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Fulham 1-3 Sunderland Premiership Matchday 12 1213 Daily Mail

last updated Tuesday 20th November 2012, 3:43 PM

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Laura Williamson at Daily Mail

Fulham (0) 1 Sunderland (0) 3

Brede Hangeland went into the referees' room to apologise after his reckless two-foot tackle on Lee Cattermole cost Fulham dearly on Sunday.

Martin Jol's side were forced to play an hour with 10 men after the Fulham captain was sent off for the first time in English football.

The centre half said he slipped, but referee Lee Probert had no choice but to show Hangeland the red card.

'I thought maybe it was a bit harsh,' said Jol.

'It's probably deserved.

No wonder we're always in the Fair Play Cup, if you've got players apologising for that.

' No such niceties from Sunderland, however, who finally showed a ruthless streak in the Premier League as they achieved their first away win since February.

Martin O'Neill's side had mustered just 15 shots on target in their first 10 top-flight games this season, yet goals from Steven Fletcher and Carlos Cuellar and a stunning strike from Stephane Sessegnon showed there are goals in this side, after all.

More importantly, it was a confidence-boosting afternoon for the Wearside club, who doubled their number of Premier League goalscorers in 90 minutes to earn only their second win in 20 top-flight games.

Sessegnon's 70th-minute goal, a 20-yard right-foot shot that dipped inside the top right-hand corner, was the pick of the three, but Fletcher's, as so often this season, was the most important.

The Scot narrowly missed out scoring another late on in the game, too, denied by the offside flag.

John Arne Riise had just hit the visitors' bar with a deflected shot when Andy Johnson picked up the ball on the left, sending a beautiful crossfield pass to Fletcher, who cut in from the right to finish with the outside of his left boot in the 50th minute.

It was excellent counter-attacking football and yet another instinctive strike from Fletcher to score his sixth league goal of the season.

Fulham, though, were level 12 minutes later, when substitute Hugo Rodallega's skewed shot fell to Damien Duff, who crossed for Mladen Petric, another substitute, to score with his left foot.

Alex Kacaniklic and Bryan Ruiz both left the field early nursing hamstring injuries.

A fightback from the home side, despite their numerical disadvantage, still looked the most likely outcome but, for all Fulham's attacking flair this season, they have looked fragile defensively.

Petric was off the field receiving treatment for a leg gash when Sunderland took the lead once again, meaning Fulham had only nine players on the pitch, and Cuellar outjumped Steve Sidwell too easily to power Johnson's corner past Mark Schwarzer.

It was Sunderland who were lacking bodies when they scored their third goal, which would not have been allowed to happen had referee Probert stopped play to attend to Danny Rose's apparent head injury.

Instead, the on-loan Tottenham left back was told to get up and get on with it by John O'Shea, allowing Fletcher to feed Sessegnon, who crafted his beautiful finish.

Petric drew a fine save from Simon Mignolet, but it was a frustrating afternoon for Jol's side, who had come into the match buoyed by 24 goals in their first 11 games.

Ruiz and Dimitar Berbatov's long sleeves and gloves belied their energy and enthusiasm for the first 25 minutes but the game pivoted on Hangeland's red card.

A poor pass from Giorgos Karagounis gifted Cattermole the ball and prompted the Norway defender to jump into a challenge on the halfway line.

'It was two- footed,' said Sunderland captain Cattermole.

'The rules of the game say you can't do that.'

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riise, Hangeland, Hughes, Riether, Sidwell, Karagounis (Senderos 35), Duff, Kacaniklic (Rodallega 27), Berbatov, Ruiz (Petric 59).
Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Smith, Dejagah,

Booked: Sidwell

Sent off: Hangeland 31

Goal: Petric 62

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, O'Shea, Cuellar, Rose, Cattermole, Larsson (McClean 70), Colback (Vaughan 79), Johnson, Sessegnon, Fletcher.
Subs not used: Westwood, Kilgallon, McClean, Campbell, Wickham, Saha

Booked: O'Shea, Johnson, Cattermole

Goals: Fletcher 50, Cuellar 65, Sessegnon 70

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