Fulham 3-2 Brentford: Bobby Reid, Joao Palhinha and Aleksandar Mitrovic on target as Fulham strike late in five-goal thriller to secure first Premier League win under Marco Silva
- Bobby Reid opened the scoring for Marco Silva’s team in the opening minute
- Joao Palhinha netted his first goal for Fulham to double the home side’s lead
- Christian Norgaard scored on 44 minutes to pull Brentford back into the game
- Ivan Toney had a would-be equaliser disallowed for offside after the break
- Toney got his goal after he equalised for the away side on 71 minutes
- Aleksandar Mitrovic secured victory for Fulham with a header in stoppage time
Oh how Ivan Toney grinned as he mimicked Aleksandar Mitrovic’s celebration in making this one 2-2. Cheshire Cat like.
Only there was still 20 minutes to go and as much as Brentford were on top, every missed chance left the door open.
And there was Mitrovic, with the clock at 90, to head in the winner, sending Fulham to their first London derby victory in the Premier League since 2014.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a dramatic winner to secure the win for the Cottagers
Make it 99 goals and counting in the black and white of Fulham for the Serbian striker. Few will have felt as sweet as this one against their most bitter of rivals.
His influence looked to be waning on the game. Having seen a first half goal chalked off for offside Mitrovic was being kept relatively in check by a constantly improving Brentford.
But just as Trent Alexander-Arnold discovered on the opening day here, there is little that can stop Mitrovic in full flight. Add Vitalty Janelt to his victims.
Chatter down Stevenage Road before this one was of the must-not-lose nature of this derby, one that perhaps doesn’t get the attention those outside west London feel it merits.
Bobby Decordova-Reid opened the scoring for Marco Silva’s team in the opening minute
The Jamaica international capitalised on a goal-mouth scramble to put his side in the lead
New signing Joao Palhinha scored a header to double his team’s lead on 20 minutes
Brentford fans boasted the fact that they had lost just one of their last 19 visits to Craven Cottage, that one a 1-0 turnover in 1990.
The away fans, who needed to make the mere five-mile journey here, also talked up the fact Fulham hadn’t won a London derby since January 2014. Omens looked good.
Fulham fans referred back to their Championship play-off final win over the Bees in 2020. Both unbeaten, both taking it to the ‘Big Six’ in the opening matches and both desperate to keep a zero in the loss column. It promised a classic.
FULHAM VS BRENTFORD MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
FULHAM: Leno (GK) 7; Tete 6 (Mbabu 77), Adarabioyo 6.5, Ream 6.5, Robinson 7; Palhinha 6.5, Reed 6; Decordova-Reid 7, Pereira 8, Stansfield 7 (Cairney 77); Mitrovic 7 (Duffy 90+1)
SUBS NOT USED: Rodak, Diop, Chalobah, Francois, Harris, Ablade
BOOKED: Palhinha, Tete, Mbabu
GOALS: Decordova-Reid (1), Palhinha (20), Mitrovic (90)
MANAGER: Marco Silva 7.5
BRENTFORD: Raya (GK) 7.5; Hickey 5 (Lewis-Potter 59, 6.5), Jansson 5, Mee 5, Henry 6; Norgaard 6.5, Dasilva 7 (Baptiste 74), Jenson 5 (Janelt 59); Wissa 6.5 (Ghoddos 83), Toney 7, Mbeumo 6
SUBS NOT USED: Strakosha, Onyeka, Dervisoglu, Bech, Roerslev
GOALS: Norgaard (44), Toney (71)
BOOKED: Dasilva, Mee
MANAGER: Thomas Frank 6
REFEREE: Peter Bankes 7
Marco Silva shuffled his pack slightly with Bernd Leno in goal for his Fulham debut and 19-year-old Jay Stansfield playing off the right for his first Premier League start.
For Thomas Frank and Brentford it was just one change from the side that bulldozed Manchester United. Yann Wissa in for Mads Roerslov.
And yet this couldn’t have started in a more contrasting fashion to that virtuoso against United for Brentford.
This was disorganised and chaotic. This was a start that was everything many had come not to expect of the Bees.
It took 45 seconds for Brentford to be punished. Bobby Decordova-Reid reacted quickest to bundle home after it had come back off the bar. The Putney End, well, the part not clad in red and white, exploded.
Andreas Pereira was the creator feeding Mitrovic, who saw his cross break to teen star Stansfield. His deflected shot off Ben Mee hit the bar and Decordova-Reid was alive to it. Goal. Fulham ahead.
They continued to come, did Fulham, smelling blood.
Mitrovic thought he’d scored his 99th goal for Fulham – that would come later unbeknown to him – but he was flagged offside in the 15th minute. It was a warning not heeded.
Five minutes later it was two with summer signing Joao Palhinha giving Aaron Hickey the slip from a corner to get a free header for Pereira’s cross. Brentford, all at sea, were drowning.
Goalkeeper David Raya was summoned to the touchline by a member of the coaching staff and there stood Frank, hands on hips, no doubt processing what had gone so badly wrong.
They rallied from there, they had to, and the lifeline they needed came on the stroke of half-time when Christian Norgaard volleyed in from Mathias Jensen’s corner. The Dane turned to the away fans in the Putney End, threw both of his arms up. It was a call as much as a celebration. Raise the noise – this isn’t over yet.
Christian Norgaard hit back before half-time to bring Brentford back into the game
Ivan Toney latched on to a low ball to equalise for Thomas Frank’s team after 70 minutes
And it wasn’t – thanks to both Toney and the heroics of Raya.
First, Toney saw VAR rule his big toe offside. No goal. Second, it was more like his foot. Again, no goal. But when he scored in front of Brentford’s travelling fans for a third time to level this one up there was no way his celebrations would be cut short.
There he was, inside the area, to meet Wissa’s flashed cross across the box. A clever dummy by substitute Keane Lewis-Potter left it for Toney to steal in ahead of Tete. Finally, he had his goal.
But in this battle of centre forwards you didn’t think Mitrovic was willing to let old adversary Toney have the final say? No chance.
In what was his final contribution to this game he rose far higher than a helpless Janelt, on off the bench, to head past Raya. An eight-year London derby drought was now over and what a way to do it.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article