Mitrovic at the double as Fulham hit back to beat Brighton



Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2019 by PA

Mitrovic at the double as Fulham hit back to beat Brighton

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice as Fulham came from two goals down to breathe life into their relegation battle with a 4-2 win over Brighton.

The Cottagers, who had lost all four of their previous matches since the turn of the year, were staring down the barrel of another defeat after two first-half goals from Glenn Murray.

But Calum Chambers pulled one back with his first Fulham goal before two trademark Mitrovic headers put the hosts in front, and Luciano Vietto opened his account with the fourth to wrap up the victory.

Mitrovic at the double as Fulham hit back to beat Brighton
Aleksandar Mitrovic, right, and Glenn Murray both scored twice but Fulham took the three points (John Walton/PA)

Manager Claudio Ranieri had urged his players to “continue to fight” after the narrow defeat by Tottenham nine days ago.

It was a message taken a little too literally by striker Aboubakar Kamara who has since been suspended by the club following an altercation at the training ground.

But Fulham certainly showed plenty of mettle in a thrilling second-half display which will raise hopes that they can still save themselves this season.

Fulham have conceded more goals than any other team in Europe’s five major leagues this season, and it was easy to see why in the first half.

Mitrovic at the double as Fulham hit back to beat Brighton
Murray twice found the target to put Brighton in charge early on (John Walton/PA)

Just three minutes had elapsed when Martin Montoya was allowed to stride unchallenged down the right and cross for Murray to guide home.

Then another Montoya ball into the box was only half-cleared by Denis Odoi and Pascal Gross’ attempted shot fell kindly for Murray to strike again, hitting his seventh goal in his last five league matches against Fulham.

Ranieri had seen enough, and defender Tim Ream suffered the ignominy of being substituted after just 27 minutes with Tom Cairney sent on.

Murray twice almost completed a first-half hat-trick,  Sergio Rico blocking his close-range effort with his legs before the striker hooked another chance wide, while Davy Propper’s 25-yard drive crashed against the crossbar.

Mitrovic at the double as Fulham hit back to beat Brighton
Luciano Vietto netted the fourth goal in his side’s victory (John Walton/PA)

Yet somehow Fulham clawed themselves back into the contest two minutes after the interval, Chambers beating Maty Ryan with a thumping drive from 20 yards.

Suddenly Fulham were peppering the Brighton goal, and Vietto and Odoi saw efforts blocked before Mitrovic bravely threw himself at a bouncing cross to head in the equaliser.

With their tails up, the hosts were denied by the woodwork when Jean Michael Seri hit the foot of a post.

Rico was called into action to keep the scores level with a fine stop from Murray’s header, and it proved a vital save as moments later Mitrovic rose highest to nod in a Joe Bryan cross and give Fulham the lead.

A nervous final 10 minutes looked in prospect until Cairney struck the crossbar and Vietto tucked the rebound away to complete the dramatic turnaround.

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