Fulham 1 Sunderland 3.
Fulham enjoyed a particularly favourable 2011/12 in terms of red cards. Dismissals aren't very common events, but they do have a considerable effect on individual matches and possibly across seasons. Fulham didn't see red once last term, but they found themselves playing against reduced numbers on four occasions and that imbalance had the potential to gain them around two extra league points over the course of the season.
When we are dealing with such small sample sizes, it's unlikely that Fulham would be able to sustain their impeccable behaviour in a league where the base rate for red cards is just over 3 per team per season. Teams can influence their disciplinary record, but there is also likely to be an amount of randomness associated with marginally mistimed tackles, so the base rate for cards is probably as influential as a side's individual recent record.
Fulham manager, Martin Jol believes that his skipper, Brede Hangeland was unlucky to be shown red against Sunderland, further reasoning the the dismissal was very costly to his side. Hangeland may have slipped just prior to his two footed tackle, so Jol may have a point. He's certainly correct when he bemoans the cost of the card which came just 31 minutes into the match and was the equivalent of his full strength side conceding a goal. Stoke fans will also be disappointed as the Hangeland will now miss Fulham's trip to the Britannia on Saturday and they will be deprived of the opportunity to watch The Cottagers' influential skipper in the flesh.
31', Hangeland, Red Card.
51', Fletcher, 0-1
62', Petric, 1-1
65', Cuellar, 1-2
71', Sessegnon, 1-3