Fulham 1 Sunderland 4 match report: Adam Johnson’s first hat-trick gives Black Cats a lift

Johnson was superb throughout as Gus Poyet's side overtake Crystal Palace to rise off the bottom of the league

Craven Cottage

An England recall for Adam Johnson is improbable, but no longer inconceivable after the right-winger's return to form in the week Theo Walcott was ruled out of the World Cup.

Having inspired Sunderland to a midweek Capital One Cup victory over Manchester United the 26-year-old followed up with a hat-trick against Fulham that enabled the Black Cats’ to climb off the bottom.

The first triple of Johnson’s career, and a goal by Ki Sung-Yueng supplied by Johnson, enabled Sunderland to see off the brief Fulham rally that followed Steve Sidwell’s goal. Victory brought Gus Poyet’s side within a point of safety, and two behind their vanquished opponents.

Poyet, who took over with Sunderland possessing a point from seven games after Paolo Di Canio’s barmy interlude, said: “I will look at the table every two minutes tonight. It has not been nice being bottom but we have lost one in 10 now so we are a bit better.”

 

Of Johnson who won 12 caps for England, but only one under Roy Hodgson in August 2012, he added: “He needs to play for a team that keeps the ball, that gives it to him in space to play. We tried him on the left, then on the right, then he was on the bench, but now the team is more solid and gives him the freedom to perform. I hope he plays for England at the World Cup because if he does it means we will have stayed up”

Poyet was aided by Brede Hangeland failing a fitness test, in his prolonged absence Fulham have the most porous defence in the divison conceding 46 goals. Fulham did warmly welcome back Clint Dempsey for his second home debut – very warmly given the Texan went on strike to force a move at the end of his first spell at the club. In Fulham’s predicament they cannot be too fussed about the identity of possible saviours but Dempsey looks well off Premier League pace at present.

In these matches the first goal is frequently critical and Fulham should have scored it. Mistakes by Wes Brown, then Jack Colback, gifted chances for Dimitar Berbatov and Adel Taarabt but neither could take them. “We dominated and should have been two up,” Rene Meulensteen, Fulham’s manager, said. “Then we give away a free-kick that leaves us with a mountain to climb.”

It was Johnson who won the kick after 29 minutes through Sidwell’s careless challenge. Stockdale got two hands to Johnson’s curler, but failed to keep it out. “It was saveable,” Meulensteen said. Johnson continued to run at opponents and four minutes before the break Riise clattered him on the touchline. Johnson pulled the free-kick back to Ki, whose shot was deflected past Stockdale by Philippe Senderos.

When Sidwell ran off Marcos Alonso to head Duff’s corner in soon after the break a revival threatened. With Sunderland fielding nine of the men who started against Manchester United , while nine of Fulham’s players had not begun a match since New Year’s Day, it seemed probable that the visitors would tire. Fulham struggled, however, to turn possession into chances and it was Sunderland who scored from a lightning counter-attack. Lee Cattermole won possession from Dempsey on the edge of the Sunderland area and the excellent Ki broke away. He fed Jozy Altidore and kept running to take the return before playing in Johnson behind Riise. The winger slid the ball between Stockdale’s legs.

Darren Bent came on, to jeers from Sunderland fans and silence from the home ones, but it was the visitors who concluded the scoring. Altidore dummied Senderos then took the opportunity to win a penalty presented by the defender’s clumsy thigh-high tackle. Johnson converted.

Sidwell should have scored a late consolation but somehow shot at Vito Mannone from two yards. As well as Ray Wilkins on the bench and Alan Curbishley in the directors box, Gianfranco Zola and Robbie Di Matteo were in the stands. With so many potential replacements in attendance it would be no surprise if Mulensteen had trouble sleeping soundly last night.

Line-ups:

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Stockdale; Reither, Senderos, Amorebieta, Riise; Parker, Sidwell; Duff (Dejegah, 68), Taarabt (Kasami, 63), Dempsey (Bent, 79); Berbatov.

Sunderland (4-1-4-1): Mannone; Bardsley, O’Shea, Brown, Alonso; Cattermole; Johnson (Celusta, 86), Ki, Colbeck, Borini (Larsson, 75); Fletcher (Altidore, 66).

Referee: Mike Dean

Man of the match: Johnson (Sunderland)

Match rating: 7/10

Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition