Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Sunderland 0 Fulham 3

While Fulham manager Mark Hughes will not want the current Premier League season to finish on the evidence of this one-sided affair, the campaign cannot end quickly enough for his Sunderland counterpart Steve Bruce.

A goal from Gael Kakuta and then a couple of second-half strikes from Simon Davies gave Fulham a first away win this year and kept Hughes’ team firmly on course for a place in the Europa League via the Fair Play league.

Fulham’s superior quality and cohesion ensured a sobering defeat for Sunderland manager Bruce, whose team had to play the closing stages of the game in front of swathes of empty seats as fans headed for the exits after Davies’ second goal.

At the start, with the tenacious Lee Cattermole dominating the midfield exchanges, Sunderland gained the upper hand early on but without a recognised centre forward, Bruce’s team failed to capitalise on their early superiority.

In fact the first decent opening fell to Fulham midway through the first half but after being teed up by Bobby Zamora, Eidur Gudjohnsen turned Michael Turner and blazed over from a favourable position.

Even though both clubs were virtually safe from relegation, they failed to find any fluency, with flashes of decent football routinely followed by misplaced passes as both sides failed to gain any momentum.

The first chance of an error-strewn opening half arrived on the half-four when Philippe Senderos – in for virus-hit Brede Hangeland – had an attempted clearance intercepted by former Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque, but he curled his shot wide with just Mark Schwarzer to beat.

Fulham made Sunderland pay in the 33rd minute as 19-year-old Kakuta, on loan from Chelsea, broke the deadlock with his first goal in English football. He took a touch before poking the ball past Simon Mignolet, following good work by Gudjohnsen and Zamora that found the home defence flat-footed.

Cattermole had the chance to level soon after when he broke through the Fulham defence, but his tame shot was easily gathered by former Middlesbrough colleague Schwarzer to keep his team on course for their first away win since December.

Sunderland’s makeshift striker, Stephane Sessegnon, had the chance to equalise early in the first half but Schwarzer comfortably dealt with his rising shot.

There wasn’t a great deal to be excited about but Gudjohnsen suddenly had pulses racing when he volleyed narrowly wide following Davies’ cross-field ball.

Davies doubled the lead in the 61st minute with a cracking goal, applying the finishing touch after Zamora sent Steve Sidwell scampering to the by-line. When he pulled the ball back, the Welsh midfielder was on hand to thump a low, first-time shot beyond Mignolet.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce responded by withdrawing Sulley Muntari and throwing defender Nedum Onuoha up front alongside the diminutive Sessegnon, but the move proved fruitless.

Davies put the outcome of the contest beyond doubt in the 67th minute when Anton Ferdinand and Mignolet got in a tangle, following Zamora’s pass, and Davies punished his opponents with a close-range finish.

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