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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Saturday, 11 December 2010

Fulham   0 - 0   Sunderland

Kamara and Mensah
Fulham and Sunderland are two of the Premier League's draw specialists

By Kevin Darling

Fulham had to settle for a league draw for the 10th time this season as they failed to break down Sunderland.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Andrew Johnson came the closest to scoring when his close-range strike was well saved by Simon Mignolet.

Dickson Etuhu's header was cleared off the line and Clint Dempsey had a shot blocked as the Cottagers pushed for a much-needed win in the second half.

Sunderland's Kieran Richardson wasted a chance to grab an unlikely late winner.

Fulham's display improved in the second half of a dour contest but the result will increase the pressure on manager Mark Hughes, who has picked up only two league wins all season.

606: DEBATE
MackemsRule

And although Fulham have only lost five times in their 17 league matches, the result leaves them above the relegation zone on goal difference alone.

Sunderland's previous trip to west London brought a famous 3-0 win at Chelsea but they failed to hit such heights at Craven Cottage and were happy to hold on for a point at the end.

The previous four league matches between these teams had delivered a mere two goals, and neither side looked like adding to that total in an uneventful first half.

Hughes frustrated with home draw

Fulham passed the ball crisply but had little cutting edge, as the Sunderland defence coped well with the early loss of Anton Ferdinand to a hamstring injury.

Darren Bent had the visitors' best chances, twice glancing headers wide from good positions. For Fulham, a spectacular 30-yard volley from Dempsey, held by Mignolet, was as good as it got.

Fulham showed more urgency after the break and Etuhu's header was cleared off the line by Phil Bardsley after Mignolet came off his line.

The Cottagers had an even better chance when a corner fell at the feet of Johnson, who spun and fired goalwards from close range, only to see Mignolet make an excellent stop.

Sunderland then broke with numbers but Bent wasted the chance to tee up Asamoah Gyan for an easy one-on-one.

Bruce delighted with clean sheet

Fulham pressed with Dempsey at the heart of their best play, and the American was unlucky to see his goal-bound effort bravely blocked by Ahmed Elmohamady.

Sunderland also had late chances to win it, with Boudewijn Zenden smacking a vicious long-range drive just past the post.

Moments later, the Dutchman was knocked out cold when John Pantsil's clearance hit him in the face from close range, but he was soon back on his feet.

The game's quality was summed up in added time when the ball fell perfectly to Richardson on the edge of the area, only for the midfielder to send a feeble effort wide of Mark Schwarzer's post.


Fulham manager Mark Hughes: "We're lacking a bit of luck. We had a number of chances, in the second half especially. Sunderland defended really well today, got their bodies on the line for goal-bound shots and cleared things off the line.

"We're scrambling to get that win that will settle everyone down. There was initially some anxiety in our play. In the second half I thought we took the game to them and deserved to win."

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce: "It was agony. From start to finish and for both sides it was one of those games when we might have gone Christmas shopping.

"I couldn't fault the effort or endeavour and this was probably the youngest side we've ever put out in the Premier League but we pride ourselves on keeping the ball better.

"However, you're always pleased with a point away from home in this league. We're sixth in the Premier League. I can't be displeased about that."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Fulham 0-0 Sunderland FT
(HT 0-0)

