skip to content
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
Andrew Johnson fouled by Dong-Won Ji, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
Clint Dempsey goes off and Matthew Briggs comes on.
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Blocked by Danny Murphy.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Moussa Dembele on Phillip Bardsley. Ryan Noble joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ahmed Elmohamady. Free kick taken by Wes Brown.
Bryan Ruiz replaces Damien Duff.
Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Clint Dempsey goes wide of the left-hand post.
Inswinging corner taken by Phillip Bardsley, save by Mark Schwarzer.
Nicklas Bendtner takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
Corner taken by Danny Murphy from the left by-line, Keiren Westwood makes a save.
The ball is sent over by Andrew Johnson, Wes Brown gets a block in.
Corner taken by Damien Duff, Philippe Senderos produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Blocked by Lee Cattermole.
John O'Shea is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
Effort on goal by Stephane Sessegnon from just inside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the target.
Stephane Sessegnon produces a cross, Dickson Etuhu makes a clearance.
The official flags Dong-Won Ji offside. Indirect free kick taken by Philippe Senderos.
Danny Murphy concedes a free kick for a foul on Kieran Richardson. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.
Clint Dempsey takes a shot. Blocked by John O'Shea.
The ball is delivered by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Moussa Dembele gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ahmed Elmohamady. Dong-Won Ji comes on in place of Jack Colback. Keiren Westwood takes the free kick.
The ball is sent over by Aaron Hughes, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
The ball is crossed by Ahmed Elmohamady, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
Centre by Ahmed Elmohamady, Danny Murphy makes a clearance.
Shot from deep inside the area by Clint Dempsey goes over the bar.
Damien Duff takes the inswinging corner, save made by Keiren Westwood.
The referee blows for offside against Andrew Johnson. Free kick taken by Keiren Westwood.
Andrew Johnson on for Bobby Zamora.
Damien Duff takes a shot. Blocked by Jack Colback.
Chris Baird sends in a cross.
Danny Murphy takes a shot. Save by Keiren Westwood.
Damien Duff produces a cross, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
Phillip Bardsley takes the outswinging corner, Stephane Sessegnon produces a left-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Wes Brown takes a shot. Chris Baird manages to make a clearance.
Outswinging corner taken by Phillip Bardsley.
Unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon by Brede Hangeland results in a free kick. John O'Shea takes the free kick.
Inswinging corner taken by Phillip Bardsley.
Wes Brown takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Phillip Bardsley from the right by-line,
The referee blows for offside against Kieran Richardson. Philippe Senderos takes the free kick.
Corner taken by Danny Murphy from the left by-line played to the near post.
Corner taken right-footed by Danny Murphy from the left by-line, Wes Brown makes a clearance.
Wes Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on Bobby Zamora. Bobby Zamora restarts play with the free kick. Chris Baird takes a shot. Save by Keiren Westwood.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephane Sessegnon on Moussa Dembele. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
Bobby Zamora takes a shot. Phillip Bardsley gets a block in.
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Aaron Hughes gets a block in.
The ball is sent over by Ahmed Elmohamady, clearance made by Aaron Hughes.
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Duff from the right by-line, clearance made by Nicklas Bendtner.
John O'Shea crosses the ball, clearance by Aaron Hughes.
The ball is crossed by Phillip Bardsley.
The ball is delivered by Ahmed Elmohamady, Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.
The referee blows for offside against Michael Turner. Indirect free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
Dickson Etuhu gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nicklas Bendtner. Stephane Sessegnon restarts play with the free kick. Phillip Bardsley takes a shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland.
Ahmed Elmohamady sends in a cross.
Foul by Dickson Etuhu on Lee Cattermole, free kick awarded. Dickson Etuhu shown a yellow card. Direct free kick taken by Michael Turner.
Danny Murphy challenges Jack Colback unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Phillip Bardsley.
Shot from just outside the box by Moussa Dembele goes over the bar.
The ball is swung over by Damien Duff, Keiren Westwood makes a save.
Bobby Zamora is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Keiren Westwood restarts play with the free kick.
Foul by John O'Shea on Clint Dempsey, free kick awarded. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
Bobby Zamora sends in a cross.
Bobby Zamora is caught offside. Keiren Westwood restarts play with the free kick.
