Fulham's Bobby Zamora piles away day misery on Sunderland and Steve Bruce

Fulham 1 Sunderland 0:

Fulham moved into eighth place in the Premier League after Bobby Zamora's early strike clinched a 1-0 win over Sunderland at Craven Cottage.

Roy Hodgson's team qualified for the Europa League last season after finishing seventh and the west Londoners look capable of repeating that impressive achievement this term.

They have lost just one of their last nine league matches thanks to what was only Zamora's 10th goal in two seasons with the club.

The former West Ham and Tottenham forward has come in for criticism from Fulham fans for his lack of goals and he celebrated his winner by pushing team-mate Damien Duff out of the way to make an angry gesture to the home supporters.

The Black Cats should have been ahead early on when former Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque ran onto Lorik Cana's pass but Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was equal to the finish.

That near-miss provoked a superb response from Fulham, who took the lead through Zamora in the seventh minute. Duff laid the ball back to John Pantsil and when the ball came over Zamora nipped in front of Phil Bardsley to head home his sixth goal of the season.

Sunderland suffered another blow when Anton Ferdinand was forced to limp off after being fouled by Erik Nevland as the defender tried to shield the ball out of play.

American midfielder Clint Dempsey was a constant danger to the Sunderland defence and he curled a free-kick just over the crossbar before shooting wide from Zamora's pass.

Zamora came close to a second goal twice in quick succession when he nodded Jonathan Greening's cross wide, then but headed against the bar from Paul Konchesky's cross.

Nevland was guilty of a far worse miss before half-time when Zamora found him in the six-yard box. Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop saved Nevland's first effort and the former Manchester United striker blasted over the rebound with the goal at his mercy.

Dempsey tried his luck again early in the second half as Fulham pressed for the second goal, but his long-range shot was off-target.

Out of nothing Kenwyne Jones was presented with a glorious chance to equalise by Paul Konchesky's wayward back-pass. Schwarzer came to the rescue with a smart stop to frustrate the visitors.

Bruce's side went even closer to an equaliser when Darren Bent met Kieran Richardson's cross with a fierce volley that flashed just wide.


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