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Premier League

  • January 21, 2012
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 25692

Fulham 5-2 Newcastle: Clint Dempsey hat trick leads impressive comeback

Fulham 5-2 Newcastle: Clint Dempsey hat trick leads impressive comeback

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

Fulham recorded its fourth win in five home games in the Premier League after a thumping 4-2 win over Newcastle United at Craven Cottage.

The first half was dominated by Newcastle, yet the club entered the halftime break with just a Danny Guthrie wonder strike to show for its 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 Dempsey grabbed 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 deputized in center 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 Hatem 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 the Newcastle Midfield.

Blustery conditions at Craven Cottage made for a scrappy start to the game, with neither side able to get their big forward men into the game via long balls.

With much of the game being played on the ground, Ben Arfa was providing the only real threat and it was his low effort which brought the first save of the game from David Stockdale, with the Fulham goalkeeper producing a routine save in front of the onlooking 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 strikers instinct in getting in front 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. The Argentinian slid the ball to Guthrie who took a touch before unleashing a pile-driver 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 as Lee Mason signaled for halftime, the home supporters clearly unhappy at a lackluster half from Jol’s men.

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

As Damien Duff looked to latch onto a lobbed through ball, the fullback 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.

By the hour mark the home side 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 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.

There was no stopping the home side though as 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 onto 26 points for the season, Newcastle stays level on points with Arsenal on 36.

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