Johnson struck twice in the first period sandwiching a Danny Murphy penalty to virtually wrap the game up before the half time whistle completing his treble after the restart. Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora also got their names on the scoresheet as the Cottagers demolished Neil Warnocks side who lost for the first time in four games. A slack defensive display had the Rangers boss tearing his hair out on the touchline as they struggled to cope with Fulham’s attacking quartet. The victory will come as welcome relief to Jol though who has seen his sides league form fail to match that of their Europa League exploits and he will have Johnson to thank for scoring three and playing his part in winning Murphy’s spot kick and Dempsey’s goal. The striker is in red hot form at the minute and made it five goals in two games following his brace gainst Odense on Thursday.
He didn’t have to wait long to find the net again this afternoon reacting quickest to pounce on an error from Paddy Kenny after the keeper failed to properly deal with Moussa Dembele’s fierce strike 78 seconds into the game. That mistake from the Republic of Ireland international set the tone for the R’s hapless attempts at halting the unforgiving Fulham attack. Kenny was the main culprit again fouling Johnson on 20 minutes allowing Murphy to stroke the ball home from 12 yards. Four goals in just six games had given the home fans little to celebrate this season and they didn’t have to wait long for a third in this fixture as Johnson put the game beyond doubt on 37 minutes confidently sliding the ball into the bottom right corner after being played in by Zamora.
Rangers offered nothing and they again failed to deal with the rapid pace and movement of Johnson who completed his hat trick 12 minutes after the restart. The Fulham number eight took Murphy’s superbly before cooly finishing past Kenny to make it 4-0. The hosts weren’t finished there and Dempsey made it five just after the hour. Johnson’s low cross found Zamora who’s superb flick was dispatched with aplomb by the American. Zamora deserves credit for his performance, arguably his best of the season, and he deservedly notched the final goal with Dempsey sliding him through before crisply finishing past Kenny to cap off a magnificent Fulham performance.
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