Foul by Lee Cattermole on Moussa Dembele, free kick awarded. Lee Cattermole is shown a yellow card. Chris Baird takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Cattermole by Dickson Etuhu. Free kick taken by Keiren Westwood.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Wes Brown on Bobby Zamora. Aaron Hughes takes the free kick.
Ahmed Elmohamady crosses the ball.
The ball is crossed by Ahmed Elmohamady, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
Ahmed Elmohamady crosses the ball, Dickson Etuhu makes a clearance.
Chris Baird concedes a free kick for a foul on Ahmed Elmohamady. John O'Shea takes the free kick.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Nicklas Bendtner. Indirect free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
Wes Brown fouled by Bobby Zamora, the ref awards a free kick. Keiren Westwood takes the direct free kick.
Stephane Sessegnon takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
The ball is sent over by Ahmed Elmohamady, clearance by Dickson Etuhu.
Damien Duff produces a cross.
Jack Colback takes a shot.
Ahmed Elmohamady produces a cross, Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.
Kieran Richardson delivers the ball, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
The ball is crossed by Ahmed Elmohamady, Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.
Danny Murphy takes a shot. Jack Colback gets a block in.
The ball is delivered by Ahmed Elmohamady, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
Jack Colback delivers the ball, save by Mark Schwarzer.
Kieran Richardson takes a shot.
Nicklas Bendtner crosses the ball, clearance made by Philippe Senderos.
Corner taken by Phillip Bardsley from the right by-line, Philippe Senderos manages to make a clearance.
The ball is swung over by Lee Cattermole, blocked by Brede Hangeland.
Dickson Etuhu challenges Stephane Sessegnon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Phillip Bardsley, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.
Moussa Dembele takes a shot. Keiren Westwood makes a save.
Clint Dempsey challenges John O'Shea unfairly and gives away a free kick. John O'Shea takes the free kick.
Right-footed shot by Phillip Bardsley missed to the left of the net.
Unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele by Lee Cattermole results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
Foul by Wes Brown on Bobby Zamora, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
Bruce still honing new-look strike-force
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was left to reflect upon how quickly things can change in football as he watched England beat world champions Spain.
Fabio Capello's men won 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday with Darren Bent spearheading his attack and Danny Welbeck taking over when he was replaced midway through the second half.
Twelve months ago, the pair were part of a quartet of strikers at the Stadium of Light - Asamoah Gyan and Fraizer Campbell were the others - which Bruce rated as perhaps the best the Black Cats had ever had.
However, Bruce will head into their Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham with none of the four available to him after Bent's departure for Aston Villa in January, Welbeck's return to parent club Manchester United, Gyan's loan move to the United Arab Emirates and Campbell's latest bout of injury misery.
The manager said: "As I sat and watched England at the weekend, our two centre-forwards this time last year were Welbeck and Bent.
"To lose that talent and replace them is going to take some time and some doing, but gradually we are getting there.
"That's football, isn't it? That's sometimes what happens."
Welbeck in particular has built upon his season in the north-east to establish himself as a genuine first-team player at United having done so well at Sunderland that Bruce knew his hopes of securing a second temporary move were forlorn.
Having already lost Bent, he invested heavily in Ipswich teenager Connor Wickham and brought South Korea international Ji Dong-won to England before securing Arsenal frontman Nicklas Bendtner on loan as Gyan's itchy feet carried him to the Middle East.
However, a knee ligament problem which will sideline Wickham for weeks rather than months, and the after-effects Ji's international jet-setting, have depleted Bruce's resources once again.
He said: "With Welbeck, we knew how well he was doing and there was no chance of us retaining him. We knew that, if we are being honest.
"Yes, they are going to take some replacing, but Connor was starting to grow into it, and certainly Nicklas has benefited from coming to Sunderland.
"I think he has got five in five for his international team since he has come to Sunderland.
"I spoke to [Denmark boss] Morten Olsen [on Thursday] and he was delighted with his performances, and I have to say, so am I for us. He's done terrifically well, so let's hope he keeps doing that."
Nineteen-year-old Ryan Noble thrust himself forward with a hat-trick in the reserves' 3-0 derby win over Newcastle on Wednesday night, and Bruce admitted he could be involved.
He said: "The kid, physically, has still got a long way to go. He took his top off the other day and he was still like a little boy, bless him.
"But we have got a few injuries and he might be involved."
