Saturday 17 August 2013, 3:00pm at Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Kasami 52'

72' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dong-Won Ji
Off:Stéphane Sessegnon

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Connor Wickham
Off:Ondrej Celustka

52' Goal

Pajtim Kasami
Assist by Damien Duff

23' Yellow Card

Derek Boateng

85' Yellow Card

Dimitar Berbatov

90'+3 Yellow Card

Damien Duff Card was given for a foul

20' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Matthew Briggs
Off:Kieran Richardson

65' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Giorgos Karagounis
Off:Derek Boateng

76' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:David Stockdale
Off:Maarten Stekelenburg

Fulham began the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season with a fine 1-0 win away at Sunderland after a goal from Pajtim Kasami.

Fulham began the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season with a fine 1-0 win away at Sunderland after a goal from Pajtim Kasami.

The Whites defended resiliently in the first half and managed to keep Sunderland at bay, then in the 52nd minute the Swiss forward arrived from a corner to head us into the lead. A solid defensive effort in the second period proved enough for us to gain our first three points of the season in the first game.

Manager Martin Jol had chosen 21-year-old Kasami in place of Bryan Ruiz who was recovering from a midweek trip to the Dominican Republic with Costa Rica and only fit enough for the bench. Summer loan signing Adel Taarabt claimed his place on the flank, with Derek Boateng paired with Steve Sidwell in the centre. Former Sunderland striker Darren Bent, who joined Fulham on a season-long loan on Friday, made the bench as we looked to kick off our campaign on a positive note.

Sunderland began the brightest as Fulham gave away possession in the early exchanges to allow striker Jozy Altidore a sight of goal, but his shot was deflected well over the bar. Adam Johnson then broke down the right hand side with a burst of pace on five minutes, but his pass was too late as Altidore was caught offside.

Fulham were on the back foot and struggling to get control of the ball. Cabral shot wide, then a long ball floated over the top found no-one and the Whites’ first sustained piece of pressure brought about a shot from Pajtim Kasami which was well blocked. Starting to string some passes together, the Whites began to look more imposing and some nimble footwork from Damien Duff and Taarabt on the wings almost carved an opening.

Boateng was blown up for two successive fouls but Fulham were then forced into a change on 20 minutes as Kieran Richardson came off with what looked like a hamstring injury and young Matthew Briggs arrived to take his place at left-back. Not long after, another foul from Boateng on Emanuele Giaccherini saw the Ghanaian go into the book.

Cabral was looking dangerous on the edge of the area and his shot fizzed past the post as he controlled and hit it well on 25 minutes. A sublime piece of control from out of the air from Dimitar Berbatov almost released Duff down the right but the Sunderland defence closed well.

As we reached the half hour mark, a brilliant low cross from Giaccherini flew across our six yard box, but Brede Hangeland used his strength to keep Altidore from reaching it. Sebastian Larsson then had a drive from outside the area, but Maarten Stekelenburg was equal to it and caught with ease. The Dutchman was at full stretch, however, to tip Ondrej Celustka’s effort from 35 yards over the bar brilliantly minutes later.

As the half-time break approached a great leap from Berbatov in his own box stopped John O’Shea getting a free header on goal and Aaron Hughes did well to stop the arriving Cabral from getting a header on target as he entered the area. Cabral tripped Taarabt just outside the Sunderland box on 44 minutes but his effort from the free-kick was hit into the wall.

After the break, Fulham took the lead. A good spell of pressure saw a corner come in from Duff on the right and Kasami was there at the far post to head home a powerful effort in the 52nd minute.

Sunderland reacted and, after a dancing run from Adam Johnson, the ball was cut back to Cabral but his drive into the box was halted by a great tackle from Duff. Briggs then picked Sessegnon’s pocket and the Fulham defence were holding up well against the home onslaught.

Altidore almost gave Sunderland an equaliser as he turned Hughes on the edge of the box, but his 64th minute shot was dragged wide. Giorgos Karagounis came on for Boateng, who had attracted too much of the referee’s attention, and Sunderland made a change of their own soon after as Ji Dong-Won came on for Sessegnon.

Stekelenburg was then called into action as Johnson’s cutback reached Giaccherini in the box and the Italian’s shot was deflected into the path of Altidore, but the big Dutchman came out well to make a brave block at the striker’s feet. However it came at a cost, Stekelenburg’s shoulder was injured and reserve goalkeeper David Stockdale came on for the last 15 minutes.

