Championship
FulhamFulham3SwanseaSwansea City1

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

By Gareth VincentBBC Sport Wales
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.

Fulham head coach Marco Silva said: "For Mitro (Mitrovic) to score three goals means he had a very good night, but the way we put the ball for him to score - every striker in the world cannot score goals if the team doesn't produce for him. We did so well for him to score.

"Sometimes strikers have three or four chances and score three goals, last game he scored once and had clear chances to score more. It's the life of strikers. It was good to see him scoring three goals tonight because it was good for him and for the team.

"In the first hlaf we did so well. We had some fantastic moments. Our offensive organisation and our offensive transition - we had two fantastic moments on the counter-attack.

"The way we built our attacks was really good. Without the ball we had good organisation although we must do better with the position of our midfielders when we concede the goal."

Swansea head coach Russell Martin told BBC Sport Wales: "I thought we were great. I am really proud of the players - we went toe to toe with the best side in the division.

"They have a guy who is in really hot form and is one of the best strikers in the division. That's why he gets paid a lot of money, to do what he does.

"But let's put into perspective. They spent on one player pretty much our whole playing budget for the season.

"We were up against it, but we came her with courage, real bravery, and I liked so much about it. I am disappointed to lose but I am really proud of the way the players approached it."

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

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home10
Away7
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home16
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 3, Swansea City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 3, Swansea City 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joel Latibeaudiere (Swansea City) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Grimes with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Joel Latibeaudiere (Swansea City).

  6. Post update

    Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Joel Latibeaudiere (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Tim Ream (Fulham).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ben Cabango.

  11. Post update

    Matt Grimes (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham).

  13. Post update

    Korey Smith (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Harrison Reed (Fulham).

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rodrigo Muniz (Fulham) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tosin Adarabioyo.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ethan Laird (Swansea City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Liam Cullen.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joël Piroe (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Liam Cullen.

  18. Post update

    Joel Latibeaudiere (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Dangerous play by Neeskens Kebano (Fulham).

  20. Post update

    Offside, Swansea City. Jamie Paterson tries a through ball, but Joël Piroe is caught offside.

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

53 comments

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1West Brom106402081222
2Bournemouth10640167922
3Fulham106222291320
4Coventry106131211119
5Stoke105321411318
6Blackburn104421812616
7Huddersfield105141614216
8QPR104331914515
9Luton103431816213
10Bristol City103431111013
11Reading104151619-313
12Middlesbrough103341111012
13Sheff Utd103341314-112
14Millwall102621011-112
15Birmingham103341012-212
16Blackpool10334913-412
17Preston102531012-211
18Cardiff103251218-611
19Swansea10244914-510
20Nottm Forest102261114-38
21Barnsley10154713-68
22Peterborough102261020-108
23Hull10136615-96
24Derby1034378-11
View full Championship table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC

Also in Sport