Fulham 1 - 3 Sunderland

Match info: Premier League at Craven Cottage

Date: 18/11/2012 KO: 16:00 Ref: L Probert Att: 25,646

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Fulham

Mladen Petric 62

1
vs
3

S'land

Steven Fletcher 50
Carlos Cuellar 65
Stephane Sessegnon 70

FT (ht: 0-0)

  • Last Updated: November 18 2012, 19:16 GMT

The opposing managers were left with differing opinions on the sending off of Fulham skipper Brede Hangeland in the Cottagers' 3-1 defeat at home to Sunderland.

Hangeland is shown a red card
Hangeland is shown a red card

Norway international Hangeland was dismissed after 31 minutes for a two-footed challenge on Lee Cattermole with the game still goalless.

Second-half goals from Steven Fletcher, Carlos Cuellar and Stephane Sessegnon secured Sunderland's first league win in seven attempts although substitute Mladen Petric had levelled for 10-man Fulham.

Martin Jol felt his captain had not gone in maliciously on Cattermole and said he would like to see referees use more common sense when making such decisions.

"I think he was probably the only one in the stadium who really thought it was a red card," he said.

"It would have been nice if most of the referees had played football themselves, it would be nice if sometimes they could make decisions in the spirit of the game.

"I can't remember having a red card at this club, he (Hangeland) is a nice boy and told me it was not intentional, he slipped. I won't say that it is a common thing for him because I haven't seen him do this tackle."

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill's opinion on the sending off was the polar opposite of Jol's and he admitted he was surprised at the number of dismissals still resulting from two-footed challenges.

He said: "It is amazing when we have been given the directives. I don't know how many times we have been told about it, we have been guilty ourselves with Lee Cattermole being sent off, sometimes I don't understand players' minds.

"I don't think if you don't go in two-footed that anybody is going to consider you a coward, in fact quite the opposite."

O'Neill saw his side win for the first time in seven league games and was pleased with the way his players used their one-man advantage.

"I'm delighted to win the game, sendings off change the dynamic of matches, we saw it yesterday in the Tottenham v Arsenal game," he said.

"You have to try and take advantage of that and we did that in the second half.

"They were never out of the match but I was pleased for us to score some goals and win away from home, our goalkeeper has made two fantastic saves and he is having a fantastic season, and I thought Fletcher was fantastic too."

Fletcher scored the opening goal as he continued to be Sunderland's talismanic striker but O'Neill saw goals shared around his side with a Cuellar header and a wonderful Sessegnon goal sealing the win.

O'Neill admitted the confidence amongst his squad was starting to return after a poor run of form and highlighted Benin international Sessegnon as a player who was starting to return to his best.

"Confidence is a big thing and when you see someone like Sessegnon score that type of goal, he has been searching for that confidence all season," he said.

"Sessegnon had a couple of months last year when he was absolutely outstanding for us and he won the player of the year.

"He has been searching for that type of form one way or another but his family have settled now which I think is important."

Adam Johnson also put in his best performance for the Black Cats since moving from champions Manchester City at the start of the season and O'Neill reckons he is starting to adjust to life at the Stadium of Light.

"He was playing in a team at Manchester City where he is getting 20-25 minutes in matches to try and do something or coming on when they are in front, they are a terrific side," he said.

"Here he is having to start the matches, with respect to us we are not remotely as good as Manchester City, so he is having to strive, he is having to do more for us and he is getting there."

Jol, who will now be without Hangeland for three matches, also lost Alex Kacaniklic and Bryan Ruiz to hamstring injuries during the match and confirmed both are likely to be out for at least three weeks, while Petric played on after requiring stitches in a foot injury.

Even though he was forced into a number of changes and saw his side play for almost an hour with 10 men Jol still felt they were good enough to have got something out of the game.

"Maybe we should have scored once or twice and had a cushion to help, even with 10 men I think we did OK," he said.

"With the quality players we have got I thought we still could have scored one or two goals.

"The shape was gone (following the injuries) and they could have scored one or two more but we could have scored three, the third goal was probably the killer goal."


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