John Ley at Daily Telegraph
Fulham 1 Sunderland 0
Bobby Zamora sent Fulham into eighth place in the Premier League at a rain-swept Craven Cottage yesterday.
The Fulham striker's sixth goal of the season against Sunderland eclipsed his combined goal tally over the past two campaigns.
But Zamora did not appear too happy to celebrate the achievement, putting his finger to his lips and pushing his team-mates away.
At the final whistle the former Tottenham and West Ham striker, who also struck the crossbar, ran from one corner of the ground to the dressing room without celebrating.
Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, suggested that Zamora had perhaps read some of the criticism aimed at him from a number of fans, and was frustrated at not scoring more goals.
But the wily Hodgson also hinted that, in certain circumstances, Zamora could be considered for Fabio Capello's World Cup squad, particularly if anything were to happen to another target man, Emile Heskey, between now and June.
Hodgson said: "Bobby was very good, particularly in the first half. When we actually got some reasonable balls into him he showed what a wonderful technician he is."
And of his goal celebration, Hodgson added: "I think it will be partly the frustration of not having scored as many goals as he would have liked to crown his performances.
"Maybe he reads too many of these blogs that people write. Our fans constantly chant his name and he's very popular with the players."
As for the possibility of Zamora representing England, Hodgson was cautious with his words but did not write off the chances of a shock call-up for a man with six under-21 caps for his country.
Hodgson said: "I'm going to prefer Zamora [to Heskey] because I know him very well. Heskey is a powerful player, a very willing and hard-working player. Bobby is more technical, the type of player who we don't have too many like in the Premier League."
On this showing there are not too many Sunderland candidates for Capello's squad. Sunderland have failed to win away in seven attempts, taking one point in that spell, and manager Steve Bruce admitted he was concerned.
He said: "We've got to do something away from home to get this monkey off our backs. But you won't win a game in the Premier League if you play like we did in the first half.
"When we're good, we're good. When we're up against it a bit we don't do enough. I don't remember a side this Jekyll and Hyde, and it's pretty alarming."
The game was just seven minutes old when Damien Duff rolled the ball back to John Pantsil and his cross dipped perfectly for Zamora to find space between Phil Bardsley and Michael Turner and head home.
Afterwards Bruce described the goal as "pathetic" but Sunderland soon came under further pressure when Erik Nevland shot over and Clint Dempsey sent another attempt just wide.
The visitors suffered further problems when Anton Ferdinand had to go off with a twisted ankle, and Zamora could have added a second goal before the break when the striker, unmarked at the near post, diverted the ball wide from Jonathan Greening's corner.
Zamora was denied again in the 42nd minute when, from Paul Konchesky's cross, he headed against the Sunderland crossbar.
Marton Fulop, the Sunderland goalkeeper, parried another attempt, from Nevland, before the Norwegian sent the rebound over from close range.
Bruce admitted that a "few words" were said at half-time and he got a response in the second half, with Sunderland unfortunate not to score.
In the 56th minute they were gifted a chance when Konchesky sent a back pass straight into the path of Kenwyne Jones, but the striker shot straight at Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
Within two minutes Steed Malbranque delivered a cross to Darren Bent, who volleyed just wide when he could have levelled. But Fulham held on for another three valuable points.