Fulham 4-1 QPR: Aleksandar Mitrovic nets his 11th and 12th league goals of the season to help Marco Silva’s side earn bragging rights over rivals
- Fulham thrashed west London rivals 4-1 in the Championship’s early kick-off
- Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice to go top of the league’s top scorers list
- Fulham are now third, two points behind league leaders West Brom
An Aleksandar Mitrovic headed brace capped off an eviscerating striker’s performance to slam the door shut on west London rivals Queens Park Rangers and sit top of the Championship’s top scorers list.
The Serbian was in a ruthless mood as he pushed, pulled and wound up his opponents all afternoon — and struck two dainty headers either side of the interval for good measure.
If Fulham are to navigate this minefield of a league, this man in-form will be gold dust. But QPR will be displeased with their backline’s timid nature. They looked terrified of the striker at times.
Aleksandar Mitrovic opened the scoring with a thumping strike past Seny Dieng
On his side’s talisman, Fulham manager Marco Silva said: ‘He (Mitrovic) is a really important player for us. Since the first day I met him, I spoke with him on the phone and was clear what I would demand from him.
‘He scores important goals for us but also links play and works off the ball. If he’s in the box, he can punish the opponent like he did this afternoon.’
Fifth and sixth respectively and with west London derby bragging right on the line, the Cottagers and Rangers were each here to prove their top-six credentials.
This was particularly true for Silva’s side, who were embarrassed 4-1 by Coventry before the international break.
Lyndon Dykes put the Hoops level after he rounded Marek Rodak just before the hour mark
Mitrovic regained Fulham’s lead 12 minutes later with a looping header inside the box
MATCH FACTS & RATINGS
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Rodak 7; Odoi 6.5, Ream 6.5, Adarabioyo 6.5, Bryan 6 (Robinson 58min, 6.5); Reed 6.5, Seri 6.5; Cavaleiro 7 (Reid 32, 6.5), Wilson 6.5, Kebano 6.5; Mitrovic 8.5.
Scorers: Mitrovic 10, 67, Reid 71, Robinson 90+1
Manager: Marco Silva 6.5.
QPR (3-4-2-1): Dieng 6; Dickie 5, De Wijs 5.5, Barbet 5.5; Odubajo 6, Ball 6, Johansen 6, McCallum 6 (Dunne 66, 6); Chair 6, Willock 6.5; Austin 5.5 (Gray 69, 6).
Scorer: Dykes 55.
Booked: Ball, Johansen, Dunne, Odubajo.
Manager: Mark Warburton 6.
Referee: Oliver Langford 6.
The opener on 10 minutes was classic Mitrovic. As right back Denis Odoi whipped in a floated cross, the ball sat in the air.
The predatory instincts of this in-form striker came to light; he commanded his way in front of defender Robert Dickie and chested the ball down.
From there he used muscle to push his opponent away, and then a swivelled finish into the corner past Rangers goalkeeper Seny Dieng.
As is often with such strikers, the adage of ‘give an inch and they will take a mile’ was pertinent as Mitrovic nearly doubled the score twice in the following 10 minutes.
Rangers struck the post four minutes before the interval. Chris Willock, a shining light within the away side, made crisp contact outside the box but goalkeeper Marek Rodak pulled off a solid save.
The break had done wonders for QPR, with the team coming out with a renewed vigour.
Willock’s through ball found striker Lyndon Dykes, whose initial heavy touch guided him past the onrushing Rodak, and he struck into an empty net.
It helped ignite a cagey, back-and-forth affair in front of a crowd baying for points but Rangers failed to answer that call.
Neeskens Kebano delivered a looping cross from the left wing aiming for only one man — Mitrovic.
He put out an arm to guide defender Jordy de Wijs into no man’s land and then deftly nodded the ball home on 67 minutes.
Bobby Decordova-Reid secured the three points for Fulham with a low driven shot
Antonee Robinson piled on QPR’s misery with a deflected shot in additional time
QPR manager Mark Warburton was left seething with his defence and said: ‘We had a softness to us in periods of the game and that was not like us.
‘I think we showed too much respect in the first half, summed up by the first goal. He (Mitrovic) is a talented forward of course, but he has time to bring the ball down in the box to finish. That can’t happen.’
This goal knocked the air out of the visitors so when Reid collected Jean Michael Seri’s through ball to strike home, the match was more than wrapped up. Antonee Robinson added the gloss with the fourth goal in injury time.
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