Coloccini for dead before firing at goal. Krul did well to parry but the rebound found Dempsey, who bundled the ball over the line with his thigh, the American’s 50th goal for the Cottagers.

Alan Pardew’s men were clearly shell-shocked by the Fulham revival, and before long they found themselves two goals down.

More great work from Johnson and Zamora led to Dempsey finding himself one on one before coolly slotting past the helpless Krul to notch his second of the afternoon.

Just five minutes later, it was amazingly 4-1 to the home side. Johnson displayed some neat footwork in the box before being taken out by Krul. The Dutchman escaped with just a yellow card, but further punishment was yet to come as Zamora blasted his side three goals to the good.

Ben Arfa did his best to restore some pride for his side with an impressive low strike five minutes from time to make it 4-2 but there was to be no stopping the home side.

With the clock running down, Dempsey scored his first hat-trick in Premier League football, slotting neatly past Krul on the back of a superb through ball from Zamora.

The win moves Fulham on to 26 points for the season, while Newcastle stay level on points with Arsenal on 36, having now played a game more.

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