Spirited Fulham frustrate Sunderland

Sunderland 0 Fulham 0

Sunderland must be sick of Fulham, who have conceded a grand total of one goal in the last seven encounters between these clubs.

And on this occasion the Wearsiders were denied by a stunning late stop from goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who saved brilliantly with his legs to keep out Stephane Sessegnon’s deflected shot.

The Whites deserved their point from this dreary game and might have had more had Clint Dempsey not wasted a late chance.

Fulham have kept clean sheets in three of their last four away league games but had to ride their luck in the first half at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland’s Kieran Richardson headed against the bar, which was rattled again when Schwarzer tipped Jack Colback’s 15th-minute effort onto the woodwork.

Fulham improved in the second half and went close to going ahead when Chris Baird’s 25-yarder had to be pushed away by goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

Baird was playing as a makeshift left-back because the Whites were without John Arne Riise, who missed the match to be with his wife Maria at the birth of their baby boy.

And Baird was certainly made to work hard by lively Sunderland wide-man Ahmed Elmohamady. Their duel added at least some excitement to a match that suddenly came to life in the closing minutes.

Dempsey’s poor finish following a Fulham counter-attack let Sunderland off the hook and would have proved costly but for Schwarzer’s injury-time heroics.

One note of concern for Fulham was the second-half substitution of Bobby Zamora, who appeared to take a knock before being replaced by Andrew Johnson.

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