Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)  (Read 9633 times)

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Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« on: February 28, 2010, 07:43:01 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/feb/28/sunderland-fulham-premier-league

Pressure mounts on Steve Bruce as Sunderland's winless run continues   


Sunderland 0 
Fulham 0 

Louise Taylor at the Stadium of Light


guardian.co.uk, Sunday 28 February 2010 17.24 GMT


At least Fulham had an excuse. Roy Hodgson's side were entitled to look a little fatigued in the wake of Thursday night's trip back from Ukraine and victory at Shakhtar Donetsk but the boos which greeted the final whistle emphasised that Sunderland were entitled to no such sympathy.

Steve Bruce's suddenly relegation-threatened team have now gone 14 Premier League games without victory and, judging by the face of the chairman, Niall Quinn, the manager will have some serious explaining to do this week.

The first half was awful. Sunderland began by endeavouring to force a fierce tempo but their failure to take proper care of the ball meant they kept losing possession and any momentum evaporated. Lee Cattermole proved a principal culprit, the usually influential central midfielder experiencing a shocker.

While Zoltan Gera shot a yard wide at the end of an early Fulham counter-attack, it took 38 minutes for Bruce's side to muster a goal attempt courtesy of a Kenwyne Jones shot which swerved wildly off target.

Admittedly Mark Schwarzer was finally required to make a routine save – his sole such intervention all afternoon – from a Darren Bent free-kick harshly awarded against Brede Hangeland for a perceived foul on Jones, but Sunderland never looked like scoring.

Happily for Bruce, neither, really, did Fulham. Indeed it seemed emblematic of a woeful opening 45 minutes when Bobby Zamora, unaware he had been flagged offside, missed an open goal from eight yards.

Earlier, the unmarked would-be England striker had failed to get sufficient headed purchase on Simon Davies's defence-bisecting delivery and, much to the relief of his supposed minder, Michael Turner, sent the ball looping over the bar.

If Sunderland were badly missing the precision and incision customarily provided by the hamstrung Andy Reid – ominously, though, Reid and his fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson were the only notable absentees from a near full-strength home line-up – Jones and Bent were finding Hangeland and Aaron Hughes to be a formidable central defensive barrier. Similarly Fulham's bouts of neat passing tended to dissolve in the face of John Mensah, who, for once fit to start, enjoyed an outstanding afternoon at centre-half for Sunderland before, all too predictably, limping off.

It was no surprise when, 10 minutes into the second half, Bruce replaced Cattermole with Bolo Zenden in a rejig involving Kieran Richardson's relocation to central midfield from the left wing.

Granted, a Bent half volley flew narrowly wide while, at the other end Damien Duff saw a dangerous shot deflected off target but there was little to deflect attention from a chill wind which felt as if it must have blown in from the Russian Steppes.

There was, however, a high temperature microclimate surrounding the home technical area where Bruce's repeated volleys of expletives reflected rising tensions. A few yards away Hodgson maintained the unruffled demeanour of a country town gentleman solicitor, barely batting an eyelid when Alan Hutton connected with a Zenden cross but, much to Bruce's frustration, was confounded by the tightness of the shooting angle.

In the dying minutes Benjani Mwaruwari , on for Jones, shot selfishly when he could have centred to the better placed Bent. Yet again Sunderland's decision-making had betrayed them.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 07:44:48 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/match/1351138


Sunderland v Fulham

Match facts

Premier League

Sunday 28 February 2010 15.00

  Score line 
Final score  Sunderland  0 – 0
(HT 0 – 0)
  Fulham 
Bookings Hutton 17
Richardson 22
Turner 61
  Baird 18
Greening 70
Zamora 82
 
 Sunderland's Percentage Fulham's Percentage
Corners 2 50%  2 50% 
Goal attempts 11 84%  2 16% 
On target 4 100%  0 0% 
Fouls 18 52%  16 48% 
Offside 1 25%  3 75% 

Sunderland

Craig Gordon, Michael Turner, Anton Ferdinand, Alan Hutton, John Mensah (George McCartney, 84), Kieran Richardson, Lorik Cana, Lee Cattermole (Boudewijn Zenden, 55), Fraizer Campbell, Darren Bent, Kenwyne Jones (Benjani Mwaruwari, 80) 

Fulham

Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey, Aaron Hughes, Zoltan Gera, Danny Murphy (Jonathan Greening, 58), Damien Duff, Dickson Etuhu, Simon Davies, Bobby Zamora (David Elm, 84) 
Referee Atkinson, M
Venue Stadium of Light
Attendance 40,192

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 07:47:39 PM »
Sunderland Reaction

Sunday 28th February 2010


Fulham FC News


Speaking after Sunday's nil-nil draw at the Stadium of Light, Roy Hodgson gave his post-match reaction:

"It's always a good point," he said. "I suppose the importance and the quality of the point is exaggerated not only by the exertions in midweek, but the fact it's an eighth game in a short month using basically the same players in every game.

"I did fear for this game because Sunderland are very strong at home - this is where they take their points - and because we got back so late in the early hours of Friday morning.

"I was concerned if ever a game was going to take its toll, this would be the one.

"But, once again, the players really surprised me. They stood up enormously well to the balls that were played forward to the two big centre-forwards and we defended well in front of them.

"The only minor criticism that I will accept of the team is we didn't do enough sometimes with the amount of possession we had because there were some nice passing movements, but we didn't find that final pass through to the centre-forwards.

"But I am delighted with the point, I am delighted with the week's work and I wish February would last forever. But sadly, it's March tomorrow."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/SunderlandReaction.aspx#ixzz0grUi79l8


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 07:50:30 PM »
Sunderland 0 - 0 Fulham

Fulham produced a resolute and controlled display at the Stadium of Light on Sunday to secure a well-earned point. With chances few and far between, Fulham’s defence was certainly on top as the Whites expertly controlled the pace of the game. 

