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Fulham rout Sunderland - S. Telegraph

last updated Sunday 15th September 2002, 8:49 PM
Sunderland (0) 0- 3 (1) Fulham
Fulham scored just after the half-hour and then hit their opponents decisively on the break in the second half as Sunderland fiddled and flapped around and got precisely nowhere. The game was a triumph for the visitors Japanese midfielder, Junichi Inamoto, who began the rout, and then put Barry Hayles and Steve Marlet on the score sheet with identical passes.

     
  Fulham midfielder Junichi Inamoto  
  Fulham star Junichi Inamoto starts Sunderland slaughter
 
Fulham's Herculean effort in overturning a 2-0 deficit against Tottenham in midweek had come at a cost. Injuries to Louis Saha, Luis Boa Morte and Pierre Wome accounted for three changes to the team. Steve Finnan was another name missing from the 16 while Facundo Sava dropped to the substitutes' bench.

Marlet was left out in midweek but a hat-trick for the reserves earned his recall. For Sunderland Marcus Stewart was making his home debut after a deadline-eve switch from Ipswich. If he could match Tore Andre Flo, who scored against Manchester United on his first appearance at the Stadium of Light, then nobody on Wearside would be complaining.

In this same fixture in January Fulham played splendidly for 45 minutes before being forced to settle for a point. Yesterday they were not so slick in possession early on and that encouraged hopes among the home fans.

Stewart, keen to impress, gathered a nudge from Flo and shot against Alain Goma. A neat Stewart flick, complimented by Matthew Piper's astute back-heel, led to Stephen Wright firing the ball across. No-one was there.

Edwin van der Sar then saved twice in quick succession, first from Piper's header then from Flo's follow-up. Stewart passed up a golden opportunity when a sharp pass from Claudio Reyna put him behind the defence. Van der Sar was out quickly and a combination of his presence and the challenge from Rufus Brevett crowded out the striker.

Fulham had barely threatened when they seized the lead, Brevett's cross meeting a touch on from Hayles which left the ball with Inamoto. One touch to control was followed by an immaculate finish with his second; his fifth goal in four games.

Match Stats S'Land Fulham
Goal attempts 7 5
On Target 5 4
Fouls 10 13
Corners 11 6
Yellows 2 2
Reds 0 0
source: www.sportinglife.com
There was more pressure for the visitors to withstand before the interval. On one occasion, a sloppy Sean Davis back-pass tested his defenders' resolution but, nine minutes into the second half, Fulham punished Thomas Sorensen's weak clearance by scoring their second. Inamoto could have returned the ball immediately towards goal but, instead, he fed Hayles who held off Wright to plant the ball into the net. Marlet then took another Inamoto pass to beat the stranded Sorensen and complete the scoring 12 minutes from time.

The angry chorus calling for a change of Sunderland's manager will become a ground swell if things do not quickly pick up. Having persuaded his employers to part with more than £8 million to hire two new strikers, Peter Reid could ill afford this, a second 3-0 defeat in five days.

The angry chorus calling for a change of Sunderland's
manager will become a ground swell if things do not quickly pick up.
Having persuaded his employers to part with more than £8 million to hire
two new strikers, Peter Reid could ill afford this, a second 3-0 defeat in five days.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Gray, Wright, Bjorklund, Babb, Butler (Quinn 56), McAteer (McCann 56), Reyna, Piper, Stewart, Flo.
Subs Not Used: Bellion, Macho, Williams.
Booked: Gray, Wright.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Brevett, Ouaddou, Goma, Knight, Goldbaek, Inamoto (Collins 85), Davis, Legwinski, Marlet, Hayles (Sava 76).
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Melville, Stolcers.
Booked: Brevett, Hayles.
Goals: Inamoto 34, Hayles 54, Marlet 78.

Att: 35,432 Ref: C Foy (Merseyside)
Source S. Telegraph by Trevor Haylett
Since 1998
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