Bruce will be without the suspended Sebastian Larsson while Titus Bramble, who has returned to the fold after accepting a charge of bringing the club into disrepute, missed out on a reserve team outing in midweek because of a knee problem.
Fulham head to Sunderland with both teams hovering just a single point above the drop zone in the Premier League.
Their involvement in the Europa League means the Cottagers will be playing their 25th game of the season.
Sunderland, by contrast, have played just 12 but manager Martin Jol is confident his side can get a positive result at the Stadium of Light.
"Sunderland are in a similar position to us," he said. "So it's an important game for us and a very important game for them.
"They are pretty strong at home but over the last couple of games we have done well away from home so we will do everything to get the points on the board."
Jol will be without defender Stephen Kelly, who suffered a groin injury on Republic of Ireland duty, while midfielder Steven Sidwell is unlikely to play as he recovers from a minor hernia operation.
Schwarzer ensures stalemate
Keeper Mark Schwarzer was Fulham's hero as he denied Sunderland victory with a remarkable injury-time save as it ended in stalemate.
The Australia international, who had earlier seen both Kieran Richardson and Jack Colback rattle his woodwork in a bright start by the Black Cats, managed to block Stephane Sessegnon's injury-time shot with his leg despite being sent the wrong way by a wicked deflection.
However, while Steve Bruce's Sunderland created more than enough chances to win the game, they were also indebted to their keeper, Keiren Westwood, for two smart saves which kept out Moussa Dembele and Chris Baird.
Sunderland have now won only two of their 12 Barclays Premier League games to date this season and collected just 11 points from a possible 36, and a crowd of 37,688 trudged away knowing things will have to change quickly if they are to achieve their aim of a comfortable top-10 finish.
For Fulham, a point represented a decent return after three defeats in their last four league games in what was their 25th fixture of the season.
Sunderland might have gone in at the break two goals to the good, but equally could have headed for the dressing room trailing by the same margin after a half in which both sides created chances.
The Black Cats, however, will feel fortune was not on their side as they largely dominated, but were twice denied by the woodwork inside the opening 16 minutes.
Midfielder Richardson was the unlucky man with nine minutes gone when he met Sessegnon's left-wing cross with a header which wrong-footed Schwarzer, but clipped the top of the crossbar.
Seven minutes later, it was Colback who was left cursing the frame of the goal when he blocked Damien Duff's attempted clearance before spinning and drilling a left-foot shot against it.
Fulham striker Dembele had earlier forced a fine reaction save from Westwood after skipping past Lee Cattermole and Michael Turner on the edge of the penalty area.
But with Nicklas Bendtner and Sessegnon causing all sorts of problems for the visitors' defence, the traffic was heading mainly in the other direction.
Sessegnon directed a weak 23rd-minute header straight at Schwarzer and Phil Bardsley had a drilled long-range effort blocked by Brede Hangeland.
However, the visitors staged an injury-time flurry and might have taken the lead twice in quick succession.
First Bardsley helped Bobby Zamora's header out for a corner and then, when Sunderland old boy Dickson Etuhu met Duff's set-piece, Cattermole cleared off the line to ensure the sides remained locked together.
Sunderland returned in determined mood and Aaron Hughes had to cut out an Ahmed Elmohamady cross with Richardson looming before Danny Murphy hacked Sessegnon's deflected shot to safety within seconds of the restart.
It took a good save by Westwood to deny Chris Baird after he had drilled in a low drive from Zamora's clever 51st-minute free-kick.
Elmohamady's pace was proving too much for Baird at times, but too often the Egypt international failed to produce a telling final ball.
Bardsley, however, was providing much better service from a series of corners with Baird having to clear Wes Brown's goal-bound header and Sessegnon slicing wide after Schwarzer had come for, but missed, a right-wing cross.
Murphy might have put the visitors ahead when the ball broke to him on the edge of the Sunderland penalty area with 65 minutes gone, but he fired straight at Westwood.
Jol replaced Zamora with Andrew Johnson and Bruce sent on striker Ji Dong-won for Colback as they both looked for victory with the clock running down.
Neither Bendtner nor Elmohamady could get a touch on Sessegnon's 76th-minute cross as it flew across the penalty area, but both Johnson and Clint Dempsey shot just wide of Westwood's far post in a tense conclusion.
However, it took a stunning reaction save from Schwarzer to keep out Sessegnon's goal-bound effort after it had clipped Philippe Senderos with just seconds remaining.
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk