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Fulham beat Newcastle Mail

last updated Sunday 22nd January 2012, 9:57 PM
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Mark Ryan at Daily Mail

Fulham (0) 5 Newcastle (1) 2

Clint Dempsey walked off with the match ball under his arm, probably looking forward to 48 hours of headlines and adulation.

It was his second hat-trick in three games, his last coming against Charlton in the FA Cup.

But Bobby Zamora did most to inspire a remarkable thrashing, having made each of the American's second-half opportunities.

The fact Zamora also calmly converted a penalty confirmed what the watching Fabio Capello must already have realised: the Fulham striker is a formidable force at his cool, inventive best, a man of international quality.

But neither Dempsey nor Zamora attracted much praise from stubborn Fulham manager Martin Jol.

He was so angry with his team's first-half display that he gave the credit to Andy Johnson, his 38th-minute substitute for the injured Steve Sidwell.

'Yes, Dempsey scored three, but the first 45 minutes were not good at all,' he said.

'We didn't put enough attitude into it, we didn't exploit the spaces.

'Zamora? He plays for us on his own; he plays for England on his own.

But today we needed a different player and that was Andy Johnson, playing next to him.

' The enigmatic Zamora was anonymous for much of the first half but Jol's lack of praise for two of his top performers still seemed mean-spirited.

Perhaps he was recalling how dominant Newcastle were in that first period.

Indeed, at half-time it was visiting manager Alan Pardew, not Zamora or Dempsey, who seemed to be enhancing his credentials as a figure fit for the international stage.

His side had practically passed their hosts off the park and led 1-0.

In the absence of the prolific Demba Ba, they were short of a cutting edge until Danny Guthrie discovered his left boot could be even more explosive than his natural right with a powerful 43rd-minute effort that swerved home.

How the Fulham crowd booed their team off at the interval.

Jol tore into his players at the break and sent them out early.

'I told them to be more direct,' he said with a scowl.

High-flying: Fulham's goalkeeper David Stockdale is beaten by Guthrie But few neutrals would have done anything but scoff at David Hamilton, the former Radio One DJ who now does the stadium announcing by the Thames, when he said: 'Well, the boys are out early, they really mean business, so let's get behind them.

' It almost sounded pitiful . but perhaps he knew something the rest of us did not.

Twenty three minutes later Fulham had scored four and the game was over - all down to 17 minutes of catastrophic defending by the visitors.

Davide Santon, who might have been sent off for pulling back Johnson twice before the break, foolishly nudged Damien Duff in the back and Danny Murphy sent Tim Krul the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Tasty: Fulham's Clint Dempsey celebrates his first goal That gave Fulham momentum and Zamora soon forced a save from Krul, then accepted a pass from the energetic Johnson to go through again.

He lost Fabricio Coloccini with an exquisite feint and Krul could only parry Zamora's latest shot into the path of Dempsey, who thrust out a thigh to put Fulham ahead.

In the 65th minute, the home side's three-pronged attack worked to perfection.

Johnson headed down to Zamora, who released Dempsey to rifle home his second.

Controversy: Andrew Johnson is brought down by Davide Santon Newcastle were in complete disarray by the time Krul brought down Johnson for Zamora to fire the penalty straight down the middle and into the net.

A fine individual goal from Hatem Ben Arfa brought Newcastle back towards respectability, but the relief did not last.

Zamora sent Dempsey through with a superb pass on the turn, and Fulham had five and a hat-trick hero.

Hat-trick hero: Clint Dempsey (left) scores his third goal for Fulham against Newcastle Pardew was at a loss to account for the way his defence crumbled.

'I really can't explain it,' he said.

'An area that has been so strong for us became the problem today.

I can't remember a game where we were as inefficient as we were for 25 minutes.

' It was hard to remember a match after which the winning manager was so reluctant to praise key players, either.

At least Dempsey has his match ball and Zamora the knowledge that Capello witnessed his work.

Fulham: Stockdale, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, John Arne Riise, Ruiz (Baird 46), Murphy, Sidwell (Johnson 37), Duff, Dempsey (Frei 90), Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Gecov, Hughes, Briggs.

Goals: Murphy 52 pen,Dempsey 59,65, Zamora 68 pen, Dempsey 89.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Guthrie (Perch 76),Cabaye (Gosling 83), Gutierrez, Best (Ryan Taylor 86), Shola Ameobi.
Subs Not Used: Elliot, Lovenkrands, Obertan, Ferguson.

Booked: Santon, Guthrie, Simpson, Krul.

Goals: Guthrie 43, Ben Arfa 85.

Att: 25,692

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

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