Hearts were in Fulham mouths as a Giaccherini’s 77th minute cross spun over the bar and behind for a goal-kick, then Hangeland had to be at his towering best to get in front of Altidore and head clear soon after.

Paolo Di Canio threw Conor Wickham on to give Sunderland more attacking options and Altidore burst through two tackles into the box but his weak shot was gathered easily by Stockdale. Defending bravely, Fulham put men behind the ball in an effort to defend the lead as the game entered the final five minutes and Ji’s header flashed just wide to sighs of relief from the away support.

Duff went into the book for a cynical foul in the final seconds, but after five long minutes of injury time the points were ours.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 17 August 2013
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Attendance: 43,905

Referee: Neil Swarbrick


Line-up: Westwood; Celustka (Wickham 86'), O'Shea, Roberge, Colback; Adam Johnson, Cabral, Larsson, Giaccherini; Sessegnon (Ji 72'); Jozy Altidore

Unused substitutes: Mannone, Diakité, Cuéllar, Ba, Moberg-Karlsson

Manager: Paolo Di Canio


Line-up: Stekelenburg (Stockdale 76'); Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Richardson (Briggs 20'); Duff, Derek Boateng (Karagounis 65'), Sidwell, Taarabt; Kasami; Berbatov

Unused substitutes: Senderos, Ruiz, Rodallega, Bent

Manager: Martin Jol

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Aston Villa 1 3
2 West Ham United 1 3
3 Fulham 1 3
4 Liverpool 1 3
5 Southampton 1 3
6 Everton 1 1
7 Norwich City 1 1
8 Chelsea 0 0
9 Crystal Palace 0 0
10 Hull City 0 0
11 Manchester City 0 0
12 Manchester United 0 0
13 Newcastle United 0 0
14 Swansea City 0 0
15 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0
16 Stoke City 1 0
17 Sunderland 1 0
18 West Bromwich Albion 1 0
19 Arsenal 1 0
20 Cardiff City 1 0
Total Shots
Shots On Target
Passing Accuracy
Sending Offs
Sunderland (4-4-1-1)
  • 20Keiren Westwood
  • 12Ondrej Celustka
  • 16John O'Shea
  • 29Valentin Roberge
  • 14Jack Colback
  • 11Adam Johnson
  • 6Cabral
  • 7Sebastian Larsson
  • 23Emanuele Giaccherini
  • 28Stéphane Sessegnon
  • 17Jozy Altidore
  • 25Vito Mannone
  • 21Modibo Diakité
  • 24Carlos Cuéllar
  • 22El-Hadji Ba
  • 10Connor Wickham
  • 19David Moberg-Karlsson
  • 27Dong-Won Ji
  • Paolo Di Canio
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Maarten Stekelenburg
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 15Kieran Richardson
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 23Derek Boateng
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 19Adel Taarabt
  • 8Pajtim Kasami
  • 9Dimitar Berbatov
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 4Philippe Senderos
  • 17Matthew Briggs
  • 14Giorgos Karagounis
  • 10Bryan Ruiz
  • 20Hugo Rodallega
  • 39Darren Bent
  • Martin Jol
Total shots
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
Minutes played by player
Assists from open play
Successful aerial duels
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
Pass forwards
Successful dribbles
Sum of all a players ball events
Accurate passes
Key passes
Player intercepts a pass
Goalkeeper saves
Goalkeeper catches a cross
  • Sunderland 0-1 Fulham. Pajtim Kasami's header clinches opening day glory for the Whites at the Stadium of Light.
  • 90+2 Duff takes a yellow card for the team, upending Colback and a stronger header by Hangeland clears the free-kick.
  • 90+2 Johnson drops a cross right under Stockdale's crossbar but Fulham understudy claims it well. The Whites are counting down the seconds now.
  • 90 Johnson works space on the right and drifts in a dangerous cross, it's met by Ji and his header drops inches wide. Five minutes added.
  • 88 Sunderland are only leaving two men back now in an attempt to draw level, with the Whites hanging on to the lead.
  • 82 Stockdale makes the save at close range after Altidore bussles in to the area. Wickham comes on for Celustka.
  • 81 Berbatov is in the book for dissent after disagreeing with the linesman's decision.
  • 80 The Whites stem the danger with Berbatov's clearance but there's nobody to collect with all eleven Fulham players doing their bit in defence.
  • 76 Di Canio begins to gesture on the touchline and the Black Cats push forward in search of the equaliser. The Whites are containing Sunderland at the moment.
  • 74 Stekelenburg has not come out of that challenge well, and he goes off holding his shoulder. Stockdale is Fulham's last substitution.
  • Brilliant reactions from Stekelenburg to deny Altidore as the American tries to pounce in the six yard box after Hughes blocks Giaccherini's shot.
  • 70 Ji Dong-won is ready to make an appearance as Paolo Di Canio begins to play his cards. Sessegnon the man replaced.