Sunderland started this game on the front foot as Fulham, playing their eighth game in February, looked to sit back and test the water in the opening exchanges. Bobby Zamora continued up front for the Whites, supported by Zoltan Gera but other than a clipped effort on goal from Gera on six minutes, the duo saw little of the ball in the opening 10 minutes.

With the home side looking to notch an early goal, Fulham were content to bide their time in possession, with the back four weighing up their passing options carefully when on the ball – an almost European approach to the game.

With Frazier Campbell and Kieran Richardson looking active on the wings, the home side was eager to take advantage of the pace offered by their two wide men. But by the 20 minute mark neither goalkeeper had been required to make a save of any note, which was more to the frustration of the home fans – who were turning quite vocal in their disapproval.

As the first-half progressed Fulham started to work the ball further up the pitch and looked to bring Zamora into the game more – but this was not done to the sacrifice of Fulham’s defensive structure.

Just as Sunderland started to threaten through Kenwyne Jones and Darren Bent, Fulham slowed the tempo of the game right down – with the ball spending a lot of time being passed around the back four and Mark Schwarzer. The wind was soon taken out of Sunderland’s sails.

The home side’s first shot in anger came on 37 minutes when the ball fell to Jones 25 yards out – the Sunderland striker lined up a fierce volley which flew handsomely over Mark Schwarzer’s bar. Darren Bent’s 20-yard free-kick on 39 minutes almost created an opening when the ball bounced off Schwarzer’s chest before being cleared to safety.

Once again a crescendo of noise echoed around the Stadium of Light as the home fans sensed a breakthrough could be coming. But surely enough, Fulham soon closed up shop and sucked the energy out of Sunderland’s play.

The Whites made a strong start to the second-half, with Bobby Zamora battling well with John Mensah up front. The home side’s first effort on goal after the break came in the 56th minute when Alan Hutton found space on the edge of the Fulham area only to shoot straight at Schwarzer.

Fulham’s first change of the game came on 57 minutes when Danny Murphy was replaced by Jonathan Greening. With conditions in the Stadium of Light hardly conducive to fine, flowing football, Fulham were certainly adapting better to their environment as they resolutely maintained their shape.

John Mensah was given a talking to by the referee on 64 minutes after the official had seen one too many of his tussles with Zamora. The free-kick for Fulham that followed was cut out and the home side broke away on the counter, but much to the frustration of the home fans, the move broke down once again.

For the first time in the game Fulham embarked on a sustained spell of pressure, keeping the ball well and stringing together a number of passes which had the home side chasing shadows.

As time started to tick away, Sunderland replaced Kenwyne Jones with Benjani in an attempt to get something from the game. The change certainly gave the home side some much-needed impetus as a ball from Zenden flashed dangerously across the face of the Fulham goal.

David Elm was introduced to the action on 83 minutes, replacing Bobby Zamora who had led the line bravely.   

Sunderland managed to work shooting opportunity on 86 minutes when the ball dropped to the feet of Frazier Campbell on the edge of the area but his shot flew well over Schwarzer’s bar. Moments later Benjani’s turn and shot rolled just in front of Darren Bent, who could do little to reach it.  That proved to be the final oportunity of the encounter before the referee blew for full-time.



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/MatchAndTeam/MatchCentre/Matches/0910/Premiership/SunderlandAway.aspx#ixzz0grV95nTg

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 07:55:04 PM »
From the Other Side

Sunday 28th February 2010


Fulham FC News
 
Looking back on Sunday afternoon's game between Fulham and Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Black Cats Manager Steve Bruce gave his post-match assessment: 

"We huffed and puffed and I couldn't fault the players' effort," Bruce explained. "But some are trying too hard to make it happen.

"At the death Fraizer Campbell looked like he was sliding in a goal to win a horrible game 1-0, but it didn't happen and the longer it goes the harder it becomes.

"Our supporters have been terrific and it couldn't have been easy to watch that. We didn't give them much to get excited about but 40,000 people on a horrible Sunday afternoon is a magnificent turnout and anything we did give them they got right behind us.

"It has been a difficult three months but we have to keep working at it and look for a break that could turn our season around."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/SteveBruceReaction.aspx#ixzz0grWGwRb2

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 07:59:05 PM »


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2010, 08:02:14 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_5996022,00.html

Hodgson praise for weary Fulham


Hodgson pleased with performance from hard-working squad


By Jonathan Witty   


Last updated: 28th February 2010   
 

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has hailed the resilience of his players after they recorded a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Sunderland.

The Stadium of Light encounter was Fulham's eighth game in a month and Hodgson's weary warriors, who returned from beating Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk less than 72 hours before kick-off, held Steve Bruce's men to a stalemate.

"It's obviously a very good point given the circumstances, it was never going to be easy for us having come back so early on Friday morning from the Ukraine," said Hodgson.

"It's the eighth match in a short month and I looked at how dangerous this game could be given how good Sunderland are at home.

"I thought we defended solidly throughout the game and limited them to longer range shots and I am delighted that we are going to finish the month unbeaten.

"After the week we have had, to come to Sunderland and get a good 0-0 has crowned a fantastic month for the club."

Congestion

Hodgson admitted that additional European fixtures are a relatively new concept to him as Fulham boss, but he is relishing the new challenge.

Fulham have played more matches than any other Premier League side so far this season, but the former Blackburn boss insists his small squad can cope.

He added: "I'm sure Alex (Ferguson), Arsene (Wenger) and Rafa (Benitez) are laughing because they have been doing it year after year, but for Fulham it is something new. It is a very different situation.

"We have played 12 matches so far this year with a limited squad, which has been limited further by injuries and it has been a burden for those lads to carry.

"The players playing today have basically been the same bunch that have played all eight games through February.

"January has been a bad month, but February has been a good month and this win goes some way to ensuring we have a 10th consecutive season (in the Premier League).

"This has been a great month in the history of the football club."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2010, 08:04:19 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3230224,00.html


Black Cats held to drab draw



Stalemate ensues at the Stadium of Light


Last updated: 28th February 2010   
 


Man of the Match: Bolo Zenden came on as a replacement for Lee Cattermole and injected some urgency into Sunderland's attacking that nearly paid dividend.