      Fulham

      Substitutes

      Sunderland

      Substitutes

      Ref: SwarbrickAtt: 24,462
      FULHAM
      SUNDERLAND

      Possession

      • Fulham 50%
      • Sunderland 50%

      Attempts on target

      • Fulham 13
      • Sunderland 2

      Attempts off target

      • Fulham 1
      • Sunderland 9

      Corners

      • Fulham 4
      • Sunderland 3

      Fouls

      • Fulham 14
      • Sunderland 10
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+5:08 The referee blows for the end of the match.
      • 90:00+3:20 Zoltan Gera delivers the ball, clearance by Nedum Onuoha.
      • 90:00+2:53 Kieran Richardson has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
      • 90:00+1:40 Zoltan Gera has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Blocked by John Mensah.
      • 90:00+1:08 Unfair challenge on Zoltan Gera by Boudewijn Zenden results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
      • 90:00+0:14 Phillip Bardsley delivers the ball, Asamoah Gyan takes a shot.
      • 88:42 Corner taken by Jordan Henderson from the right by-line to the near post, Eddie Johnson manages to make a clearance.
      • 87:45 Andrew Johnson concedes a free kick for a foul on Ahmed Elmohamady. Simon Mignolet takes the free kick.
      • 87:21 Darren Bent is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.
      • 82:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by Clinton Dempsey on Boudewijn Zenden. Ahmed Elmohamady takes the direct free kick.
      • 82:11 Long range effort by Boudewijn Zenden goes wide right of the net.
      • 79:27 Kieran Richardson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Zoltan Gera. Shot comes in from Zoltan Gera from the free kick, save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 79:12 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot. Blocked by Ahmed Elmohamady.
      • 79:12 Booking The referee shows Kieran Richardson a yellow card.
      • 77:35 John Pantsil gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kieran Richardson. Shot comes in from Phillip Bardsley from the free kick.
      • 77:35 Substitution Dickson Etuhu goes off and Chris Baird comes on.
      • 77:35 Substitution (Sunderland) makes a substitution, with Boudewijn Zenden coming on for Danny Welbeck.
      • 77:18 Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Aaron Hughes gets a block in.
      • 75:25 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot. Comfortable save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 74:11 The ball is sent over by John Pantsil, clearance by John Mensah.
      • 73:19 Unfair challenge on Eddie Johnson by John Mensah results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
      • 72:44 The ball is swung over by Zoltan Gera, Eddie Johnson takes a shot. Simon Mignolet makes a save.
      • 71:46 Substitution (Fulham) makes a substitution, with Eddie Johnson coming on for Carlos Salcido.
      • Correction - 69:58 Corner taken by Simon Davies, save by Simon Mignolet. Brede Hangeland takes a shot.
      • 69:58 Corner taken right-footed by Simon Davies, save made by Simon Mignolet.
      • 68:00 Corner taken by Simon Davies from the right by-line, Aaron Hughes takes a shot. Save by Simon Mignolet. Corner taken by Zoltan Gera from the left by-line. Kieran Richardson crosses the ball, save made by Simon Mignolet.
      • 66:38 Zoltan Gera takes a shot. John Mensah gets a block in. Dickson Etuhu challenges Lee Cattermole unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
      • 66:11 Unfair challenge on Clinton Dempsey by Lee Cattermole results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
      • 64:43 A cross is delivered by Jordan Henderson, Brede Hangeland gets a block in. Kieran Richardson takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
      • 62:24 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot. Blocked by Nedum Onuoha.
      • 61:16 Foul by Asamoah Gyan on Aaron Hughes, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
      • 60:42 The referee blows for offside against Andrew Johnson. Simon Mignolet restarts play with the free kick.
      • 57:15 A cross is delivered by Simon Davies. Clinton Dempsey delivers the ball, Dickson Etuhu takes a shot. Phillip Bardsley manages to make a clearance.
      • 55:09 A cross is delivered by Carlos Salcido.
      • 54:37 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot. John Mensah gets a block in.
      • 53:54 The ball is swung over by Ahmed Elmohamady, Clinton Dempsey makes a clearance.
      • 52:38 Substitution Asamoah Gyan on for David Meyler.
      • 51:50 Darren Bent sends in a cross, Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.
      • 51:08 John Mensah gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andrew Johnson. Direct free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
      • 48:29 Clinton Dempsey takes a shot from 18 yards. Simon Mignolet makes a fantastic save.
      • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
      • 45:01 Substitution Andrew Johnson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Diomansy Kamara.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+1:09 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
      • 45:00+0:28 Ahmed Elmohamady crosses the ball, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
