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West Ham United
18 November 2012
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 25646
M. Petrić 62'
S. Fletcher 50'
Carlos Cuéllar 65'
S. Sessègnon 70'
So that's it from me on a good day for the Wearsiders. Fulham missed the chance to go level on points with Arsenal and will highlight the sending off of Brede Hangeland as a defining moment in the contest. This is Nicholas McGee signing off!
Fulham stay ninth in the table, while Sunderland move up to 15th, three points clear of the drop zone following their success in West London.
The referee brings proceedings to an end and Sunderland's second win of the season is confirmed. The Black Cats were made to work hard against the ten men of Fulham, but in the end they have emerged successful thanks to goals from Fletcher, Cuellar and a wonder strike from Sessegnon.
90' + 3'
Petric has a shot deflected over the bar, Fulham will have one last chance for a consolation.
There will be four minutes of added time.
Time is against Fulham and the fans are heading for the exits. This game is well and truly over and it is the visitors who will be heading home happy.
Yellow Card Lee Cattermole
Things are getting a bit heated at the Cottage. Lee Cattermole commits a cynical foul on Duff and exchanges words with an angry Berbatov. Both players are cautioned.
Terrific save from Simon Mignolet, Rodallega plays in Petric, who skips past Cuellar, before seeing his shot superbly palmed away by the Belgian.
Fulham, for all their endeavour, look to have a run out of steam. A disappointing day for Martin Jol and his troops.
Steve Sidwell has just spurned a clear chance to get Fulham back into the game. The former Reading and Chelsea man bursts into the box, but takes too many touches before firing the ball straight at Mignolet.
Sunderland have the ball in the net again as Fletcher prods home from close range, but the goal is ruled out for offside.
Yellow Card John O'Shea
Craven Cottage, aside from a few hundred or so noisy Sunderland fans, is deathly silent.
Assist Steven Fletcher
Goal Stéphane Sessegnon
The corner falls to nothing, and Sunderland counter to wrap up the three points with a fabulous strike from Stephane Sessegnon! The midfielder cuts in from the left-flank before powering an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Surely game over.
The free-kick is deflected wide by the wall, Fulham have a corner.
Dangerous times for Sunderland as Petric wins a free-kick on the edge of the area for Fulham.
Assist Adam Johnson
Goal Carlos Cuéllar
Fulham were level for a matter of minutes, Sunderland are ahead again and it's Carlos Cuellar with his first ever goal for the club. The Cottagers were temporarily down to nine men as Petric received treatment for an injury, and they paid the price as they Spaniard headed home an excellent corner from Johnson to give the Wearsiders the lead yet again.
Assist Damien Duff
Goal Mladen Petric
The home side level and it is Petric who has grabbed the equaliser. Rodallega's sliced pass finds Duff, who despite calls for offside squares the ball into the Croatian. The ex-Hamburg man makes no mistake, tapping in from point-blank range to delight the home fans.
Excellent save from Schwarzer as he dives to his right to turn behind a curling effort from Johnson.
Fulham substitute Mladen Petric almost makes an instant impact, firing over from close range after latching onto Rodallega's flick on.
Yellow Card Adam Johnson
A lucky break for Fulham as Adam Johnson goes through on goal, however the former Manchester City man is flagged for offside.
All the pressure is now coming for the Black Cats, the visitors are dominating play and are searching for a second to kill the game off.
Yellow Card Steve Sidwell
Craven Cottage is a little stunned by that goal, which came somewhat against the run of play. The visiting fans are understandably jubilant.
Assist Adam Johnson
Goal Steven Fletcher
Sunderland take the lead after receiving a huge slice of luck at the other end. John Arne Riise's left-wing cross is deflected onto the bar by Phil Bardsley, before the Black Cats quickly break, Adam Johnson lofting a wonderful ball into the path of Fletcher, who outpaces Philippe Senderos to coolly slot past Schwarzer.
The second period has continued in the same vein as the first, Sunderland are still extremely sloppy in possession, and are struggling to create anything of real note.
Fulham get the second half underway!
Lee Probert blows the whistle for half-time which is met by a chorus of boos. The Cottagers enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes but now face an uphill challenge to take something from the game following Hangeland's controversial dismissal.