Shot of the match: Darren Bent's curling free-kick from 20 yards produced a smart stop from Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Moment of the match: Zenden's low cross that fizzed across the Fulham six-yard box, only for Alan Hutton to fire into the side netting at the far post. It was clearly the best chance of the match.

Talking points: Can Sunderland find a much-needed win and escape the drop? How much will Fulham's Premier League form be affected by their Europa League run?

Sunderland and Fulham played out a drab goalless draw at the Stadium of Light as the home side's quest for a Premier League win in 2010 continues.

Substitute Bolo Zenden and Darren Bent had the best chances for Steve Bruce's men, who had the lion's share of possession without creating any clear-cut opportunities.

Fulham looked jaded from their exertions in the Europa League in midweek and an energetic Sunderland side dominated for long spells.

The point lifted the Wearsiders three clear of the drop zone, but there is little doubt that Roy Hodgson will have been the happier manager as his team extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to eight games three days after they secured their passage to the last 16 in the Europa League.

The game had been billed in certain quarters as a showdown between England hopefuls Bent and Bobby Zamora as they attempt to force their way into Fabio Capello's World Cup plans.

In the event, both men were largely anonymous in a first half which was notable only for a woeful lack of quality.

Bent and strike-partner Kenwyne Jones got little change out of Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes, while at the other end, Zamora - playing ahead of Zoltan Gera - was equally unable to extend Michael Turner and John Mensah.

Scarce

Chances were few and far between with Gera curling a seventh-minute effort just wide and Zamora looping a header harmlessly off target for the visitors with 26 minutes gone.

Fulham goalkeeper Schwarzer did have a save to make, but that did not come until the 40th minute. Having seen Jones blast high over from 20 yards two minutes earlier, the Australian found himself in the firing line when Hangeland was penalised for a challenge on Jones just outside the box.

Bent curled a well-struck free-kick around the defensive wall, but the keeper was well positioned and although he could not hold the ball, his defenders mopped up before any damage was done.

But meaningful action inside either penalty area was a rarity as the game was fought out largely in the middle third, where Fulham skipper Danny Murphy was the most influential figure.

Even he, however, could not find the killer pass to open up the home defence as an attritional battle unfolded with Alan Hutton, Kieran Richardson and Chris Baird all booked for fouls before the break.

The pattern of the first half was repeated during the early stages of the second with neither side able to put together a sustained period of pressure.

Returning midfielder Lee Cattermole played his side into trouble when he lost out to Simon Davies on halfway with six minutes of the half gone.

Davies played Zamora into space down the right and then got into position to receive the ball back, although his shot was blocked at source.

Impact

Bruce replaced Cattermole with Zenden as he looked to inject some urgency, with the newcomer lining up on the left as Richardson moved inside.

The Dutchman also had an instant impact, combining with Jones to set up full-back Hutton, who stepped inside before forcing Schwarzer into a save with a low left-foot drive.

Murphy limped off to be replaced by Jonathan Greening three minutes later, and Jones went close with an 18-yard snapshot within seconds.

Newcastle old boy Damien Duff saw a 69th-minute effort deflected just wide, but Bent only just failed to get on the end of Turner's ball over the top three minutes later.

Zenden got a shot in after Hughes could only help on keeper Craig Gordon's 74th-minute clearance, but his effort from a tight angle ended up in the side-netting.

Hutton did the same from the other flank as he met Zenden's driven cross at full-stretch seven minutes later with the Black Cats belatedly establishing a momentum.

Fraizer Campbell might have snatched a precious victory with three minutes remaining, but he skied his shot high over as another two points slipped away.


Sunderland
Team Statistics
Fulham

0 Goals
0

0 1st Half Goals
0

4 Shots on Target
0

7 Shots off Target
2

1 Blocked Shots
2

2 Corners
2

18 Fouls
16

1 Offsides
3

3 Yellow Cards
3

0 Red Cards
0

64.5 Passing Success
76.1

11 Tackles
12

90.9 Tackles Success
58.3

42.8 Possession
57.2

65.7 Territorial Advantage
34.3



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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2010, 08:07:06 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/user_ratings/0,19768,11065_3230224,00.html

Fulham Player ratings 

Player Our Rating Your Rating Rate player


 Mark Schwarzer
Largely untroubled, but nearly caught out by a Bent free-kick in the first half.  7 6.9  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Brede Hangeland
Snuffed out the aerial threat of Kenwyne Jones.  7 6.1  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Aaron Hughes
Disciplined performance and kept  7 6.1  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Nicky Shorey
Denied Sunderland space on the right, but was uindone by opposite number Hutton a few times.  6 5.9  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Chris Baird
Solid performance and stopped Anton Ferdinand getting forward.  7 5.9  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Danny Murphy
Subbed after suffering an injury, but lookd out-of-sorts.  6 5.1  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Dickson Etuhu
Battled with Gera to stop Sunderland coming forward through the middle.  7 6.0  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Simon Davies
Tried to get forward and give Fulham some help in attack.  7 5.7  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Bobby Zamora
Battled well against John Mensah, but was isolated for large spells.  7 5.5  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Damien Duff
Frustrated on the wing and only showed glimpses of his ability.  6 5.8  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Zoltan Gera
Tried to push Fulham forward, but suffered a number of fouls against him. 


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2010, 09:07:02 PM »
Sunderland 0 Fulham 0: Super Mark Schwarzer frustrates blank Black Cats as winless run goes on

By Sportsmail Reporter


Last updated at 5:34 PM on 28th February 2010

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer denied struggling Sunderland a first Barclays Premier League victory in 14 attempts to leave them hovering precariously above the drop zone.

The Australia international kept out Darren Bent's first-half free-kick and then blocked Alan Hutton's left-foot effort after the break to ensure the game ended goalless.

Substitute Bolo Zenden and Hutton both fired into the side-netting as the home side make a late push, but the first of four successive home games which boss Steve Bruce believes will define the club's season ended in stalemate in front of a frustrated crowd of 40,192.
 
