BRIGHTON, England (AP) — Evan Ferguson's first career hat trick helped Brighton cap a memorable week with a 3-1 win over Newcastle that inflicted a third straight English Premier League defeat on the visitor on Saturday.
The 18-year-old Irish striker curled home his second goal from range to add to a simple first-half finish. Ferguson completed his treble with the aid of a hefty deflection off Fabian Schar.
The win came a day after Brighton was drawn to face Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens in the club's first Europa League campaign. The club pulled off a transfer coup on Friday by signing Ansu Fati on loan from Barcelona, and has won three of its opening four league games following last weekend’s loss to West Ham.
Newcastle lost only five league games in all of last season but this loss came on the heels of defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool — which staged a late comeback at Anfield last weekend with 10 men.
Newcastle, which was drawn against AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions league on Thursday, had the brighter start and Alexander Isak twice threatened.
But Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope was punished for his mistakes in the 27th when he sent a clearance straight to a Brighton player. Pope had already made one save from the ensuing counterattack when he spilled Billy Gilmour’s stinging long-range effort and Ferguson was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Ferguson doubled the lead in the 65th when he was afforded time and space deep inside Newcastle’s half and dispatched a curling effort into the bottom right corner from distance.
His third had an element of luck as his shot from outside the box took a deflection off Schar to fly beyond the stranded Pope.
Substitute Callum Wilson pulled a goal back for Newcastle in injury time.
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The Associated Press