Saturday 19 November 2011, 3:00pm at Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Barclays Premier League
Sunderland
Sunderland
0
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
An even game that saw both sides enjoy numerous chances, the Whites gained a point from a tough away fixture at The Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.

28' Yellow Card

Lee Cattermole Card was given for a foul

73' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ji Dong-Won
Off:Jack Colback

88' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ryan Noble
Off:Ahmed Elmohamady

36' Yellow Card

Dickson Etuhu Card was given for a foul

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Andrew Johnson
Off:Bobby Zamora

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bryan Ruiz
Off:Damien Duff

90'+1 Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Matthew Briggs
Off:Clint Dempsey

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Following the recent international break, which saw 12 members of Fulham’s First Team squad involved in friendly and qualifying matches across the globe, Manager Martin was dealt a selection headache prior to Saturday’s match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Three key players were missing from Fulham’s travelling party to the North East. John Arne Riise remained back in London after his wife went into labour on Saturday morning whilst Steve Sidwell was a further absentee following a recent hernia operation. Stephen Kelly was also unavailable for selection after picking up an injury during the Republic of Ireland's first leg play-off victory over Estonia last week.

Thankfully, in defence, Jol welcomed back Philippe Senderos and Aaron Hughes from injury and Riise’s place at left back was taken by the ever depandable Chris Baird. Fulham's midfield and attack looked more familiar with Andrew Johnson on the bench as Jol opted for Mousa Dembele and Bobby Zamora to lead Fulham's attack at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce had his own injury concerns with Sebastian Larsson and summer signing Connor Wickham out of contention for Saturday's game. However the home side certainly had an impressive array of experienced Premier League players in their starting eleven following some astute signings by Bruce over the summer.

During the opening exchanges Mousa Dembele hunted for possession deep in midfield and it took just six minutes for the Belgium international to create Fulham’s first opportunity on goal.

Following a smart piece of link up play between Duff, Zamora and Dembele on the right hand side of the area, Dembele beat two markers in quick succession with some impressive close control before forcing Westwood into a fine save from 12 yards out.

Kieran Richardson went even closer for the home side just before the ten minute mark, with a glancing header from 8 yards that skimmed over the top of Mark Schwarzer’s cross bar.

Schwarzer was then required to make a smart save from Sessegnon on the right hand side of the area barely 60 seconds later. Lady luck was certainly on Fulham’s side early on, as Colback struck the cross bar again for Sunderland on 15 minutes with a left footed drive from inside the area.

Despite two close encounters during the first 20 minutes, Fulham settled comfortably as the first half wore on and restricted Steve Bruce’s team to speculative crosses from the flanks. The home side’s most potent threat was down the right flank through Elmohamady but Baird managed the midfielder brilliantly from an unfamiliar position in defence.

With Dembele handed a roving role by Martin Jol, the striker was constantly on the prowl for possession in midfield and on 28 minutes Cattermole clattered into the Belgium with a cynical tackle. Sunderland’s captain picked up a booking for his effort with Dembele feeling no ill effects.

Cattermole found himself on the receiving end eight minutes later when Etuhu caught the midfielder with a high challenge. Etuhu was subsequently booked and the home crowd were appealing for a red card seconds later when Etuhu concede d a free-kick on the edge of his area. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the Referee waved away any appeals.

Right before half-time Fulham won a two successive corners and on the second set piece Etuhu rose above a crowd area to head goalwards. Fulham’s travelling supporters were up on their feet but Westwood pulled off an impressive save to keep the score level at half-time.

After Sunderland got the second half underway it took four minutes of play for Bobby Zamora to earn Fulham a free-kick 18 yards from goal. Chris Baird stepped and delivered an inch perfect right-footed strike to the far corner of Westwood’s goal. The Sunderland keeper reacted brilliantly and pulled off a great save to deny Fulham.

Sunderland moved up a gear as the hour mark approached with the home crowd sensing a shift in urgency from the home team on the pitch. To their credit Fulham managed the pressure well and rarely looked troubled. Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird were stemming the flow from the flanks with authoritative measure.

Just past the hour mark Sunderland earned three corners in succession and it was nerve wracking moments for Fulham’s travelling supporters as Sunderland piled on the pressure.