The point lifted the Wearsiders three clear of the drop zone, but there is little doubt that Roy Hodgson will have been the happier manager as his team extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to eight games three days after they secured their passage to the last 16 in the Europa League.
   
The game had been billed in certain quarters as a showdown between England hopefuls Bent and Bobby Zamora as they attempt to force their way into Fabio Capello's World Cup plans.
In the event, both men were largely anonymous in a first half which was notable only for a woeful lack of quality.

Bent and strike-partner Kenwyne Jones got little change out of Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes, while at the other end, Zamora - playing ahead of Zoltan Gera - was equally unable to extend Michael Turner and John Mensah.

Chances were few and far between with Gera curling a seventh-minute effort just wide and Zamora looping a header harmlessly off target for the visitors with 26 minutes gone.
Schwarzer did have a save to make, but that did not come until the 40th-minute.
 
Having seen Jones blast high over from 20 yards two minutes earlier, the Australian found himself in the firing line when Hangeland was penalised for a challenge on Jones just outside the box.
 
Bent curled a well-struck free-kick around the defensive wall, but the keeper was well positioned and although he could not hold the ball, his defenders mopped up before any damage was done.

But meaningful action inside either penalty area was a rarity as the game was fought out largely in the middle third, where Fulham skipper Danny Murphy was the most influential figure.
Even he, however, could not find the killer pass to open up the home defence as an attritional battle unfolded with Hutton, Kieran Richardson and Chris Baird all booked for fouls before the break.

The pattern of the first half was repeated during the early stages of the second with neither side able to put together a sustained period of pressure.

Returning midfielder Lee Cattermole played his side into trouble went he lost out to Simon Davies on halfway with six minutes of the half gone.

Davies played Zamora into space down the right and then got into position to receive the ball back, although his shot was blocked at source.

 Tussle: Dickson Etuhu (right) and Kenwyne Jones get stuck in
Bruce replaced Cattermole with Zenden as he looked to inject some urgency, with the newcomer lining up on the left as Richardson moved inside.

The Dutchman also had an instant impact, combining with Jones to set up full-back Hutton, who stepped inside before forcing Schwarzer into a save with a low left-foot drive.

Murphy limped off to be replaced by Jonathan Greening three minutes later, and Jones went close with an 18-yard snapshot within seconds.

But as time ran down, it was Fulham who had the greater craft and composure with the home fans growing increasingly restless.
 
Newcastle old boy Damien Duff saw a 69th-minute effort deflected just wide, but Bent only just failed to get on the end of Turner's ball over the top three minutes later.
Zenden got a shot in after Hughes could only help on keeper Craig Gordon's 74th-minute clearance, but his effort from a tight angle ended up in the side-netting.
Hutton did the same from the other flank as he met Zenden's driven cross at full-stretch seven minutes later with the Black Cats belatedly establishing a momentum.
Fraizer Campbell might have snatched a precious victory with three minutes remaining, but he skied his shot high over as another two points slipped away.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1254373/Sunderland-x-Fulham-x.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0groH3Wx1

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2010, 09:29:42 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/sunderland/7338674/Sunderland-0-Fulham-0-match-report.html

Sunderland 0 Fulham 0: match report

Read a full match report of the Premier League game between Sunderland and Fulham at the
 
By Rob Stewart at Stadium of Light


Published: 8:00PM GMT 28 Feb 2010

 
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce went into this game insisting that he was certain there would be an upturn in fortunes at the Stadium of Light but the majority of those who witnessed this encounter will not share in that confidence.

Bruce used his programme notes to re-assure fans that even though "we've gone too long without a win" he was "convinced we'll turn it around" yet judging by the evidence of Sunderland's 14th league game without a win there is little to suggest Wearsiders can look anything other than a prolonged fight against relegation.

Sunderland are still hovering just three points above the three relegation places but rarely looked like ending a winless sequence that stretches back to November when Arsenal were beaten here and the chorus of boos that greeted the final whistle was testimony to local unrest.

Both sides struggled to gain any fluency early on but while Fulham could point to a long trip to the Ukraine as their excuse for initial lethargy, Sunderland failed to develop any momentum due to their habit of squandering possession all too easily.

The first opening of the game fell to Fulham striker Bobby Zamora - a surprise inclusion given his Achilles problems - but he wasted a chance to underline his England credentials when he nodded Simon Davies' throught-ball wide of the target with his Craig Gordon to beat.

Even though this was a game Sunderland needed to win to ease local anxieties, it took the home side almost 40 minutes to muster an attempt on goal and when Kenwyne Jones did take aim his 20-yarder flew well wide of Mark Schwarzer's goal.

The only other glimpse of first-half hope arrived shortly afterwards when Mark Schwarzer only gathered Darren Bent's free-kick at the second attempt.

Such was the dearth of goalmouth action, it took a series of meaty challenges to get the home crowd going but that was a sad reflection on the lack of midfield guile provided by Lee Cattermole and Lorik Cana.

It meant Sunderland, who had centre-half Anton Ferdinand at left-back instead of George McCartney, resorted to long-ball tactics far too readily.

The route one approach might not have been a problem had Michael Turner's distribution not been wretched or had Breda Hangeland not been so dominant.

When Sunderland did resist the direct approach and pass the ball around it almost paid dividends as Alan Hutton engineered himself some space on the edge of the box but shot straight at Schwarzer.

Both managers made changes shortly after half-time as Bruce replaced Cattermole with Bolo Zenden before Roy Hodgson sent on Jonathan Greening in place of the injured Danny Murphy.

Zenden almost put Sunderland ahead in the 75th minute when Jones flicked on a long ball but the Dutchman put the ball into the side-netting from an acute angle.

A few eyebrows were raised when Bruce hauled off Jones for Benjani but within seconds his team almost grabbed the lead when Zenden sent a cross fizzing across the goalmouth but Hutton could only find the side-netting.

