Fulham v Sunderland
Mousa Dembele fired Fulham into a half-time lead after a topsy-turvy opening 45 minutes against Sunderland.
The Cottagers took the lead early in proceedings through Clint Dempsey, who fired a superb 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.
Sunderland levelled through Phil Bardsley's excellent 34th-minute strike but Fulham responded immediately, with Dembele's seeing a 20-yard strike take a slight deflection off Michael Turner as it flew home.
The visitors started brightly on the banks of the Thames but Fulham soon found their feet.
Having seen Pavel Pogrebnyak come close to connecting with a Damien Duff cross, the latter latched onto a superb long ball from the back only to see a well-struck effort smothered by Mignolet.
The early attacking impetus translated into the opening goal in the 12th minute when Fulham were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out.
Lee Cattermole blocked off Diarra and top scorer Clint Dempsey stepped up to fire a right-footed effort with pace and swerve into the top corner.
The lead was almost wiped out four minutes later, though, as Stephane Sessegnon broke into the area, with only indecision and superb goalkeeping from Mark Schwarzer thwarting the Benin international.
The Cottagers were soon back on the offensive in search of a second, which would have come through Pogrebnyak had Michael Turner not been alert to block his goalbound strike eight yards from goal.
The game burst into life after 34 minutes when Phil Bardsley finished a move he started.
The defender burst forward and collected a Ji cutback to fire home a right-footed thunderbolt from outside the box.
Sunderland, though, were not celebrating for long as Mousa Dembele fired an instant reply.
The much-vaunted Belgian broke from the halfway line and unleashed a 20-yard effort that took a slight deflection off Turner and flew into the top left-hand corner.
The Cottagers were chomping at the bit as they looked for a third and Duff fired into the side-netting, before the visitors came close through a Gardner free-kick.
HT: Fulham 2 Sunderland 1
It was Fulham that ended the first half the stronger and they continued in the same vein after the restart.
Pogrebnyak saw an effort deflect behind by John O'Shea and only a goal-line clearance from Jack Colback prevented Dempsey scoring a deft curling effort from the resulting corner.
Right-back Stephen Kelly joined in with the action by testing Mignolet with a fierce drive, before the Sunderland goalkeeper got down well to parry a stinging Duff shot.
O'Neill brought on Nicklas Bendtner for Ji in a bid to change the course of proceedings but Fulham were still on top, with Dempsey hitting the wall with a free-kick from a good position.
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