Martin Jol introduced Andrew Johnson with twenty minutes remaining, as Bobby Zamora made way. The England striker appeared to be carrying a knock as he left the field of play.

15 minutes from time Sessegnon beat Hughes down Sunderland’s left flank and delivered a teasing cross towards the penalty spot. Bendtner was in position but failed to connect much to Fulham’s relief. It was arguably the home side’s best chance of the second-half that said much for Fulham’s defensive display on Saturday.

At the other end Fulham’s opportunities were sparse but Dickson Etuhu went close with another header from a corner with nine minutes remaining.

With six minutes remaining Fulham caught Sunderland on the counter attack with a two on one situation. Dembele travelled a full 50 yards before releasing Dempsey down the right channel but unfortunately the American’s shot across goal drifted wide. It was a golden opportunity for Fulham but Dempsey’s strike lacked conviction.

Martin Jol introduced Bryan Ruiz and Matthew Briggs for the final few minutes of the game as both sides went looking for maximum points. Fulham had Mark Schwarzer to thank in injury time after the goalkeeper pulled off one of the saves of the season to secure a point for Fulham.

Fulham will be pleased with Saturday's point from a tough away fixture in the North East. Next week Martin Jol's team head across the Capital for a London derby against Arsenal.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 19 November 2011
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Attendance: 37,688

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Sunderland

Line-up: Westwood; O'Shea, Turner, Brown, Bardsley; Elmohamady (Noble 88'), Cattermole, Colback (Ji Dong-Won 73'), Richardson; Sessegnon; Bendtner

Unused substitutes: Carson, Egan, Gardner, Vaughan, Meyler

Manager: Steve Bruce

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Hughes, Senderos, Hangeland, Baird; Duff (Ruiz 87'), Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey (Briggs 90'); Dembélé, Zamora (Andrew Johnson 68')

Unused substitutes: Etheridge, Kasami, Gecov, Kacaniklic

Manager: Martin Jol

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester City 12 34
2 Manchester United 11 26
3 Newcastle United 12 25
4 Chelsea 11 22
5 Tottenham Hotspur 10 22
6 Arsenal 12 22
7 Liverpool 11 19
8 Aston Villa 11 15
9 Queens Park Rangers 12 15
10 West Bromwich Albion 12 14
11 Norwich City 12 13
12 Everton 11 13
13 Swansea City 11 13
14 Stoke City 12 12
15 Sunderland 12 11
16 Fulham 12 11
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 11
18 Bolton Wanderers 12 9
19 Blackburn Rovers 12 7
20 Wigan Athletic 12 6
Goals
0
0
Total Shots
13
15
Shots On Target
3
4
Passing Accuracy
81%
78%
Fouls
8
12
Corners
6
7
Offsides
5
4
Bookings
1
1
Sending Offs
0
0
Sunderland (4-4-1-1)
  • 20Keiren Westwood
  • 16John O'Shea
  • 4Michael Turner
  • 5Wes Brown
  • 2Phillip Bardsley
  • 27Ahmed Elmohamady
  • 6Lee Cattermole
  • 14Jack Colback
  • 11Kieran Richardson
  • 28Stéphane Sessegnon
  • 52Nicklas Bendtner
Substitutes
  • 24Trevor Carson
  • 42John Egan
  • 8Craig Gardner
  • 15David Vaughan
  • 18David Meyler
  • 17Ji Dong-Won
  • 31Ryan Noble
Manager
  • Steve Bruce
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 14Philippe Senderos
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 30Moussa Dembélé
  • 25Bobby Zamora
Substitutes
  • 38Neil Etheridge
  • 28Matthew Briggs
  • 10Pajtim Kasami
  • 15Marcel Gecov
  • 31Alexander Kacaniklic
  • 8Andrew Johnson
  • 11Bryan Ruiz
Manager
  • Martin Jol
Goals
0
0
Total shots
0
0
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
0
0
Minutes played by player
0
0
Assists from open play
0
0
Crosses
0
0
Tackles
0
0
Successful aerial duels
0
0
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
0
0
Pass forwards
0
0
Successful dribbles
0
0
Sum of all a players ball events
0
0
Accurate passes
0
0
Key passes
0
0
Player intercepts a pass
0
0
Goalkeeper saves
0
0
Goalkeeper catches a cross
0
0