Symons blames ‘too many off nights’ from Fulham as they concede Sunderland defeat

Fulham 1 – 3 Sunderland

Kit Symons feels his players weren’t up to scratch in Tuesday’s 3-1 FA Cup Fourth Round defeat to Sunderland at Craven Cottage.

Hugo Rodallega gave Fulham a surprise lead before Marcus Bettinelli’s goalkeeping howler brought the visitors level.

Goals from Ricardo Alvarez and a converted Jordi Gomez penalty completed the route for the Black Cats.

The win means Gus Poyet’s side now face Chelsea Bradford City in the fifth round after the league two side knocked out Chelsea.

“We hadn’t played particularly well in the first half and I told the players that at half-time,” said Symons.

“I told them they needed to pass the ball a lot better. We never really got our passing going all night and the performance wasn’t there along with the result.

“There were too many off nights and a few enforced changes which didn’t help.”

Sunderland started brighter, Gomez and Steven Fletcher forced Bettinelli into action before the latter finished a superb volley, only to be called offside by the linesman.

Fulham rode their luck and snuck ahead through Rodallega, hammering home from five yards to give the Whites the lead on 27 minutes.

The Cottagers missed chances to make it two in the second half, Alexander Kacaniklic coming closest as he headed just wide.

A critical error from Bettinelli, fumbling Patrick a pedestrian cross over his goal line, brought Sunderland level on 60 minutes.

After the equalizer the Black Cats began to dominate play, Alvarez with a bullet drive past Bettinelli for the second on 75 minutes.

Patrick Roberts almost made the perfect impact coming of the bench, after skipping past two challenges he was unable to find Ross McCormack for the tap in.

Fulham, committing bodies forward were caught on the break, Danny Graham brought down inside the box allowed Gomez to add a third from the spot on 92 minutes.

Picture courtesy of treevis, with thanks

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