Opta Evaluation

Tuesday 5 March 2013 10:00

Fulham may have felt aggrieved leaving the Stadium of Light with only a point on Saturday having built up a two-goal lead, but the Opta statistics suggest that perhaps the draw was a fair result.

While Sunderland had more attempts on goal (18 to our 10), they were not as accurate with their finishing, as both sides managed five attempts on target, giving Fulham a shot accuracy of 50 per cent, compared to our hosts’ 27.8 per cent.

The passing statistics were remarkably even, with the Whites just shading the possession (50.5 per cent) and enjoying a marginally superior pass accuracy. A total of 82.5 per cent of our attempted passes found a man in black and gold, while Sunderland were accurate with 81.3 per cent of their balls.

The amount of tackles made by each side was also very close, as the Black Cats won 21 compared to our 19. In fact, the only statistic where one side really dominated was the amount of crosses played in; Sunderland attempted an impressive 50 throughout the 90 minutes, with Fulham only putting 17 balls into the box from a wide area.

More than half of Sunderland’s crosses were put in by left winger Adam Johnson or right-back Craig Gardner, with the latter proving to be the game’s busiest player. Gardner – who gave away a penalty for a foul on Ashkan Dejagah before scoring one himself – was involved in 76 ball events, with Bryan Ruiz proving to be Fulham’s most involved individual.

The Costa Rican was involved in 72 ball events and proved to be a valuable asset defensively at the Stadium of Light, in addition to providing the offensive spark that fans have become accustomed to. Ruiz won possession of the ball on six occasions and was successful in three tackles, with only Emmanuel Frimpong bettering that figure for Fulham.