Dempsey bags hat-trick in Fulham thriller

Fulham 5 Newcastle 2

Clint Dempsey netted a second-half hat-trick as Fulham won a pulsating match at Craven Cottage.

Newcastle went ahead three minutes before half-time when Bryan Ruiz gave the ball away to Ben Arfa, who set up Danny Guthrie to shoot into the top corner from 25 yards.

Zamora scored from the penalty spot.

But Danny Murphy levelled from the penalty spot after Davide Santon was adjudged to have fouled Damien Duff just inside the area.

Dempsey put Fulham ahead by scoring from close range after being set up by Andrew Johnson, and then fired home after being put through by Bobby Zamora.

The excellent Zamora, who will surely have impressed watching England boss Fabio Capello, made it 4-1 with a thumping penalty after keeper Tim Krul had brought down Johnson.

Newcastle pulled one back when Ben Arfa cut in from the right and fired past keeper David Stockdale at his near post.

But Dempsey then completed his hat-trick – and put the seal on a fine Fulham victory.

The American raced between hapless defenders Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini to latch on to Murphy’s long ball before picking his spot.

The fifth goal compounded Newcastle’s misery but the game may have panned out very differently had Stockdale not produced first-half saves to deny Yohan Cabaye, Ben Arfa and Shola Ameobi.

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