Monday 23 April 2018

Bettinelli blunder lets Sunderland off hook at Fulham

Fulham 1 Sunderland 3

Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli fumbles the ball in to his own net for Sunderland's opening goal in their FA Cup fourth-round replay at Craven Cottage. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images
Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli fumbles the ball in to his own net for Sunderland's opening goal in their FA Cup fourth-round replay at Craven Cottage. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Sunderland looked like they would become the latest Premier League victim of a shock-filled FA Cup fourth round until Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli's embarrassing fumble help them turnaround last night's replay at win 3-1.

Little over a week after Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Southampton went out, Gus Poyet's side looked like they would follow suit after Hugo Rodallega gave the Championship side a first-half lead.

However, an unfortunate own goal from the otherwise impressive Bettinelli was followed up by a fine strike from Ricardo Alvarez and Jordi Gomez's penalty as Sunderland won through at Craven Cottage.

A trip to giant-killing Bradford now awaits in the fifth round for Sunderland.

Fulham went ahead against the run of play in the 28th minute as Rodallega struck home their first real chance.

Sunderland's leveller came in slapstick fashion as Bettinelli somehow fumbled a deflected Patrick van Aanholt cross over the line.

The outstanding Alvarez then cut in from the right to unleash a fierce drive to put the visitors ahead with 15 minutes remaining.

Gomez's stoppage-time penalty rubber-stamped their progress.

Preston hit three goals in 10 second-half minutes to dispose of cup kings Sheffield United 3-1 at Bramall Lane and set up a mouth-watering home clash with Manchester United.

Irish Independent

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