Bruce cut a frustrated figure in his technical area and appeared reday to sink to his knees when Bent allowed a late chance to go begging.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2010, 10:02:07 PM »


Sunderland 0 Fulham 0: Deluded boss Steve Bruce defends his shocking side


By Colin Young

Last updated at 9:36 PM on 28th February 2010

Fourteen games without a win and Steve Bruce is still insistent that Sunderland will not be involved in the relegation scrap. But his squad are doing a very plausible impression of a team determined to get sucked into the bottom three.

Sunderland were booed off at half-time and the final whistle and jeered for their constant pathetic passing.

Lee Cattermole perfected the art almost every time he touched the ball and was finally put out of his misery 10 minutes into the second half. At that point the home side had managed just two shots at Mark Schwarzer.
 
The first from Kenwyne Jones flew over and Schwarzer spilled the second, an awkward bouncing free-kick from Darren Bent who chose a bad time to have an off day, just 24 hours after losing his England place.

There was little improvement from Bent or his team-mates after the break, although there were half-chances from the Sunderland top scorer, Cattermole's replacement Bolo Zenden, fellow sub Benjani and Alan Hutton, who somehow hit the side-netting with the goal open.

In the final minute, with just Schwarzer to bear, Fraizer Campbell blasted over the bar.

Bruce said: 'I still think we will be OK. We need a little break, we need to handle the expectation. We didn't handle the ball well and resorted to lumping it up the pitch.'

MATCH STATS
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Gordon 6; Hutton 6, Turner 7, Mensah 7, Ferdinand 7; Campbell 5, Cattermole 5 (Zenden 55, 6), Cana 6, Richardson 6; Jones 5 (Benjani 80), Bent 6.

Booked: Hutton, Richardson, Turner.

FULHAM (4-5-1): Schwarzer 5; Baird 6, Hangeland 7, Hughes 7, Shorey 6; Duff 6, Murphy 6 (Greening 58, 5), Etuhu 6, Davies 6; Zamora 6 (Elm 87).
Booked: Baird, Greening, Zamora.

Man of the match: John Mensah.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Roy Hodgson's side, who have already played 44 games to Sunderland's 32, hardly looked like a team who had stepped off a flight from Ukraine in the early hours of Friday morning having pulled off one of the best results in their history.

But Bobby Zamora squandered the game's best chance with a miscued header when Craig Gordon was stranded and Damien Duff finished the game's best move of 18 passes with a shot wide.

Hodgson said: 'The good thing is that nobody can take our unbeaten February away from us and that point takes us to 38 with 10 games to go which means we don't have the Sword of Damocles hanging over us.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1254465/Sunderland-0-Fulham-0-Deluded-boss-Steve-Bruce-defends-shocking-side.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0gs24CBHc


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2010, 06:12:08 AM »
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/161018/Sunderland-s-poor-form-continues-against-Fulham/

SUNDERLAND'S POOR FORM CONTINUES AGAINST FULHAM 

Monday March 1,2010

By Niall Hickman

If Gordon Brown’s temper is known to be volatile, then Steve Bruce’s will be volcanic after Sunderland yesterday laboured to a crashingly dull, goalless draw against Fulham.

Boos rang around the Stadium of Light at Sunderland as referee Martin Atkinson put 40,000-plus fans out of their misery with both goalkeepers’ knees unmuddied after 90 minutes of unadulterated mediocrity.

Fulham arguably created the best chance of the game, with striker Bobby Zamora missing a clear, first-half opportunity.

But all the talk on Wearside will surround the way Sunderland’s season has collapsed on the back of 14 games without a win.

Runs like that tend to get managers the sack and Bruce will be hoping owner Ellis Short’s patience is a lot longer than his surname. A few weeks ago Bruce insisted he had the hide of a rhino when it came to dealing with criticism and he might need it if Texan billionaire Short watched this one, as it was plain dismal from start to finish.

Well before the end the Sunderland supporters started to voice their anger and even though the draw meant Bruce’s side remain three points above the drop zone, the fact remains they are in a relegation battle – a staggering decline following an enterprising first three months under their new boss.

Bruce said: “I am the manager and the buck stops with me. If anything is levelled at the players it is my job to protect them.

“It has not been easy lately but I will not shy away from it, although I admit it has been difficult.

“I have been decent at this job in the past and I will just stick at it but the frustration is we have not been able to turn draws into wins. We have to batten down the hatches and keep working at it. I have seen the players do it at the start of the season so I know they can.” 

Zoltan Gera shot wide before Zamora mis-directed his free header from Simon Davies’s astute pass, while Sunderland finally managed a shot on target five minutes before the break, a fairly tame free-kick from Darren Bent, which Mark Schwarzer saved with some ease.

It could only get better after half-time, except it did not. If anything it got worse as Sunderland could find no way past Fulham’s resolute back line, shepherded by the outstanding Brede Hangeland. Alan Hutton and Bolo Zenden found the side-netting and the Dutchman’s late cross flew across the face of Fulham’s goal but, in general, the visitors were never remotely stretched.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson said: “It is always a good point when we have come from so far away in midweek and just had our eighth game in a month.

“I want February to last for ever. It has put us in a good position with 38 points in the league with 10 games left and we are in the FA Cup quarter-final as well as a European tie with Juventus.”

Sunderland (4-4-2): Gordon 6; Hutton 6, Ferdinand 6, Mensah 7 (McCartney 84, 6), Turner 6; Richardson 6, Cattermole 6 (Zenden 55, 6), Cana 5, Campbell 5; Jones 5 (Benjani 80, 6), Bent 5. Booked: Hutton, Richardson.

Fulham (4-5-1): Schwarzer 6; Baird 6, Shorey 6, Hangeland 8, Hughes 7; Davies 7, Etuhu 6, Duff 6, Gera 6, Murphy 6 (Greening 58, 6); Zamora 6 (Elm 84, 6). Booked: Baird, Zamora.

Referee: M Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2010, 06:15:26 AM »
http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1175270.html?cid=rssfeed&att=


Bruce: The buck stops with me


(PA)

Sunday 28 February 2010
 

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was in defiant mood after seeing his side's winless Barclays Premier League run extended to 14 games. This afternoon's 0-0 draw with Fulham at the Stadium of Light left Sunderland perched just three points above the drop zone and looking anxiously over their shoulders.

