STRIKERLESS Sunderland slumped to a truly shocking defeat this afternoon and when the final whistle came on a 3-0 defeat, the Stadium of Light was barely a quarter full.
Most fans headed towards the exits in the 73rd minute when Simon Davies scored his second, Fulham’s third of the game, but the rumblings on the terraces had started before that with Sunderland labouring all afternoon.
Stephane Sessegnon and Steed Malbranque were asked to fill in for injured frontmen Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck but never really looked up to the job, which was a shame because Sunderland almost completely dominated the first-half without ever being able to make their possession count in front of goal.
Ahmed Elmohamady headed wide early on and Steed Malbranque curled a shot wide of goal when in a one-on-one with Mark Schwarzer on the half-hour.
And they were made to pay in the 33rd minute when Gael Kakuta was left unmarked in the Sunderland box and stabbed the ball home from eight yards.
Sunderland went into the break trailing from that goal and never looked in the second-half as though they would overhaul it.
They simply lacked any punch in front of goal and their only real opportunity was an opportunity for Lee Cattermole in the 56th minute when he shot straight at Schwazer.
Fuham responded with a two-goal blast from Davies – the midfielder getting on the end of a Sidwell pull back from the left in the 61st minute and a Zamora cross from the right in the 77th.
The vast majority of those fans who had not left the stadium, booed at the final whistle.
To read the rest of the match report, please see tonight’s Football Echo.