Mignolet saves Sunderland

2010-12-11 19:47

London - A fine second-half performance from Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet earned his side a point at struggling Fulham in their Premier League clash here on Saturday as the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

The draw kept Fulham - last season's surprise Europa League finalists - just out of the relegation zone on goal difference while Sunderland remain sixth in the table.

While the result means Mark Hughes has never lost to a club managed by former Manchester United team-mate Steve Bruce he will be more concerned that his side has won just once now in 13 Premier League matches.

Neither 'keeper had any opportunity to prove their worth in the first-half but Sunderland manager Bruce showed he was going for all three points by sending on record signing Asamoah Gyan, who is recovering from a toe injury, to partner fellow Darren Bent up front.

Perversely this move seemed to galvanise the hosts - who had been booed off at half-time by an increasingly disgruntled home support - as American veteran Clint Dempsey went close to marking his 100th appearance for the club with a goal.

Dempsey, leading scorer this term with six goals, five of those in the Premier League, forced Mignolet into a superb save whilst he forced another save from the alert guardian shortly afterwards.

Mignolet, though, was thankful to Chris Bardsley as the defender produced a brilliant goalline clearance with his head after Dickson Etuhu's header had beaten the 'keeper.

Mignolet, though, earned his spurs again when he pulled off a brilliant stop from former England striker Andy Johnson as the hosts piled on the pressure and Sunderland found very little in response to lift the siege of their goal.