Saturday 19 January 2002, 3:00pm at Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Barclays Premier League
Sunderland
Sunderland
1
Kevin Phillips 66'
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Malbranque 15'
Despite Steed Malbranque's opener, Fulham could only come away from the Stadium of Light with a point after Kevin Phillips' equaliser for the hosts.

66' Goal

Kevin Phillips

6' Yellow Card

Stefan Schwarz Card was given for a foul

37' Yellow Card

Jason McAteer Card was given for a foul

89' Yellow Card

Darren Williams Card was given for a foul

89' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Darren Williams
Off:Gavin McCann

15' Goal

Steed Malbranque

78' Yellow Card

Rufus Brevett Card was given for a foul

85' Yellow Card

Alain Goma Card was given for a foul

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Luis Boa Morte
Off:Barry Hayles

89' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Andrejs Stolcers
Off:Luis Boa Morte

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Kevin Phillips rescued Sunderland with his 10th goal of the season and stopped Fulham heaping more pressure on Peter Reid.

The England striker expertly rounded Edwin van der Sar on 66 minutes to drag the home side back into a game which the visitors looked to have in their grasp after a superb first-half display.

Steed Malbranque had fired the Londoners into a 15th-minute lead to reward their early dominance.

But the Wearsiders eventually staged a rousing comeback, and it was they who looked the more likely winners as time ran down.

Jean Tigana may feel his side deserved more than the one point, but Reid was a relieved man after seeing a fightback which reinforced his belief in his players.

It could have been so different as Malbranque in particular ran riot before the break, leaving the Wearsiders in his wake for long periods.

Reid went into the game with the result of a poll conducted by a fans' website professing little confidence in him, but the manager remained defiant.

He brought veteran striker Niall Quinn back to partner Phillips in attack and handed the experienced Stefan Schwarz a recall in midfield.

Tigana recalled goalkeeper van der Saar, John Collins, Sylvain Legwinski and Steve Marlet - with Maik Taylor, Sean Davis, Luis Boa Morte and Louis Saha making way.

Reid knew only an improved display from his players would silence his critics, but he got nothing of the sort before the break as Fulham took the game by the scruff of the neck.

The outstanding Malbranque and his midfield partner John Collins ran the opening 45 minutes - and, with Sunderland creating little where it mattered, the visitors could have wrapped up the points with barely half-an-hour gone.

Barry Hayles should really have put the Londoners in front with less than two minutes gone after he outstripped the home defence to collect Steve Finnan's pass - but he could not beat Thomas Sorensen.

His side had to wait just 13 minutes more for the opening goal, Malbranque skipping away from Schwarz, Bernt Haas and Stanislav Varga before driving a shot across Sorensen and into the top corner.

The Dane was grateful for the assistance of the crossbar on 34 minutes when Zat Knight rose above the crowd to get his head to Malbranque's corner.

Sunderland's failure to find the back of the net often enough to mount a serious challenge in this season's Barclaycard Premiership refused to go away,

Gavin McCann and Jason McAteer both squandering golden opportunities when through on goal to leave Reid scratching is head. But whatever he said at half-time certainly had the desired effect as his side upped their tempo and, little by little, forced their way into the game.

Quinn was unfortunate to see a well-struck volley cannon into Finnan, and Phillips warmed van der Sar's hands with a powerful volley after Knight's back-pass hit Alain Goma and fell into his path.

Knight chanced his arm from all of 40 yards - and was not too far off target - as Fulham looked to extend their lead, but it was Sunderland who were establishing a momentum.

Gavin McCann had a long-range shot blocked by Goma after Quinn had flicked on Haas' long throw - and Phillips sliced a speculative effort wide.

But the home side were starting to believe once again.

The equaliser eventually came with 66 minutes gone when Schwarz's pass allowed Phillips to race clear and round van der Sar with before slotting into the empty net.

From that point on, there looked to be only one winner - Phillips firing inches wide two minutes later and then hammering a volley at point-blank range into Legwinski.

As the Wearsiders committed men to attack in the hunt for victory, Fulham used their pace on the break to threaten. But Marlet wasted a glorious chance nine minutes from time when he went clear on the left and cut inside only to fire high over the bar.

In an eventful end to the game, McCann left the field with blood pouring from his nose after a clash with Knight and Fulham substitute Boa Morte was carried off just 13 minutes after replacing Hayles.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 19 January 2002
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Attendance: 45,124

Referee: Peter Jones

Sunderland

Line-up: Sørensen; Haas, Craddock, Varga, Gray; McAteer, Schwarz, McCann (Williams 89'), Kilbane; Quinn, Kevin Phillips

Unused substitutes: Macho, McCartney, Arca, Bellion

Fulham

Line-up: Van der Sar; Finnan, Knight, Melville, Brevett; Legwinski, Goma, Collins, Malbranque; Hayles (Boa Morte 77' (Stolcers 89')), Marlet

Unused substitutes: Taylor, Harley, Goldbaek

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 23 45
2 Newcastle United 23 43
3 Leeds United 22 41
4 Arsenal 21 40
5 Liverpool 23 40
6 Chelsea 22 34
7 Tottenham Hotspur 23 32
8 Aston Villa 22 32
9 Fulham 22 31
10 Charlton Athletic 22 29
11 Sunderland 23 28
12 West Ham United 22 28
13 Everton 23 27
14 Southampton 23 26
15 Blackburn Rovers 23 25
16 Bolton Wanderers 23 25
17 Ipswich Town 23 24
18 Middlesbrough 22 23
19 Derby County 23 19
20 Leicester City 22 17
Sunderland (4-4-2)
  • 29Thomas Sørensen
  • Bernt Haas
  • 6Jody Craddock
  • 27Stanislav Varga
  • 33Michael Gray
  • Jason McAteer
  • Stefan Schwarz
  • Gavin McCann
  • 21Kevin Kilbane
  • Niall Quinn
  • 9Kevin Phillips
Substitutes
  • Jürgen Macho
  • 3George McCartney
  • Darren Williams
  • 33Julio Arca
  • 12David Bellion
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Steve Finnan
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 3Rufus Brevett
  • 18Sylvain Legwinski
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 10John Collins
  • 14Steed Malbranque
  • 15Barry Hayles
  • 7Steve Marlet
Substitutes
  • 12Maik Taylor
  • 7Jon Harley
  • 19Bjarne Goldbaek
  • 40Andrejs Stolcers
  • 11Luis Boa Morte