Fulham were defeated 2-1 by Parma as a late Nicola Sansone effort decided their friendly at Craven Cottage.

Martin Jol’s hosts began brightly and led through a stunning Steve Sidwell effort, only to slump in the second half and concede to Gabriel Paletta before Sansone settled it four minutes from time.

Martin Jol named loan signing Adel Taarabt among the Fulham substitutes, while Parma started with Antonio Cassano and Amauri up front.

The game was just 10 minutes old when Sidwell struck – the midfielder surging to within 35 yards of goal before unleashing an unstoppable shot that left Antonio Mirante with no chance.

The Italians responded quickly and Amauri was only denied an equaliser by an offside flag before Marco Parolo rattled the crossbar and Aleandro Rosi failed to find the target with a header.

Recently-arrived Cottagers goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg then proved his worth with a smart stop from Jonathan Biabiany shortly as Parma continued their ascendancy before half-time.

Parity was eventually restored four minutes before the hour-mark – Italy striker Antonio Cassano providing the cross for captain Paletta to soar highest and head home.

Fulham struggled to regroup and were on the defensive for much of the remainder of the game – Sansone and former Fulham striker Stefano Okaka closest to firing the visitors ahead.

Taarabt entered proceedings in the final 30 minutes remaining and some neat footwork from the Moroccan earned Fulham a free-kick that Bryan Ruiz landed on the roof of the net.

In the 86th minute, the winner came when Gianni Munari knocked down a Djamel Mesbah and Sansone pounced, and Pavol Bajza ensured victory with an excellent stop from Pajtim Kasami very late on.

Jol’s side have now completed their pre-season schedule and travel to The Stadium of Light to begin their Premier League campaign against Sunderland on August 17.

Fulham: Stekelenburg; Riether, Richardson (John Arne Riise 79′); Derek Boateng (Karagounis 63′); Hughes, Hangeland; Dejagah (Taarabt 63′), Sidwell (David 79′); Berbatov (Rodallega 45′); Ruiz (Kasami 76′); Mesca (Duff 56′)
Unused subs: Stockdale, Senderos, Frei

Scorers: Sidwell 10

Parma: Mirante; Rosi, Felipe; Vald├ęs (Morrone 70′); Paletta, Benalouane (Mesbah 63′); Chibsah (Marchionni 45′), Parolo; Amauri (Sansone 63′), Cassano (Okaka 63′); Biabiany (Munari 63′)
Unused subs: Pavarini, Bajza, Cassani, Lucarelli, Pedro Mendes, Palladino

Scorers: Paletta 56, Sansone 86

Attendance: 9,786