      • Correction - 44:42 Clinton Dempsey challenges John Mensah unfairly and gives away a free kick. John Mensah takes the free kick.
      • 44:42 Foul by Clinton Dempsey on John Mensah, free kick awarded. John Mensah takes the direct free kick.
      • 41:48 Foul by John Pantsil on Kieran Richardson, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Kieran Richardson.
      • 41:05 The assistant referee signals for offside against Darren Bent. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 40:03 Jordan Henderson delivers the ball, Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Dickson Etuhu gets a block in.
      • 37:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Meyler by Danny Murphy. John Mensah restarts play with the free kick.
      • 36:18 The ball is delivered by Phillip Bardsley, Header from close range by Darren Bent misses to the right of the target.
      • 35:53 The ball is delivered by Clinton Dempsey, comfortable save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 34:44 Carlos Salcido delivers the ball, Nedum Onuoha makes a clearance.
      • 34:05 Carlos Salcido has an effort at goal from 25 yards. Simon Mignolet makes a comfortable save.
      • 33:56 A cross is delivered by Zoltan Gera, clearance by John Mensah.
      • 33:42 A cross is delivered by Simon Davies, clearance made by John Mensah.
      • 32:55 Jordan Henderson sends in a cross, Danny Welbeck produces a right-footed shot from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
      • 32:38 The ball is swung over by Lee Cattermole, clearance by John Pantsil.
      • 30:23 The ball is delivered by Jordan Henderson, clearance made by Brede Hangeland. Short corner taken by Jordan Henderson, Ahmed Elmohamady crosses the ball, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.
      • 28:52 Dickson Etuhu challenges Kieran Richardson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Phillip Bardsley, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 28:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on John Mensah by Clinton Dempsey. Free kick taken by David Meyler.
      • 26:41 Handball decision goes against Zoltan Gera. Indirect free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
      • 26:28 A cross is delivered by Carlos Salcido, clearance by John Mensah.
      • 26:04 The ball is sent over by Diomansy Kamara, clearance made by Nedum Onuoha.
      • 23:55 Simon Davies takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Phillip Bardsley.
      • 21:32 Phillip Bardsley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Simon Davies. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
      • 19:55 A cross is delivered by David Meyler, Header by Darren Bent from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
      • 18:55 Unfair challenge on Nedum Onuoha by Diomansy Kamara results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
      • 18:11 Unfair challenge on John Mensah by Zoltan Gera results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
      • 17:36 Darren Bent is caught offside. Free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
      • 15:00 Clinton Dempsey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Meyler. Free kick taken by John Mensah.
      • 14:41 The ball is swung over by Clinton Dempsey, clearance made by Phillip Bardsley.
      • 13:46 The referee blows for offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
      • 12:45 Corner taken right-footed by Jordan Henderson, Nedum Onuoha produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
      • 10:31 Diomansy Kamara concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Cattermole. John Mensah takes the direct free kick.
      • 9:56 The offside flag is raised against Darren Bent. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 9:56 Substitution Ahmed Elmohamady joins the action as a substitute, replacing Anton Ferdinand.
      • 7:21 Shot from 25 yards from Clinton Dempsey. Brilliant save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 6:30 Foul by Anton Ferdinand on Zoltan Gera, free kick awarded. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.
      • 2:54 John Pantsil fouled by Lee Cattermole, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.
      • 1:49 Jordan Henderson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Zoltan Gera. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Danny Murphy from left wing, brilliant save by Simon Mignolet.
      • 0:56 Zoltan Gera gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anton Ferdinand. Anton Ferdinand restarts play with the free kick.
      • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Barclays Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 11 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Arsenal 16 16 32
      2 Man City 17 11 32
      3 Man Utd 15 19 31
      4 Chelsea 16 19 30
      5 Tottenham 16 3 26
      6 Sunderland 17 2 24
      7 Bolton 16 5 23
      8 Newcastle 17 1 22
      9 Liverpool 17 -1 22
      10 Blackpool 16 -5 22
      11 West Brom 17 -5 22
      12 Stoke 17 -1 21
      13 Blackburn 16 -4 21
      14 Aston Villa 17 -9 20
      15 Everton 17 -2 18
      16 Birmingham 16 -2 18
      17 Fulham 17 -4 16
      18 Wigan 17 -15 16
      19 Wolves 16 -13 12
      20 West Ham 17 -15 12

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