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March 2, 2013
• Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Referee: M. Halsey
• Attendance: 39312
C. Gardner 37'
S. Sessègnon 70'
D. Berbatov 16'
S. Riether 34'
And that's it for today's LIVE! text commentary between Sunderland and Fulham. Hope you enjoyed it!
Berbatov and Riether gave the away side their lead, before goals from Gardner and Sessegnon helped to balance the score.
Sunderland had to earn their point the hard way as they were forced to come back from a 2-0 deficit to eventually level the score at 2-2.
90' + 4'
Full time at the Stadium of Light, with both teams claiming a point after an exciting 2-2 draw!
90' + 3'
Sunderland having lots of possession but fail to make it count with some sloppy final third passes.
90' + 1'
A free-kick for Sunderland and Larsson fails to put a solid delivery into the box.
90' + 1'
We're into the first of four minutes added time.
Yellow Card Sascha Riether
Riether is booked after a sloppy backpass from Sidwell lands at the feet of Sessegnon who is almost clean on goal. Riether brings him down however.
The resulting free-kick is headed clear by Senderos however and the following attack is cleared for a Sunderland corner.
Sidwell finds space on the right side of the field, but the ball goes out for a Fulham corner.
Final substitution for Fulham as Dejagah is brought off for Hugo Rodallega.
Larsson with a chance as his long distance effort goes inches wide of the post.
Another sub for Fulham as Damien Duff is brought off for Urby Emanuelson.
Sunderland keep drilling the ball into the box but is cleared away by Hangeland. The returning ball deflects off of Frimpong for a Sunderland corner.
James McClean is brought on for home side at the expense of Danny Graham, who has failed to beat the offside trip today.
Yellow Card Alfred N'diaye
N'Diaye is now cautioned by the referee after bringing down Duff.
Yellow Card Steve Sidwell
A yellow card for Steve Sidwell now as they struggle to keep the home side at bay.
Goal Stéphane Sessegnon
Some superb play from Fulham comes back to haunt them as a brilliant save from Mignolet is countered by the home side. Bryan Ruiz lifts the ball above the Sunderland defence but Berbatov fails to find the net. Johnson leads the counter attack and Sessegnon slots in. 2-2!
More on the goal, Johnson's pass to Sessegnon is cut out, but somehow the ball still finds its way to his feet. He slots the ball home from 10 yards out to beyond the reach for Schwarzer.
Fulham are sitting deeper in the second half, with the away side happy to hold onto the ball and run down the clock.
The first substitute of the game is for Fulham, as Giorgos Karagounis is brought off for Emmanuel Frimpong.
Graham is fed the ball by N'Diaye but is flagged offside. The striker seems to disagree with the decision however.
Sunderland becoming increasingly dominant in the game. All hands on deck for Fulham as they try to maintain their advantage!
Yellow Card Brede Hangeland
The first booking of the game falls to Brede Hangeland, who brings down Stéphane Sessegnon just inside the Fulham half.
Berbatov is becoming frustrated with his side as they become reluctant to send men foward, leaving the striker on his own.
Stéphane Sessegnon lays the ball off for N'Diaye who hits the ball over the bar. A close attempt from 20 or so yards away from goal.
Sunderland now on the back foot as Bryan Ruiz crosses the ball into the box but O'Shea clears. The ball is directed back into the box where Mignolet spills the ball, but luckily his defenders are there to clear it away.
N'Diaye crosses a dangerous ball into the Fulham box, but yet again, Schwarzer claims the ball with ease.
Sunderland are heaping the pressure on Fulham, with Berbatov already being forced to help with the defensive work.
Berbatov gets a sight on goal after he beats the offside trap. However the striker finds himself at an awkward angle and hits the ball over the bar.
A bright start from Sunderland. The ball finds Fletcher and he passes it to Graham who is waiting just by the penalty spot. But he can only hit it directly at Schwarzer. The striker should have just scored the equaliser!
The second half is back underway with Sunderland kicking us off.
Neither side have made any changes at the break, with Sunderland only having 6 substitutes to choose from.
As the scores stand Fulham can climb to 10th place with a victory today.
Sunderland will be feeling the pressure at the break, with the home side needing a win if they want to climb away from the relegation battle.
The first half comes to a close as the referee blows the whistle, which is met by some loud jeers from the home fans.
Since their goal, Sunderland are looking a much stronger side, but clinical Fulham have scored with both of their shots on target.
