Fulham vs. Newcastle United  5 - 2


Jol thrilled with Fulham comeback

21 January 2012 20:52

Fulham manager Martin Jol has praised the quality and character his side displayed in their dramatic 5-2 win over Newcastle on Saturday.

After a poor first-half display at Craven Cottage, Fulham rallied to produce a scintillating performance, scoring five goals after the break to record their fourth home win in five English Premier League matches.

Jol said he had never seen such a dramatic turnaround, and praised the manner his team adapted following the loss of Steve Sidwell to injury.

"The first half was sort of Brixton, the second half was a holiday in Jamaica," he said.

"It was an unbelievable difference."

"To be under the cosh first half, they were the better team, we were never a threat."

"We never threatened them from behind which is what we hoped to do."

"Then of course everything was against us, we had to take Sidwell off, the midfield looked a bit unbalanced so we tried to rectify that."

Jol said he always believed in the qualities his side possess, adding: "There was a little bit of hope, my team has got great character and that's what they said, ‘we’ve done it before, we can do it again'."

Andy Johnson came off the bench following the injury to Sidwell, making an immediate impact on the game.

Fulham's boss praised the striker's contribution, along with Damien Duff and hat-trick hero Clint Dempsey.

"For me, it was important for Andy Johnson to play a more direct style in the second half, Clint Dempsey did that (and) Damien Duff did that," he said.

Fulham's leveller came via the penalty spot following Davide Santon's clumsy challenge on Duff.

Replays seemed to suggest the initial contact took place outside the box, and Jol conceded his side were perhaps fortunate to be awarded the penalty.

"Sometimes you need a bit of luck but of course you need quality as well and that is what we showed second half," he said.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew blamed the dubious penalty decision for altering his team's mindset early in the second half.

"We could not have been in a better place at half-time in terms of how we controlled the game," he said.

"I thought the first goal for them changed the course of the game."

"Whether we felt any injustice for the penalty or an injustice that they happened to be level with us, I don't know."

"We kind of just switched off in that period and it cost us three more goals and then we were in trouble."


Premier League: Fulham 5 Newcastle 2

21 January 2012 18:16

Clint Dempsey scored a hat-trick as Fulham routed Newcastle 5-2 at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

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

The second half could not have been more different to the first as Fulham dominated from start to finish, with goals from Danny Murphy and Bobby Zamora sandwiching two from Clint Dempsey to put the hosts in complete control.

Hatem Ben Arfa replied late on for the visitors before Dempsey grabbed the match ball with a late strike to complete hat-trick.

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 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 when Fabricio Coloccini had his header well saved by Stockdale.

The Fulham goalkeeper was powerless to stop Newcastle going ahead two minutes before the break though, with Guthrie 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 just before the interval, but was not as lucky after the break when he felled Damian Duff.

Contact looked to be outside the area, but referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot and Murphy converted his penalty to put Fulham on level terms.

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.

Newcastle goalkeeper Tim 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.

More great work from Johnson and Zamora led to Dempsey netting his second on 65 minutes, before Krul brought down Johnson in the area to allow Zamora to score Fulham's fourth from the spot.

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 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, while Newcastle stay level on points with Arsenal on 36.


Premier League preview: Fulham v Newcastle

20 January 2012 21:00

It will be a depleted Newcastle United team that travels to London for Saturday's English Premier League match against Fulham.

Newcastle have impressed so far during their second season back in the top flight and sit sixth on the table with just under half the campaign remaining.

But a combination of injuries and absentees threatens to undermine their progress.

Manager Alan Pardew remains without the services of key centre-back Steven Taylor with a long-term Achilles injury.

In midfield, Sylvain Marveaux continues to struggle with a groin injury, while Yohan Cabaye is in doubt with an ankle knock sustained during Newcastle's 1-0 win at home to Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

Further forward, Sammy Ameobi has been sidelined for the rest of the season with a knee injury, and fellow striker Nile Ranger is not expected back from a foot problem until February.

Adding to the attacking concerns, centre-forward Peter Lovenkrands has not played since December 3 with a calf injury.

The biggest blow to Pardew's plans has not been inflicted by injury, but by international commitments, as both Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba are away on African Cup of Nations duty.

Ivory Coast international Tiote has been the lynchpin of Newcastle's midfield this season, with his performances reportedly attracting interest from England's biggest clubs.

And Ba's goals - the Senegal striker has netted 15 times in 19 Premier League appearances this season - have been crucial.

With both Ivory Coast and Senegal among the teams tipped to contend for the title in a weakened Cup of Nations field, either player could be absent until as late as February 25.

Fulham boss Martin Jol will be hoping his team can take full of advantage of their visitors' predicament.

The home side have close to a clean bill of health, with veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and knee-injury victim Zdenek Grygera the only players expected to be missing.

Fulham have struggled to match the standards set by their high-flying guests, and occupy 14th in the table, just six points clear of the relegation zone.

But of the five wins they have managed to date, four have come at home, including a dramatic 2-1 victory against Arsenal on January 2.

They have since lost 3-2 away to struggling Blackburn Rovers, and Jol will want his players to put that disappointing result behind them as soon as possible, starting with the visit of Newcastle.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +64 89
2 38 +56 89
3 38 +25 70
4 38 +25 69
5 38 +5 65
6 38 +19 64
7 38 +10 56
8 38 +7 52
9 38 -3 52
10 38 -7 47
11 38 -7 47
12 38 -14 47
13 38 -1 45
14 38 -17 45
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -16 38
17 38 -23 37
18 38 -31 36
19 38 -30 31
20 38 -42 25