Fulham 2-1 Sunderland Player Ratings: fantastic Fredericks

Aleksandar Mitrovic now has 12 goals for Fulham – ibtimes.co.uk

bookies made promotion-chasing Fulham bigger pre-match favourites than there has been for any Championship match in three years for Friday night’s clash with already-relegated Sunderland, but it wasn’t the Whites-wash many expected: Slavisa Jokanovic’s side needed a late strike from Aleksander Mitrovic to pick up their crucial 2-1 win. Here’s our player ratings from the game.

The Whites

Marcus Bettinelli – might have done better than to get beaten by a long-distance shot along the floor for the opener, which was one of just two shots on target he faced. 4

Ryan Fredericks – posed a threat with his rampaging runs down the right flank, which has been a key part of his game all season. Arguably Fulham’s best player during a below-par first half and key to the second half onslaught. 9
Denis Odoi – has the vision to spot passes that few Championship centre-backs could, but then most Championship centre-backs could win the types of aerial duels that he can’t, as we saw to Fulham’s cost for the opener. 5
Tim Ream – switches play well, especially when under pressure. A tad fortunate not to give away a penalty for a foul on Ejaria, moments before the leveller. 6
Matt Targett – his crosses weren’t quite at the usual standard and he appeared to pick up an injury after being turned for the opening goal, which meant he was substituted later in the first half. 4

Kevin McDonald – retained possession well, even when Ejaria and other energetic Sunderland midfielders closed him down he never panicked. 8
Stefan Johansen – the quality of his final balls in open play weren’t quite at the level we saw at Millwall, but his set piece deliveries caused problems and paid dividends for the winner. 6
Tom Cairney – in the first half, he often dropped deep to collect the ball off the centre-backs: this helped Fulham’s initial build-up play but meant he wasn’t always in the best position when moves required a final pass. Got into better areas in the second half but his shooting wasn’t great. 6

Lucas Piazon – picked up some good positions in behind Honeyman and Robson in the first half, which allowed him to play in Fredericks while one shot just after the half-hour mark trickled wide. Moved to the left when Kamara came on and showed sharp movement at times, without being a prominent influence. 7
Alexandar Mitrovic – wasn’t quite at his influential best in the first half. Fulham didn’t play too many crosses, instead opting for a more patient approach. 5
Ryan Sessegnon – sometimes his excellent finishing disguises the fact that he doesn’t contribute too much in build-up play. As well as the teenager has developed, there’s a possibility that he needs to improve his performances when he doesn’t find the net. 4

Aboubakar Kamara (on 40) – injected some raw energy into the attack which saw Sunderland truly pinned back in the latter stages of the first half. 9
Rui Fonte (on 74) – hasn’t had the best of seasons but his passion came to the fore in the latter stages. 7
Tomas Kalas (on 90) – no David Luiz-esque assist this time! 5

The Black Cats

Jason Steele – positioned too close to his near-post for the opening goal; when he committed to going down for the cross, he had to get more of his hands on it than a palm into Piazon’s path. Arguably beaten too easily for the winner, too. 3

Billy Jones – defended his back-post well from free-kicks, but his positioning was suspect for the equalizer. Taken off at the break. 5
Lamine Kone – got drawn towards the ball too easily for the equalizer and played Mitrovic onside for the winner. A new centre-back should be Sunderland’s main priority in the summer. 4
John O’Shea – kept Mitrovic very quiet in open play and made some important blocks. Made a case to be part of Sunderland’s plans for League One next season. 7
Marc Wilson – struggled to handle the pace of Fredericks and then Kamara down Fulham’s right flank, but through no lack of desire. In the build-up to the equalizer, especially, he sprinted back superbly but was let down by a lack of support. 4

Ovie Ejaria – pressed well in the first half and as well as nearly winning a penalty, willingly broke into the final third after stealing the ball, which helped Sunderland get further up the pitch on occasions. Wasn’t able to do this as much after the break. 6

Paddy McNair – not as quick to close down in his defensive third as some might have liked; that was problematic for the equalizer, when he failed to track Fredericks’ run. 3
George Honeyman – his passing quality was always unlikely to match that of Fulham, so his off-the-ball positioning had to be perfect. It wasn’t: he needed to be tighter, especially on Piazon in the first half hour. 4
Ethan Robson – sometimes hesitant to accept the ball from throw-in situations and limited physical qualities meant he didn’t always have the confidence to take charge of situations and keep hold of the ball, especially when closed down by the likes of Kamara and Fredericks. 4

Joel Asoro – made an excellent turn and finish for the opener. Relatively effective at quelling Fulham’s left-sided threat, too. 7
Ashley Fletcher – used his physical advantage over Odoi to maximum effect in the first half, but perhaps grew tired after the break, when he suffered from a lack of support. 6

Adam Matthews (on 45) – enjoyed a solid enough 45 minute appearance, keeping Sessegnon and Piazon quiet. 6
Callum McManaman (on 77) – on the receiving end of a strong challenge from Johansen. 5
Josh Maja (on 85) – made a match-winning contribution from the bench in the reverse fixture but didn’t quite have the same impact this time. 5