The resulting goal-kick sees Stéphane Sessegnon with the ball, and after skipping past Senderos he hits the ball but Schwarzer parries the ball away for a Sunderland corner.
Giorgos Karagounis' corner is headed clear and Riise's follow-up is hit over the bar. Goal kick for Sunderland.
Corner for Fulham after Duff's pass is deflected out of play by Gardner.
Bramble clears the ball after Reither crosses into the box. Fulham still looking for the 3rd goal.
Penalty Goal Craig Gardner
GOAL! Gardner powers the ball into the net from the spot. Fulham now leading 2-1.
A penalty for Sunderland! Danny Graham is deemed to have been held back by Senderos and the referee points to the spot.
Goal Sascha Riether
GOAL! Fulham makes it 2-0 as they counter the Sunderland corner.
Dejagah is released by Berbatov and Mignolet parries the ball into the feet of Reither.
Dejagah passes the ball back to Hangeland but it's over-hit and goes out for a corner to Sunderland.
Senderos gets his head onto Larsson's free-kick before the ball runs out for a Fulham free-kick as the ball is passed too strongly for Sessegnon to meet.
Reither brings down Adam Johnson just by the corner flag. Larsson is set to swing the ball into the penalty area for the home side.
Gardner tries to release Danny Graham but the former Swansea player is caught offside.
Fulham look to be sitting back and absorbing the pressure so far, aiming to counter-attack Martin O'Neill's side who just can't seem to find the crucial passes in the final third.
Excellent chance for Fulham missed by Dejagah. Schwarzer hits the ball down the field and catch Sunderland off-guard but the midfielder hits the ball wide.
Hangeland brings down Fletcher outside the box from behind, but his header is met easily by Schwarzer.
Wasteful from Sunderland as the ball fails to beat the first man. But Sessegnon recollects the ball and delivers it across the box before running out for a Fulham throw.
Free-kick to Sunderland on the left-hand side of the pitch. Larsson to deliver the ball into the box.
The Stadium of Light has become very tense in the final few minutes, with the fans jeering the referee for giving two free-kicks to Fulham in quick succession.
Sunderland look to get the equaliser in quick reply as they force Fulham to concede a corner.
Penalty Goal Dimitar Berbatov
GOAL TO FULHAM! Berbatov slots the ball home into the right hand side of the goal.
Dejagah is deemed to have been brought down in the penalty area by Gardner. Berbatov steps up.
Penalty to Fulham!
Fulham press for the first time this game, as birthday boy Damien Duff earns the Cottagers a throw-in by the corner flag.
Some great play from Stéphane Sessegnon sees the ball come to his feet after some quick passes. The midfielder dribbles past two Fulham players but can't beat a third one as Fulham clear the ball down the field.
Fulham are trying to slow the tempo of the game down, with Steve Sidwell clearing the ball out of the penalty area following Colback's pass into the box.
Chance for Sunderland! Adam Johnson dribbles down the left-side of the pitch but his cross falls straight into the hands of Mark Schwarzer.
Sunderland are keen to get onto the ball by pressing Fulham deep into their half.
Foul awarded to Fulham after Sessegnon brings down Hangeland just in the Sunderland half.
Seb Larsson's corner is met by John O'Shea, but he can only head the ball into the side-netting.
A bright start from Sunderland, with Stéphane Sessegnon earning the home side an early corner.
Fulham kick-off the first half.
The players have emerged from the tunnel with kick-off only moments away.
Danny Graham starts at the Stadium of Light for the first time. In recent weeks he has come agonizingly close to finding the net but is yet to score his first Sunderland goal.
Sunderland subs: Bardsley, Vaughan, Mangane, Westwood, McClean, Cuellar Fulham subs: Etheridge, Hughes, Richardson, Frimpong, Emanuelson, Rodallega, Petric.
Whilst Fulham welcome former Sunderland player Kieran Richardson back onto their bench, the hosts only name six substitutes for today's game as Matt Kilgallon fell ill during the build-up for today's game.
Fulham make no changes to the side which defeated Stoke City last weekend. They line-up as follows: Schwarzer; Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise; Sidwell, Karagounis; Dejagah, Ruiz, Duff; Berbatov
The Sunderland starting line-up is as follows: Mignolet; Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Colback; Johnson, N'Diaye, Larsson, Sessegnon; Graham, Fletcher.
A win for Sunderland can see them climb the table and become level on points with today's visitors Fulham, who are looking to secure back-to-back wins for the first time since September.
Good afternoon, I'm Matt Davis and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary as Sunderland host Fulham in this Premier League encounter.
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