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Clint Dempsey Hat Trick: Fulham Beats Newcastle Thanks To American Star

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Clint Dempsey of Fulham celebrates a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on January 21, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Clint Dempsey of Fulham celebrates a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on January 21, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

LONDON — Clint Dempsey became the first American to score a hat trick in the Premier League in Fulham's 5-2 win over Newcastle on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Dempsey scored three goals in a 30-minute span in the second half.

"We never found our rhythm in the first half, but we began to get into their penalty area in the second half," Dempsey said. "Luckily, the ball kept going in. We never took our foot off the gas and we took our chances."

Dempsey scored his first goal to make it 2-1 for the Cottagers in the 59th.

Six minutes later, he slotted in a right-footed goal from 10 yards. Then he split two defenders, heading the ball down to himself, and two touches later scored in the 89th minute on a shot from 12 yards.

Behind 1-0 at halftime, Fulham tied it with a goal by Danny Murphy. Bobby Zamora extended the lead to 4-1.

Dempsey scored a career-best 15 goals this season, including nine in the Premier League. On Friday, Dempsey was voted the U.S. Soccer Federation's male athlete for 2011.

Fulham signed Dempsey, who is from Nacogdoches, Texas, from the New England Revolution in January 2007.

Dempsey had scored his first hat trick in England on Jan. 7, against Charlton in the third round of the FA Cup.

"Clint Dempsey is our top scorer," Fulham manager Martin Jol said. "He is doing what he does best. Clint scores goals. You can only say he is a fantastic player."

He is tied for seventh in the league in scoring, trailing only Robin van Persie, Demba Ba, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Ayegbeni Yakubu and Edin Dzeko.

Elsewhere, Chelsea squandered a chance to trim the gap on the Premier League pacesetters on Saturday by drawing 0-0 at Norwich.

Needing a win to boost its faint chances of reeling in the two Manchester clubs and Tottenham, fourth-place Chelsea was frustrated by poor finishing at Carrow Road, with misfiring Spain striker Fernando Torres being the biggest culprit.

Qualifying for the Champions League may be Chelsea's main target now, so news of Liverpool's 3-1 defeat at Bolton and Newcastle's loss at Fulham will have been welcome.

Liverpool was surprisingly overrun by a Bolton team that had been languishing in the bottom three, surrendering an opportunity to move within three points of Chelsea.

League leader Manchester City hosts third-place Tottenham and Manchester United, which is second, visits Arsenal on Sunday in an important day for the title chasers.

Robbie Keane, on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy, scored twice on his starting debut for Aston Villa in a 3-2 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Espanyol overcame a depleted front line to beat Granada 3-0 at home in the Spanish league on Saturday.

With injured strikers Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Vazquez unavailable, Mauricio Pochettino turned to his midfield to produce goals.

Raul Baena put Espanyol in front with a header in the 26th and playmaker Joan Verdu added a second from the penalty spot after Vladimir Weiss was fouled by Allan Nyom just before halftime.

Substitute Rui Fonte capped the victory with a goal in the 80th by tapping in a free kick by Ndri Romaric that had come off the crossbar.

Espanyol's fifth game without a loss lifted it provisionally into fifth place in the standings.

Before the match Espanyol unveiled a statue of Dani Jarque, the former captain who died of a heart attack in 2009, at Cornella-El Prat Stadium.

Also, Getafe dealt Racing Santander its first loss in six weeks since the exit of coach Hector Cuper with a 2-1 comeback win secured by Nicolas "Miku" Fedor in the 83rd minute.

Later, Atletico Madrid looked for its first away win of the season at Real Sociedad before Real Betis hosted Sevilla in the Seville derby.

League leader Real Madrid hosts the inform Athletic Bilbao on Sunday before second-place Barcelona visits Malaga.

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ROME (AP) – Roma captain Francesco Totti sealed his place in the Serie A record book with two early goals in a 5-1 win over Cesena on Saturday.