  • 64 Using his strength, Altidore collects the ball on the edge of the area, spins Hughes, and rifles a shot just wide of Stek's post. Martin Jol makes his second change, with Boateng replaced by Karagounis.
  • 57 Johnson breaks on the right and pulls the ball across the six yard but Duff gets his foot in just at the right moment as Altidore lines up a strike.
  • 54 Sunderland search for an immediate reply after the Whites' perfectly executed set piece puts them a goal behind, and Cabral takes aim once again but this is the worst of his four long-range attempts at goal, slicing well off target.
  • 52 Sunderland 0-1 Fulham. Berbatov finds space to control inside the area and his cross is deflected over for a corner. Duff's delivery is powered in at the far post by Kasami!
  • 49 Nice movement from Sunderland's front three sees the ball switched from left to right but Johnson's strike flies well over the Whites' crossbar.
  • 47 Hughes takes a tumble after a challenge by Altidore, losing one boot and landing awkwardly on the other foot. He takes a moment then gets back up.
  • The Whites are back out first and clearly eager to go at the Stadium of Light. Berba and Kasami get us started in the second half.
  • Half-time: Sunderland 0-0 Fulham. The hosts have used the ball more effectively in the first half but Martin Jol will be content to have kept them at bay so far. With Ruiz and Bent on the bench, the Whites are well placed going into the second half.
  • 40 Kasami bursts through a gap in the Black Cats' defence but a swift interception from Roberge denies him a route through to goal. Taarabt wins a free-kick in a promising area but the walls blocks his curling shot.
  • 36 The ball sits up perfectly for right-back Celustka to fire in a 30-yard half-volley. He catches it sweetly and Stekelenburg has to launch full stretch to fingertip it away from the top corner. Outstanding save.
  • 29 Giaccherini slips into space on the left and delivers a tantalising ball across Stekelenburg's goal, thankfully just out of Altidore's reach. Larsson tries an effort from distance but Stek takes a simple catch.
  • 24 An excellent defensive header by Hangeland clears the danger before Briggs makes his presence known with a firm tackle on Johnson. Cabral then takes aim from distance for a third time but it's wide again.
  • 23 Boateng goes into the book for a trip on Giaccherini, the referee punishing him for a third foul. Larsson's free-kick is fired into the Whites wall.
  • 21 Cabral takes aim again but Kasami reacts quickly to get the block in. The pendulum is swinging back towards Sunderland at the moment but Fulham are defending well.
  • 17 Richardson appears to be struggling with his hamstring, and this is the end of his game. Briggs comes on as his replacement.
  • 16 Richardson makes strong advances on the left and is unlucky not to win a corner. Boateng receives a warning from referee Swarbrick after a mistimed tackle.
  • 13 This is better from Fulham. We've controlled the game in the last five minutes with Duff tormenting on the right and Taarabt's nimble footwork causing problems around the penalty area.
  • 9 A slick passing Fulham move gives Kasami half a chance to shoot but the youngster, who impressed in pre-season, has his shot quickly charged down by Roberge.
  • 8 The hosts are enjoying the larger share of possession but the Whites will be happy to soak up some pressure and ride the early storm to frustrate Sunderland.
  • 6 That's the first real effort on goal, with Cabral taking aim from over 25 yards but Stekelenburg watches it fly harmlessly wide.
  • 5 Boateng is the deepest member of our midfield, looking to control from the back. Kasami is playing in support of Berbatov, with Taarabt cutting in from the left wing.
  • Sunderland get us started, and the hosts win an early corner but Stekelenburg shows his dominance in the penalty area to punch clear.
  • There's a roar of anticipation as the sound system cranks up and the teams march out, led by Brede and O'Shea. We are moments away from kick-off
  • Three players make their Whites debuts on the Stadium of Light pitch today. Stekelenburg starts between the posts, while Boateng and Taarabt will be operating in midfield.
  • The boys will be in blue this afternoon as we model our brand new adidas Third kit. You can get yours on Monday from the store.
  • The boys are out on the pitch at the Stadium of Light, not long now until the first kick of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season.
  • New signing Darren Bent is on the bench against his old club, so the striker will hope to come on later.
  • The teams are out and Pajtim gets a start behind Berba. Taarabt also in from the start in midfield.