HomePremier LeagueFeisty Fulham bring Brighton's unbeaten run to an end

Feisty Fulham bring Brighton’s unbeaten run to an end

Soccer Football – Premier League – Fulham v Brighton & Hove Albion – Craven Cottage, London, Britain – August 30, 2022 Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tosin Adarabioyo celebrate after the match Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) – Aleksandar Mitrovic bagged his 100th goal for Fulham on the way to a 2-1 Premier League win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Craven Cottage on Tuesday, bringing an end to the visitors’ longest unbeaten run in the top flight.

“A great win, a great three points,” Fulham manager Marco Silva told reporters. “We controlled the game really well. They (the players) deserved the win.”

For long stretches of the first half Fulham sat deep and sought to catch the visitors out on the break. While they did manage to break forward a number of times, with Mitrovic making some mazy runs goalwards, they were let down by their wayward final touches.

At the other end Solly March had the best chance of the half for Brighton, but sent his header wide of Bernd Leno’s goal.

Mitrovic finally broke the deadlock in the 48th minute when Neeskens Kebano swept the ball across the goalmouth for the powerful Serb to fire in at the far post. It was the striker’s 100th goal for the Cottagers in all competitions.

Fulham had the Seagulls reeling seven minutes later when Andreas Pereira crossed the ball in only for Lewis Dunk to deflect it heavily into his own net, piling the misery on Graham Potter’s men.

Brighton were thrown a lifeline moments later, however, when Bobby De Cordova-Reid brought down Pervis Estupinan in the area, and Alexis Mac Allister smashed his penalty in high past the lunging Bernd Leno.

De Cordova-Reid spurned a golden opportunity to restore Fulham’s two-goal advantage in the 70th minute when Mitrovic laid the ball off for him on the right side of the area, only for the Jamaican forward to blaze his shot high and wide.

But Fulham held on for the win in front of the crowd of 22,224, with the home fans cheering ecstatically when referee Thomas Bramall, officiating his first top division match, blew the whistle after six minutes of extra time.

“We controlled the final minutes and showed the maturity that I really want to see in the team,” Silva said.

Mitrovic himself said he felt Fulham deserved the three points after a battling performance.

“We gave everything tonight. In the first half we didn’t play like we wanted. In the second half we tried to press a little higher and scored two goals, then conceded one sloppy one. We died for each other tonight,” he told BT Sport after the match.

The win lifts Fulham to sixth in the table on eight points from five games, while Brighton remain in fourth place on 10 points ahead of a full slate of midweek fixtures.

It also brings to an end Brighton’s nine-match unbeaten run, their longest in the Premier League.

“Overall Fulham deserved to win and we weren’t as good as we can be. We made too many execution mistakes. It was just one of those nights where we weren’t at our level,” Brighton boss Potter told reporters after the match.

“Mitrovic is a handful,” he added.

(Reporting by Hugh LawsonEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)