Bruce's men have not won a league game since 21 November and have slipped from the exalted position of European hopefuls to relegation candidates during the ensuing months. However, the 49-year-old remains convinced they can get themselves out of trouble.

Bruce said: "Listen, I am the manager, the buck stops with me. I have brought five or six of them to the club and anything that's levelled at any of them, it is my job to try to protect them if I can, which I will do.

"Of course it's my responsibility and it hasn't been easy, that's for sure. But the one thing I am not going to do is shy away from it. I always knew it was going to be difficult. The great start we got off to maybe led us up a path we weren't ready for.

"However, I didn't want this to happen, that's for sure, and the only thing that's left for me to do is make sure I stick with it," he said. "I think I have been decent at the job in the past and I am convinced I am still right to do it."

In a game of few clear-cut opportunities, it was Sunderland who enjoyed the better of them, but while Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was busier than opposite number Craig Gordon, he was never over-extended. He made two significant saves, the first from Darren Bent's 40th-minute free-kick and the second from full-back Alan Hutton's second-half drive, but neither troubled him unduly.

Substitute Bolo Zenden and Hutton both fired into the side-netting after the break, but Fraizer Campbell squandered perhaps their best chance when he fired over three minutes from time.

Hodgson happy

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was delighted with the point three days after a gruelling trip to Ukraine in which his side claimed a mouthwatering Europa League last-16 match with Juventus after next weekend's FA Cup quarter-final showdown with Tottenham Hotspur. The Londoners played eight games in all competitions in February, winning five and drawing the other three.

Hodgson said: "It's always a good point, isn't it? I suppose the importance and the quality of the points is exaggerated not only by the exertions in midweek, but the fact it's an eighth game in a short month, using basically the same players in every game.

"I did fear for this game because Sunderland are very strong at home - this is where they take their points - and because we got back so late in the early hours of Friday morning. I was concerned if ever a game was going to take its toll, this would be the one.

"But, once again, the players really surprised me. They stood up enormously well to the balls that were played forward to the two big centre-forwards and we defended well in front of them," said Hodgson.

"The only minor criticism that I will accept of the team is we didn't do enough sometimes with the amount of possession we had because there were some nice passing movements, but we didn't find that final pass through to the centre-forwards. But I am delighted with the point. I am delighted with the week's work and I wish February would last forever. But sadly, it's March 1 tomorrow."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2010, 06:17:03 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5742


Juventus beaten at home


by Dan on February 28, 2010

Our next Europa League opponents, Juventus, were beaten 2-0 tonight at home by Palermo, one of the intriguing sides in Serie A of late. The result ruined Alberto Zaccheroni’s decent start in charge of Juve, who had put together a better run of form under their new coach.

There will have been plenty to encourage both Roy Hodgson and any Fulham fans who tuned into ESPN to conduct some early scouting. Juventus dominated the first period but couldn’t find a breakthrough and it was hardly surprising when their former midfielder put Palermo ahead on the hour with a quite brilliant strike from the edge of the area.

Fulham’s forward will have drawn plenty of encouragement from the comical defending that gifted the visitors a decisive second. A hopeless backpass from Zdenek Grygera allowed substitute Igor Budan to score with his first touch, rounding the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger easily, and rolling home a simple second. Juve fans responded by lighting several flares in disgust.


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2010, 06:20:30 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5738

Stalemate at Sunderland

by Dan on February 28, 2010

Fulham picked up a useful point at struggling Sunderland this afternoon to help solidify their spot in the top half of the Premier League.

Steve Bruce had targeted this game as an ideal chance for his side, without a win in some fourteen league games, to get their season back on an upward trajectory but they struggled to break down a Fulham defence that was just as resolute as in Thursday’s battling draw against Shakhtar Donetsk that took the Whites into the last sixteen of the Europa League.

For all of Sunderland’s probing, and there was plenty especially in a more open second half, they struggled to create too many clear-cut chances. Fulham managed to keep Kenwyne Jones, the tall striker who has a habit of scoring against the Cottagers, fairly quiet and Darren Bent looked a shadow of the livewire who shot himself into England contention with such a blistering start to the season. Aaron Hughes was forced into a timely interception as Jones burst onto a through ball from Frazier Campbell, but Fulham had already enjoyed the first sight of goal, with Zoltan Gera curling a speculative shot just wide.

The Hungarian was busy in his now customary role behind Bobby Zamora, who was fit to start today’s game despite hurting his Achilles in Donetsk, but he’ll be a bit sore in the money. He twice took hefty whacks to his head in aerial challenges and was caught on the ankle by a late challenge from Kieron Richardson in the second half. Simon Davies was becoming more influential as well for Fulham and his wonderfully flighted pass found Zamora in plenty of space behind the Sunderland defence but the striker, overlooked by Fabio Capello for the Egypt friendly last night, was disappointed to have headed harmlessly wide.

Sunderland perked up a little before the break but their pressure resulted in shots from distance that were simple for Mark Schwarzer to deal with in the main. Jones tried his luck from distance after the ball fell nicely for him in a central position just outside the area but his shot was always heading over the bar. A generous free-kick decision saw Bent test the Australian keeper with a low shot that bounced back off Schwarzer’s body and away to safety before a Danny Murphy mistake allowed Jones a sight of goal but the Trinidadian’s tame effort trickled through to the goalkeeper.

The second period saw markedly more adventure from both sides. Fulham started brightly and it needed a well-timed challenge from John Mensah to halt a dangerous run down the right by Damien Duff. A promising burst from Bobby Zamora led to a Simon Davies shot being blocked, but Sunderland carried plenty of purpose about them as well. Bolo Zenden’s introduction seemed to give them an immediate lift as the Dutch midfielder teed up Alan Hutton for a shot that Schwarzer juggled alarmingly with three red and white shirts waiting to pounce in the six-yard box.

