Fulham 1 Sunderland 0

Last updated : 06 December 2009 By Footymad Previewer
Bobby Zamora's early header proved enough for Fulham to secure a deserved 1-0 victory over Sunderland at Craven Cottage, a result which moved the hosts up to eighth in the Premier League.

The striker was simply superb as he ran Sunderland's defence ragged, with only the crossbar preventing him from adding to his tally.

But it was another poor show for Steve Bruce's visitors, who drop to tenth after an insipid display in west London.

Sunderland went into the game having won just one of their last 17 Premier League games on the road, but Steve Bruce's side were encouraged by the news that Kenwyne Jones was fit to return after five weeks out due to injury and suspension.

Fulham, meanwhile, made six changes to the side that beat CSKA Sofia in their midweek Europa League clash - and it was the hosts who started superbly, showing no ill-effects from that game.

And it took them just seven minutes to take the lead thanks to Zamora. John Pantsil creared the goal, firing in an innocuous cross that Sunderland should have dealt with easily, only for Phil Bardsley to hesitate and allow Zamora to run across him and head home.

It was a poor goal to concede and Bruce - a superb defender during his time with Manchester United - looked less than impressed on the touchline.

Zamora was clearly lifted by the goal, and was almost unplayable during the first-half, giving Michael Turner and Anton Ferdinand a torrid afternoon.

Indeed, just before the break he came so close to doubling the advantage, heading over goalkeeper Marton Fulop only to see the ball come back off the crossbar.

His strike partner Erik Nevland also had a wonderful chance to score Fulham's second, volleying way over the bar when his original effort was saved by Fulop.

Roy Hodgson's side should have had the points wrapped up, but Sunderland emerged for the second half a completely different side.

It would have been grossly unfair, but Jones had a perfect chance to level the scores ten minutes after the interval, latching on to Paul Konchesky's woeful back-pass, only to see his effort saved by Mark Schwarzer.

Darren Bent, Jones' strike partner, had been completely anonymous up until that point, but he suddenly came to life, volleying inches wide and then firing over the bar when well placed.

Yet after that brief flurry, Sunderland promptly faded, despite effectively playing with three strikers for much of the second half.

Fulham managed to hold on in relative comfort to secure a well-deserved victory.