Sunderland were knocked out of the FA Cup in a thrilling match at the Stadium of Light as they were beaten 3-2 by Premier League side Fulham on Wednesday night.
The away side took the lead in the opening ten minutes as Wales international Harry Wilson found himself free on the edge of the area and brilliantly picked out the far corner with the outside of his left foot.
Amad Diallo came agonisingly close to equalising early on in the second half as he brilliantly jinked past a defender in the box before his strike was cleared off the line by a Fulham defender.
The Black Cats were then hit by a sucker punch as Andreas Pereira was on hand to tap the ball into an empty net after a clever cutback from Aleksandar Mitrovic.
However, Jack Clarke pulled one back with around 15 minutes left to play as the former Tottenham forward curled a beautiful strike into the far top corner from just inside the box.
Layvin Kurzawa extended the away side’s lead back to two goals in the 82nd minute but substitute Jewison Bennette then made it 3-2 by pouncing on a mistake at the back to smash the ball into the top corner of Bernd Leno’s net.
It was an open and entertaining match from start to finish and one of the reasons behind that was that Sunderland’s midfield was far too open.
Edouard Michut and Dan Neil were caught out of position and bullied physically at times by the Premier League side, with the former – in particular – struggling in the middle of the park.
The Paris Saint-Germain loanee was dominated by the opposition as he lost a whopping 75% (9/12) of his individual duels, including 100% (2/2) of his battles in the air, and this shows that the youngster was not strong enough to deal to win the challenges that he was competing in.
As per Sofascore, Michut did not win a single tackle but did commit four fouls with that an indication that the lightweight’s defensive technique was not up to standard, whilst the midfielder only made one interception and one block and failed to make any clearances.
The 19-year-old did complete 97% of his attempted passes, from 49 touches of the ball, but did not create a single chance for his teammates and did not attempt any long passes or crosses, which indicates that the teenager was playing it safe and not progressing the play with his passes.
Michut struggled badly throughout the match and was substituted in the 72nd minute, with Sunderland scoring twice to Fulham’s one in the remainder of the game, after making very little impact on the match.