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Fulham whip the Cats - The Observer

last updated Sunday 15th September 2002, 1:00 PM
Sunderland (0) 0- 3 (1) Fulham
Fulham continue there scoring spree against Sunderland and although this result may not get Peter Reid the sack more performances like this undoubtedly will. The faces may have changed at Sunderland, but sadly it's the same old story for the manager who spent £22 million on new players but cannot buy a victory.

Goals from Japan's World Cup star Junichi Inamoto, Barry Hayles and Steve Marlet presented Fulham with their first top-flight victory on Wearside for more than half a century, and gave their coach, Jean Tigana, a welcome fillip ahead of this week's Uefa Cup trip to Hajduk Split.

     
  Fulham striker Barry Hayles  
  Fulham striker Barry Hayles scores Fulham's second goal against Sunderland
 
Fulham didn't have that much to beat as Reid's new-look team flopped horribly. The strike partnership of Tore Andre Flo and Marcus Stewart failed to gel, while errors in midfield and at the back simply laid it on a plate for the visiting team.

There was a mass exodus after Marlet broke clear to score Fulham's third in the 78th minute and the fans that remained voiced their anger with chants of 'Reid out'. Sunderland have won only one of their past 11 Premiership games and failed to score in seven of them. It's not too soon to call it a crisis.

Flo and Stewart, signed before the transfer deadline for a combined fee of £10m, linked up at home for the first time after appearing in Sunderland's 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough in midweek.

There was pressure on them to strike up an instant partnership and boost the tally of just two goals in five games from last season's lowest Premiership scorers. However, they struggled to get the better of Zat Knight and Alain Goma.

Sunderland's most promising player was £3m new boy Matt Piper, who lured Rufus Brevett into a fifth-minute booking, headed wide the first chance after 15 minutes and forced Fulham keeper Edwin van der Sar into a spectacular 30th-minute diving save from Thomas Butler's cross.

Stewart should have done better when he scuffed a chance on the edge of the area under pressure from the keeper before Fulham broke away to score with a goal of classic simplicity.

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
Brevett's 34th-minute cross from the right was flicked on by Hayles and Inamoto buried his 15-yard drive past Thomas Sorensen. The goal - Inamoto's sixth of the season - appeared to knock the stuffing out of the home side and Flo appealed more in hope than expectation when he fell over Van der Sar five minutes before the break.

Fulham fans had cheekily chanted 'Reid out' after the goal, but home supporters restricted themselves to booing their side at the interval. Sunderland were again producing plenty of effort but there was a disappointing lack of goal threat in the absence of injured marksman Kevin Phillips, and there were ironic cheers when Butler floated a hopeful cross into Van der Sar's arms with no player within 20 yards.

It looked bad for the Black Cats, but it was to get worse in the 54th minute when Fulham went further ahead. The goal came as the direct result of a poor clearance from Sorensen, who hit the ball straight at Inamoto, 10 yards inside the home half. He moved forward before playing in Hayles, who held off a challenge from Stephen Wright before firing low past the dismayed keeper.

Reid immediately brought on Niall Quinn and Gavin McCann for what looked like a mission impossible.

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 The Observer by Colin Dieball
Since 1998
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