With 211 goals for Roma in Serie A, Totti broke 1950s AC Milan standout Gunnar Nordahl's previous mark of 210 for the most goals with one club in the Italian league.

Totti put Roma ahead after 40 seconds at Stadio Olimpico and doubled the lead in the eighth minute, before Fabio Borini made it 3-0 a minute later.

Eder pulled one back for Cesena in the 58th but Juan restored Roma's three-goal lead in the 62nd and Miralem Pjanic completed the rout in the 70th.

"This is what I've always wanted: To always wear the same jersey and to beat record after record," said the 35-year-old Totti, who made his Serie A debut in 1993 at 16 and played his entire career for his hometown club.

On the overall scoring list, Totti was fifth, trailing only Silvio Piola (274 goals), Nordahl (225), Giuseppe Meazza (216) and Jose Altafini (216).

"I dedicate these goals to my sister-in-law who recently gave birth and the victims of the Costa Concordia," Totti added in a halftime TV interview, referring to the capsized cruise ship off the Tuscan coast.

Roma moved into sixth place, eight points behind Serie A leader Juventus, which was visiting Atalanta.

It was Roma's third consecutive league win and fourth straight in all competitions. The Giallorossi also have to complete a game with Catania that was suspended at 1-1 in the second half last weekend due to heavy rain.

Cesena remained stuck in the relegation zone, three points above the bottom.

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BERLIN (AP) – Schalke brushed aside Stuttgart 3-1 to draw level on points with Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Joel Matip put Schalke ahead in the third minute, defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos scored in the 57th, and Julian Draxler sealed the win by finishing a wonderful team move in the 80th.

Striker Shinji Okazaki scored an 87th-minute consolation for Stuttgart, after Tamas Hajnal's initial shot hit the post.

"You have to stay realistic and not think about the league trophy. That only brings misfortune. Bayern is title candidate No. 1," Schalke coach Huub Stevens said.

Freiburg climbed off the bottom of the table when 18-year-old Matthias Ginter headed an 88th-minute winner 18 minutes into his Bundesliga debut to beat Augsburg 1-0 and leave the visitors last.

Nuremberg beat Hertha Berlin 2-0 in its 1,000th Bundesliga game to climb above the visitors in the standings, big-spending Wolfsburg beat Cologne 1-0 and Hoffenheim drew 0-0 with Hannover.

Joe Gyau, 19-year-old American forward, was deprived of his Bundesliga debut for Hoffenheim after being left on the bench. His father, Phillip, had six caps for the U.S. team and his grandfather, Joseph, played for Ghana.

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) – U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu scored an equalizer for Rangers in its 1-1 draw at home to Aberdeen, which left the reigning champions four points adrift of Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.

Edu's goal – his third of season and first since Sept. 24 – canceled out Kari Arnason's opener for Aberdeen four minutes earlier.

Celtic tightened its grip on first place by beating St. Mirren 2-0 thanks to second-half goals by winger James Forrest and captain Scott Brown.

It secured the leaders a 12th straight league victory, stretching back to Oct. 29.

Forrest strengthened his burgeoning reputation a week after being named by FIFA as one of 13 young players to watch in 2012.

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PARIS (AP) – French Cup holder Lille needed an extra-time goal to beat non-league side Compiegne 1-0 and reach the last 16 on Saturday, while first-division team Ajaccio lost 3-2 to amateur side Bourg-Peronnas.

Lille was heading for a penalty shootout against Compiegne, which plays three divisions below the French champion, until substitute Bruno Gianni turned in Florent Balmont's cross with six minutes remaining in extra time.

Soulimene Ben Chaib scored twice for Bourg-Peronnas, and strike partner Julio Tavers got the other.

Dijon beat Istres 2-1 with Gael Kakuta and Koro Kone scoring in each half.

Later Saturday, Bordeaux was at third-division Creteil and Nice hosted Rennes in an all-first division match.

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