Fulham 3-1 Swansea City: Aleksandar Mitrovic hat-trick sees off Swans


Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates his opening goal as Ben Cabango's legitimate claim for offside is ignored
Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates his opening goal as Ben Cabango’s legitimate claim for offside is ignored

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a first-half hat-trick as Fulham beat Swansea City 3-1 to climb to third in the Championship.

Mitrovic made it 10 goals in nine club games in 2021-22 as Fulham ruthlessly exposed Swansea’s deficiencies.

Marco Silva’s team eased to a first victory in three league outings despite Jamie Paterson pulling one back for a Swansea side who had their moments.

A first defeat in five second-tier games leaves the Welsh club in 19th.

Swansea passed the ball with purpose in spells, but defensive vulnerability was an issue from the outset and Fulham took advantage.

Harry Wilson had already seen a penalty appeal turned down by the time Mitrovic began leaving his imprint on the game.

Swansea half-cleared a Neeskens Kebano cross, but Tim Ream headed the ball back into the penalty area and Mitrovic turned Kyle Naughton before guiding a low shot beyond Ben Hamer.

The goal should have been ruled out as Mitrovic was half a yard offside, but there was nothing dubious about his second other than Swansea’s defending.

Ben Cabango’s pass was picked off by Joe Bryan, who sent Kebano surging down the left before the winger’s low cross was scuffed into the bottom corner by Mitrovic from close range.

There were further Fulham chances, with Mitrovic heading straight at Hamer and Bobby Decordova-Reid firing wastefully over, before Swansea pulled one back.

Joel Piroe’s measured through ball sent Paterson into space, and he coolly cut back onto his right foot to leave Denis Odoi and home keeper Paulo Gazzaniga helpless as he curled a shot inside the far post.

Jamie Paterson shows composure to claim his third goal since joining Swansea
Jamie Paterson shows composure to claim his third goal since joining Swansea

Yet Fulham swiftly re-established their two-goal advantage as a rapid counter-attack ended with Odoi crossing for Mitrovic to claim his third goal of the night – and his 52nd in 92 appearances at this level – with a clinical near-post finish.

Swansea had kept four clean sheets in five league games before this, but had no answer to a Fulham side who are the Championship’s top scorers after 10 games.

Russell Martin’s team should have had a second goal of their own early in the second half only for Flynn Downes to lift over from 12 yards after fine work from Ethan Laird, who then saw an effort of his own deflect onto the crossbar.

Fulham might have claimed a fourth goal when Odoi’s effort was saved by Hamer, but by then the points were sealed.

Line-ups

Fulham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 21Gazzaniga
  • 4Odoi
  • 16Tosin
  • 13Ream
  • 23BryanSubstituted forMawsonat 56′minutes
  • 24Seri
  • 6Reed
  • 8WilsonSubstituted forCavaleiroat 71′minutes
  • 14De Cordova-Reid
  • 7Kebano
  • 9MitrovicSubstituted forMuniz Carvalhoat 69′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Rodák
  • 3Hector
  • 17Cavaleiro
  • 19Muniz Carvalho
  • 20Quina
  • 25Onomah
  • 26Mawson

Swansea

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 18Hamer
  • 5CabangoBooked at 23mins
  • 26Naughton
  • 3Manning
  • 27Laird
  • 4DownesSubstituted forCullenat 68′minutes
  • 8Grimes
  • 24BidwellSubstituted forLatibeaudiereat 74′minutes
  • 10NtchamSubstituted forSmithat 32′minutes
  • 12Paterson
  • 17Piroe

Substitutes

  • 1Benda
  • 6Fulton
  • 7Smith
  • 16Cooper
  • 20Cullen
  • 22Latibeaudiere
  • 28Walsh

Referee:
Josh Smith

Attendance:
16,113

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