Bent, becoming a little more of a focal point for the home side, sent a shot wide as Sunderland built up a head of steam but Fulham were still threatening on the break. Some lovely patient passing fashioned a chance for Duff and the former Newcastle man was unfortunate to see his effort deflected wide.

A late flurry from Bruce’s men threatened to steal the points but they couldn’t find the finishing touch. Zenden almost embarassed Schwarzer at his near post but sent his shot into the side netting from an acute angle and then the former Middlesbrough midfielder drilled in an inviting cross that reached the sliding Hutton at the far post. Fortunately for Fulham, the right back could only hit the side netting. Campbell should really have done better than spooning a shot high and wide from eight yards after he had taken a touch to set himself and a low cross-cum-shot from substitute Benjani narrowly eluded Bent as the Black Cats failed to find a winner.

SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Gordon; Hutton, Ferdinand, Turner, Mensah (McCartney 82); Campbell, Richardson, Cattermole (Zenden 53), Cana; Jones (Benjani 80), Bent. Subs (not used): Carson, Bardsley, Kilgallon, Da Silva.

BOOKED: Hutton, Turner, Richardson.

FULHAM (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Shorey, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Murphy (Greening 57), Duff, Davies; Gera; Zamora (Elm 82). Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Smalling, Riise, Okaka.

BOOKED: Baird, Zamora.

REFEREE: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire).

ATTENDANCE: 40,192

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2010, 06:24:12 AM »
http://www.footballfancast.com/football-blogs/football-follow-fulham-formula


Football should follow the Fulham formula




Date: 28th February 2010 at 8:39 pm

Author: Kieran Lovelock


Despite a fortnight of Champions League drama, the most intriguing spectacle over the past few weeks has come from Craven Cottage.

Whilst the world was watching the glamorous prospect of Wayne Rooney tearing apart an aging AC Milan backline, the more studious characters of Roy Hodgson and Bobby Zamora displayed once more the art of how to keep a club overachieving. One of the everlasting beauties of football is that at times it isn’t a game of numbers, unlike the financial world where in every set of circumstances the more muscle you have more successful you will be, football has a human element to it which allows small and relatively unsuccessful clubs like Fulham to overcome the likes of Newcastle who’s stadium is more akin to something out of Star Trek.

How do Fulham do it? How does a club that was close to falling out of the football league altogether just 15 years ago all of a sudden beat Shaktar Donesk, to possibly land the most glamorous of ties against Juventus? Like all successful ventures there is a simple formula behind it, the chairman appoints a manager who signs good honest players that aren’t superstars and then complements them with artists who can create something out of nothing, whilst essentially sticking to the game plan of playing simple football and always putting the safety of your own goal first.

Mark Schwarzer, Andy Johnson, Bobby Zamora, Brede Hangeland, and Dickson Etuhu were all signed by Hodgson and have been essential to the continuation of the Craven Cottage revolution leading them to the dizzy heights of the Europa League, something which would have been beyond the wildest dreams of even the most romantic Fulham fan just two years ago. None of these players had ever set the world alight before arriving at Craven Cottage, they have been reliable performers their whole careers but that’s about it. However the genius of Roy Hodgson is that he knows what he wants and develops a game plan and a formation in which players of modest talents, such as Bobby Zamora, can blossom. Due to Hodgson’s clarity of vision, it is no coincidence that he has made very few bad signings he took over on December 28th 2007.

Compare this on the other hand to the way Charlton were relegated when Alan Curbishley left. Curbishley is a manager cut from the same cloth as Hodgson; a composed and intelligent man who never seemed to make many bad signings. After 15 years of constant achievement against the odds, Curbishley felt he had taken the club as far as it could go and decided that it needed a new lease of life. Enter Iain Dowie, a manager whose record for talking a good game is significantly better than his record of securing points on the board, bar one Andy Johnson inspired miracle with Crystal Palace. Dowie was the new style. A young, apparently sophisticated manager who was fully up to date with the latest training methods, instead of shooting practice Dowie took his team swimming. Boxing was preferred to ball control drills and Dowie looked the real deal with his fancy headset and his fancy ideas. This was the route to go if Charlton were to continue to achieve success with the departure of the man who masterminded their rise from first division strugglers, to contending for European football every season.

However it didn’t quite happen that way. Instead of signing established Premiership or Championship players who fitted with Charlton’s ethos, something Curbishley had down to an art, Dowie signed Souleymane Diawara, “the best defender you’ve never heard of,” from Sochaux. Players like Simon Walton from Swindon followed, “a talented boy who might surprise a few people,” and Dowie was out of a job by November with Charlton lying rock bottom. Now Charlton find themselves in England’s third tier and struggling to get out, I wonder if they would rip up the Curbishley manual today?

Similar things are happening in the Premiership today. Compare the meticulous and calculated methods of Birmingham manager Alex Mcleish with the somewhat bullish Phil Brown. Mcleish’s side have enjoyed an incredible season basing their success on consistent team selection and a system to get the most out their players. Calculated signings such as Lee Bowyer, Barry Ferguson and Steven Carr, who have been solid yet unspectacular professionals their whole careers, have been the basis to their challenge for European football this season.

Hull on the other hand have chosen to place their bet on the ultimate three legged rocking horse. Spending a club record 5 million on the talented yet hugely injury prone Jimmy Bullard, whilst putting him on 50,000 a week, is nothing short of suicidal. It is errors of judgment like this, as well as choosing to conduct a half time dressing down in front of millions, that separates highly successful managers such as Roy Hodgson from young upstarts like Phil Brown.

If moderately sized clubs such as Hull, West Brom, Burnley, Wolves and Nottingham Forest want to become established Premier League clubs, there is a formula that has been proved to work more often than not. You appoint a smart manager who can get the most out of his players, but more importantly is shown to be calm and calculated when it comes to managing the transfer market and who isn’t prepared to risk it all on the best player you have never heard of. When you reach the Premiership most players are already at the top of their games. Therefore it doesn’t matter who the best coach or the best motivator is; it is simply about what manager is the best at judging whether or not a player will be a good fit for the club and the for the team.

