Fulham ultimately cruised into the fourth round of the FA Cup after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Norwich at Craven Cottage.
Darren Bent and Ashkan Dejagah both notched before half-time before Steve Sidwell rounded off the scoring with 20 minutes remaining, as the Cottagers booked an away meeting with Sheffield United in the next round.
In truth, it was a remarkably straightforward win for Rene Meulensteen and his men, although Darren Bent's clinical close-range finish after 16 minutes undoubtedly made things much easier. A Norwich side that mixed experience with youth—Josh Murphy gaining another start—never looked like getting on terms, especially after Dejagah rounded off an incisive counter-attack five minutes before the break.
In the second half, with the home side continuing to control much of the contest in wet west London conditions, Sidwell eventually secured progression beyond doubt with a powerful header.
Afterwards, head coach Rene Meulensteen told Fulham's official website:
We’re doing a lot of things well.
On Saturday against Sunderland we controlled the game and should have got our noses in front. But we didn’t. We conceded from set-plays and these things need to be impressed. We know our defensive record isn’t good enough and we need to improve upon it. That’s why tonight we set out to get a clean sheet and for most of the game we were in pretty good defensive shape.
If we keep clean sheets, we’ll win games because we have enough quality so score goals. The FA Cup is fantastic competition. We’re always trying to get the best possible result in every game. Nothing positive comes out of losing so we want to get into the habit of positive performances.
This was a positive performance. We kept a clean sheet and we’re into the next round of the cup.