Shearer, 33, who considered coming out of his self-imposed international retirement earlier this year, set up the first and scored the second and third himself as Sir Bobby Robson's men made it four wins on the spin. The striker, who some pundits suggested should have been recalled by Eriksson for England's Euro 2004 qualifying trip to Turkey, led the forward line with his trademark power and strength.
Kick-off had been delayed until 8. 15pm due to a suspect car at a tube station near Loftus Road - but when the action got under way it was pulsating, end-to-end stuff. First Clark, an ex-United trainee who spent seven seasons at St James' Park, turned on a sixpence and cracked home a superb angled drive for his first goal of the season. That was in the fifth minute - and just two minutes later Chris Coleman's men went 2-0 up through Saha's drilled shot into the far corner after the Frenchman foxed Titus Bramble. It was a sweet moment for Saha, who endured a difficult season at Newcastle five years ago when first introduced to English football.
It was all action in west London and Robson's side pulled one back on the quarter hour. Laurent Robert produced a neat exchange of passes with Alan Shearer and almost ripped Fulham's net with an explosive half-volley from 10 yards. The tempo picked up again just before the break and Shearer scored a penalty in the 50th minute when Alain Goma felled Shola Ameobi. And Shearer completed Newcastle's comeback with the 56th-minute winner - a typical poacher's strike for his eighth goal of the season to take him joint top of the Barclaycard Premiership scoring charts. Clark had fired the Cottagers into a fifth-minute lead. Aaron Hughes mis-controlled a lofted pass forward down Fulham's left-wing, chesting it into Steed Malbranque's path. The Frenchman cut inside and fed Clark who turned smartly and thundered into the far corner from an acute angle.
And Fulham sensationally doubled their lead just two minutes later when Saha produced an equally smart goal. Sylvain Legwinski hoisted the ball up to the edge of the area where Saha brought it down, burst past Bramble and smacked a shot across Shay Given and inside the post. But Robson's men reduced the arrears to a single goal on the quarter hour. Ameobi crossed from the right, Robert and Shearer played a one-two and the Frenchman almost ripped the Fulham net with a screeching half-volley from 10 yards. The pace inevitably slackened after a thrilling opening but Bramble went close to making amends for his error for Fulham's second goal.
The centre-back's header from Robert's corner flashed across the face of goal and United almost claimed an equaliser before half-time. Ameobi flicked over the top from Robert's cross and, right on the whistle, Shearer was put in on goal from Jermaine Jenas' pass but completely mis-controlled the ball. The pressure paid off for Newcastle five minutes into the second half as Lee Bowyer slipped the ball down the inside right channel to Ameobi. He raced beyond Goma, only to be sent tumbling by a slide tackle from Fulham's ex-Newcastle defender. Referee Barry Knight pointed to the penalty spot and Shearer sent Edwin van der Sar the wrong way to level at 2-2. Shearer struck again after 56 minutes to put Newcastle 3-2 up, completing the visitors' comeback. Jenas waltzed into the penalty area, shimmied as Zat Knight went to tackle and poked the ball towards Shearer. The former England man smacked the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards. Fulham had chances to return to level terms, with Mark Pembridge snatching at a bouncing ball in the box and Saha drawing a solid save from Given. Bramble finally redeemed himself for his earlier blunder by clearing off his own goal line eight minutes from time. Fulham substitute Junichi Inamoto blasted an acute drive past Given - but Bramble hooked clear from under the United crossbar. And Given stuck out a leg to boot away Legwinski's late shot from Inamoto's cross as United held on to win.