It sounds simple and it is, if a small club like Fulham can achieve European football then it can’t be that complicated. But as the midfield general of the great Leeds side of the 1970’s, Johnny Giles, once so eloquently put it to his teammates: “Football is a simple game; it’s just hard work to make it that way.”

Written By Kieran Lovelock

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2010, 06:25:59 AM »
http://fulhampatsfan.blogspot.com/2010/02/fulham-0-0-at-sunderland.html


Fulham 0 - 0 at Sunderland

Going into this match Fulham had only 1 win on the road this season. That was in the first game of the season against Portsmouth. They left the Stadium of Light with only one point today. Fulham and Sunderland played to a scoreless draw.

There was good news for Fulham fans as the game began. Bobby Zamora was in the starting lineup. He picked up an Achilles injury during the last Europa League match. The half was more controlled by Sunderland. However, both sides had a few decent chances to score.

Sunderland started the first 5 minutes of the match with good pressure in the Fulham half. It was though Fulham who had the first good chance. In the 6th minute Gera takes a good shot that goes wide of the net. In the 26th minute Simon Davies passes a nice ball to Bobby Zamora who heads it wide.

The Sunderland chances started with a Jones strike that went high over the net. In the 39th minute a free kick for Sunderland was taken by Darren Bent. His shot though was saved by Schwarzer. Kenwyne Jones actually had 2 more decent chances as Sunderland continued the pressure late into the half. The last chance for Fulham in the 44th minute was a free kick by Nicky Shorey. It was easily handled.

The half was physical with Zoltan Gera getting knocked around twice. Fulham and Sunderland ended the half 0 -0. To win the game we would have to see more out of Roy Hogdson's team in the second half.

The second half started with more pressure from Fulham. Early on a Simon Davies corner kick goes harmlessly in the box as there is a foul by Hangeland. Sunderland had the next 2 chances. In the 56th minute a nice shot by Alan Hutton is saved by Schwarzer. This was followed up in the 58th minute by a shot by Darren Bent which went wide of the net.

Shortly before that last shot Fulham's first change came when Danny Murphy was replaced by Jonathan Greening. In the 69th minute a beautiful left footed shot by Damien Duff just went wide. This was probably Fulham's best chance of the match. In the 73rd minute Simon Davies made a nice run but his shot was easily saved by Craig Gordon.

The end of the game saw a few more chances for Sunderland. In the 74th minute off of a long ball, a shot by Zenden hits side of the net. In the 80th minute a cross by Zenden goes right to Alan Hutton but again hits the side of the net. One of the best chances for Sunderland came in the 86th minute. Frazier Campbell's right footed shot in the center of the box goes high over the net. The final chance for Sunderland came in the 88th minute with a nice pass from Benjani that just missed Darren Bent.

The only other change for Fulham came late in the game with David Elm coming in for Bobby Zamora. Unfortunately for Fulham, Elm was not effective in Zamora's place. Bobby played decent but did not get any real good chances today.

Both teams deserved a well earned point. I thought it was a pretty even game with a slight edge to Sunderland. The game ended as it started 0 -0 from the Stadium of Light. Now it is time to move on to the F A Cup next week against Tottenham at Craven Cottage.
Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 9:43 AM


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2010, 06:28:14 AM »
http://goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/02/28/1811606/sunderland-0-0-fulham-no-goals-in-scrappy-affair-at-the

Sunderland 0-0 Fulham: No Goals In Scrappy Affair At The Stadium Of Light
Black Cats fail to move clear of relegation battle...



By Niall McGlone


Feb 28, 2010 4:45:00 PM

Sunderland failed to move away from the Premier League relegation zone as Steve Bruce’s men saw out a goalless draw with Fulham at the Stadium of Light.

Chances were at a premium throughout the games a neither side looked confident enough to push forward.

Fulham traveled to the Stadium of Light looking for their first away win in twelve Premier Leagues matches, whilst the host were looking for the first league win in thirteen games.

The Black Cats recent run of poor form had left them just two points clear of the relegation zone heading into today’s game.

The Cottagers went into the game fresh of the back of an impressive win in the Europa League against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek.

The home side started the better of the two teams but the Mackems failed to turn their early possession into clear-cut chances.

Few chances fell for either side in what was a scrappy opening quarter of the match. The first real opportunity came to the away side; Simon Davies clipped the ball into Bobby Zamora inside the Sunderland box but the in-form striker couldn’t head the ball on target.   

Kenwyne Jones had Sunderland first real chance to speak of for the home team. Graig Gordon sent the ball long and Jones flicked the ball onto strike partner Darren Bent, the former Spurs player returned the ball back to Jones but the Trinidadian could only volley over on the stretch.

Bent then forced a save out of Mark Schwarzer after the striker appeared to miss hit a free-kick and the ball rolled underneath the Fulham wall but the Australian goalkeeper reacted quickly and saved the effort.

Fulham had another chance through Zamora just before the half time break but the 29-year-olds header was saved comfortably by Gordon after a mad scramble in the box.

The teams went into the break level after an opening half that saw few chances as both sides looked reluctant to push forward in search of an opener.

The first ten minutes of the half started slow yet again, Alan Hutton struck a shot  after cutting inside Nicky Shorey, but the on loan Tottenham midfielders strike was straight at Schwarzer.

Sunderland were looking the most likely to score as the home fans urged on Steve Bruce’s men.

However, Fulham may have had a penalty when a Jonathan Greening appeared to strike the hand of Michael Turner inside the box but any appeals were waved away by the referee.

The Mackems had chance from another long punt forward, Jones again flicked the ball, this time to Boudewijn Zenden, but the midfielders effort went wide of the mark.

Zenden was involved yet again when the former Liverpool and Chelsea player centred a ball for Hutton, but the Scottish international couldn’t reach far enough.

Sunderland pressed for a winner in the closing minutes but couldn’t carve out a chance as the game ended goalless.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (01.03.10)
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2010, 06:30:31 AM »