Bournemouth 0-1 Fulham: Aleksandar Mitrovic gives Cottagers first away win
Match report and highlights as Fulham stun Bournemouth
Last Updated: 20/04/19 6:50pm
Fulham recorded their first away win of the season as an Aleksandar Mitrovic penalty secured a 1-0 victory at Bournemouth.
The already-relegated visitors had lost 15 and drawn the other two of their 17 road trips but changed the script at the Vitality Stadium after weathering an early onslaught from the hosts.
The game's key moment came in the 53rd minute when Jack Simpson caught Mitrovic just inside the box, and the Serb striker stepped up to slot home the resulting penalty.
It gave caretaker Fulham boss Scott Parker a second straight win following last week's 2-0 victory over Everton, although the London side remain second-bottom, with Bournemouth in 12th.
Bournemouth: Boruc (7), Cook (6), Gosling (6), Ake (6), Lerma (6), Wilson (5), Smith (5), King (4), Brooks (6), Fraser (8), Mepham (6).
Subs: Mousset (6), Stanislas (4), Solanke (5).
Fulham: Rico (8), Sessegnon (7), Odoi (7), Chambers (8), Mitrovic (8), Babel (7), Ream (7), Le Marchand (7), Bryan (8), Seri (7), Anguissa (7).
Subs: Christie (6), Ayite (N/A), Nordtveit (N/A)
Man of the match: Sergio Rico
How Fulham and Mitrovic broke their away drought...
Bournemouth went into the match on the back of a 5-0 success at Brighton last weekend and looked set to continue on the goal trail in the early stages after creating a string of chances.
Callum Wilson hooked over a decent effort in the opening minute, while Josh King and the lively Ryan Fraser had shots deflected wide with just six minutes on the clock.
Fraser continued to look Bournemouth's biggest attacking threat and presented King with a golden opportunity on the quarter-hour mark, but the striker blazed over.
Sergio Rico tipped behind a left-footed Fraser effort soon after, but a series of stoppages for injuries appeared to halt Bournemouth's momentum and Fulham got a foothold in the game.
The Cottagers started to probe and went close to the opening goal when Ryan Babel's corner was met at the near post by Belgian defender Denis Odoi, only for Artur Boruc to make a smart stop down to his left.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, taking charge of his 500th match as a manager, went to a back three after the break, but Fulham continued to gain in confidence with Babel sending a header over the bar.
And just eight minutes into the second half, they were in front. The Cottagers zipped a series of passes around the edge of the box before Simpson's clumsy challenge caught Mitrovic and referee David Coote pointed to the spot.
Mitrovic had failed to score in his last nine Premier League games and was without an away goal since the start of September, but the striker kept his nerve to tuck his penalty into the corner.
Bournemouth had further chances via Fraser and Wilson, but Rico held firm in the Fulham goal as the already-relegated visitors finally ended their away-day drought at the 18th time of asking.
- Fulham picked up their first league win over Bournemouth since January 1994, when both sides were in the third tier of English football.
- Bournemouth suffered their 18th defeat of the Premier League season, equalling their most in a single campaign in the competition (18 in 2015-16).
- Fulham have won back-to-back games in the Premier League for the first time since April 2014, when they beat Aston Villa and Norwich under Felix Magath.
- Bournemouth have lost four of their seven Premier League home games against teams starting the day in the relegation zone, with this their first such defeat since losing against Crystal Palace in January 2017.
- Bournemouth haven't won any of their last five home games in the Premier League - their longest such run since February 2017 (D2 L3).
- No stadium has seen more penalties awarded this season than the Vitality Stadium (10 - seven for Bournemouth, three for the opposition).
- Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal for Fulham ended a run of nine Premier League games without scoring - he hadn't netted with any of his previous 36 shots in the competition prior to his penalty.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic's penalty was the first he has scored in all competitions since April 2016 (for Newcastle v Norwich) - he had failed to score each of his last two penalties before today.
Man of the match: Sergio Rico
The Fulham goalkeeper made a vital early stop from Fraser and threw himself at the feet of Bournemouth's front men several times to deny the hosts an equaliser. Made five saves and simply refused to be beaten, preserving Fulham's clean sheet and playing a huge part in their first away win of the campaign.
Eddie Howe: "Tough one to take. We were so good last week, so clinical in front of goal, some of our passing and movement was of the highest quality. Today that was missing.
"We created the opportunities today, we got into the positions but we didn't quite execute the finish right or the final pass and it'll be a frustration because we felt we could have won that game today."
Scott Parker: "We spoke about it at half-time. I felt that, first half, we knew they'd come out quick at us and we knew that we'd have to weather the storm a little and bit and certainly we did that.
"And then at half-time, we changed things a little bit, tried to get a little bit more control of the ball, trying to get players inside the pitch a bit more and try to build into the game that way and, in the second half, on the run of play, we was very good value really, and we had a clear way about us and that was pleasing."
Bournemouth make the short trip to south coast rivals Southampton next Saturday while Fulham bid to make it three wins on the spin when they host Cardiff on the same day.