There will be two minutes added time at the end of the first half.
Fulham remain a threat in this game, and they should really be ahead as Berbatov hits a close-range strike inches wide of the far post.
Massive chance for the visitors, Sessegnon finds himself free and in space down the right-flank, he only has to square the ball to Steve Fletcher to give the Scot a tap-in, but instead his ball hits the defender and Fulham manage to clear.
Martin O'Neill's men are, as you would expect, enjoying the majority of the possession now, however Fulham are defending effectively and don't appear troubled in spite of the situation they now find themselves in.
Sunderland have yet to show any real signs of dominance despite their numerical advantage. The Black Cats are still struggling to make any kind of mark on this game.
The home fans are apoplectic as Danny Rose escapes punishment for a rash looking challenge. Lee Probert is far from popular at Craven Cottage at the moment.
However, it's Fulham who almost hit the front seconds later as Berbatov charges onto a pass from Duff on the edge of the area, only to fire his effort straight at Mignolet.
Red Card Brede Hangeland
This could be a huge turning point in the game as Norwegian defender Brede Hangeland is sent-off after diving into a challenge with Lee Cattermole. The centre-half appeared to win some of the ball but did catch the midfielder on the follow through. I have to say that the decision appeared to be a harsh one.
A visibly annoyed Alexander Kacaniklic is withdrawn due to an injury, Hugo Rodallega comes on in his stead. Maybe the Colombian can spark some life into a currently dour contest.
Sunderland are beginning to get under Fulham's skin here. The visitors are pressing high, defending well, and have strangled the life out of the game in the past few minutes.
The majority of the action is still taking place in Sunderland's half of the field, and the visitors look second best at the moment. Still the opening goal has not been forthcoming and the natives are starting to sound just a tad restless.
Sunderland are playing a dangerous game defensively, Cuellar fails to clear a high ball into the box and Berbatov and Steve Sidwell combine before the midfielder hits a tame shot which is comfortably held by Mignolet. The Black Cats cannot afford to give the home side more opportunities like that.
We have just seen the two sides of Stephane Sessegnon in the space of a few seconds, the Frenchman picks up a loose pass from Giorgos Karagounis on the edge of the area, before jinking past several Fulham defenders. However, the former Paris Saint-Germain man's attempted reverse pass flies straight out of play for a goal-kick.
Almost a calamity at the back for the visitors, Duff beats Rose down the right-hand side before delivering a low cross which Carlos Cuellar completely miskicks, however the ball rolls harmlessly to Simon Mignolet with no Fulham attacker in the vicinity.
Fulham are dictating play at the moment, but the Black Cats look extremely dangerous on the counter, Bryan Ruiz loses the ball midway inside the Sunderland half, Martin O'Neill's break away rapidly to force a corner, which is well defended by the home side.
Sunderland have been under pressure for much of these opening few minutes, but they do look up for the task going forward. Stephane Sessegnon rifles a shot over from range.
Sunderland work a good opening down the right-flank, but Sebastian Larsson's tame effort is easily saved by Mark Schwarzer.
First chance for Fulham as Dimitar Berbatov heads a well-placed ball from Damien Duff just wide of the post.
Not much in the way of action in the early stages, it's all a little quiet right now.
Sunderland get the game underway!
The teams take the long walk from the tunnel at Craven Cottage before engaging in the pre-match pleasantries. The famous old ground is packed to the rafters.
We are just under five minutes away from kick-off at Craven Cottage. Fulham can go level on points with London rivals Arsenal with a win, while Sunderland desperately need a win after a run of just one victory in 18 games.
Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Wickham, Kilgallon, Vaughan, McClean, Saha
Sunderland: Mignolet; Bardsley, Rose, Cuellar, O'Shea; Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson, Sessegnon; Fletcher
Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Senderos, Petric, Rodallega, Dejagah, A. Smith
Fulham: Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Karagounis, Sidwell, Kacaniklic; Ruiz, Berbatov
We start, as always, with the two teams....
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of Fulham's clash with Sunderland. I'm Nicholas McGee and I'll be taking you through the next 90 minutes as the Cottagers aim to continue their good run of form against the struggling Black Cats.
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