By Richard Morgan
Football journalist - @Richiereds1976
Fulham 1-0 Huddersfield: Late Aleksandar Mitrovic strike sees off Terriers
Highlights and report as Cottagers move up to 18th in table
Last Updated: 29/12/18 7:52pm
Aleksandar Mitrovic's injury-time strike saw Fulham beat Huddersfield 1-0 in the battle of the basement sides at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
There was huge relief for the hosts after Aboubakar Kamara had a late penalty saved by Jonas Lossl, with the substitute having grabbed the ball off top-scorer Mitrovic in order to take the spot kick.
However, that 83rd-minute miss was soon forgotten as Mitrovic drilled home a 91st-minute winner, the Serbian's first goal in seven matches and eighth in total this season.
Fulham: Rico (6), Odoi (8), Mawson (6), Ream (6), Christie (7), Chambers (6), Cairney (6), Seri (5), Bryan (7), Vietto (5), Mitrovic (7)
Subs: R Sessegnon (7), Le Marchand (6), Kamara (6)
Huddersfield: Lossl (7), Durm (7), Schindler (6), Zanka (6), Kongolo (6), Hadergjonaj (6), Lowe (6), Billing (6), Hogg (7), Pritchard (7), Mounie (6)
Subs: Kachunga (6) Depoitre (6)
Man of the match: Denis Odoi
As a result, Claudio Ranieri's team moved up to 18th in the Premier League and are just a point from safety, while Huddersfield remain bottom of the table.
Huddersfield may have started the better of the two struggling sides, dominating both possession and territory before the break in west London.
It was the home team who created the better openings, though, with leading-scorer Mitrovic twice going close from right-wing corners, only for his far-post headers to miss the target.
Ranieri made a double change at the break and while the switches gave the hosts more attacking edge, the contest appeared to be petering out for a draw, until late drama unfolded down by the Thames.
Fulham made two changes from their Boxing Day draw with Wolves, with captain Tom Cairney and Luciano Vietto coming in for Andre Schurrle and Aboubakar Kamara, who dropped to the bench.
The Terriers, meanwhile, made three changes from their 3-1 loss at Man Utd on Boxing Day, with Jonathan Hogg, Chris Lowe and Steve Mounie all recalled. And Elias Kachunga, Isaac Mbenza, Laurent Depoitre were subs.
Firstly, Fulham were awarded a penalty when Chris Lowe was judged to have handled Kamara's shot in the box after Joe Bryan's miss-hit cross had deceived Lossl and hit the bar.
However, following a dispute over who should take the spot kick, with Kamara winning the argument, the substitute then saw his weak effort easily saved by Lossl, diving to his left.
That miss was soon forgotten, though, when in stoppage time the home team launched a swift counter through captain Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon.
From the substitute's wonderful pass, there was the ever-willing Mitrovic to drill the ball through the advancing Lossl's legs and send the Cottage into pandemonium.
- Fulham recorded their second victory in eight Premier League games under Claudio Ranieri (D3 L3), with both wins coming at Craven Cottage.
- Huddersfield failed to score in 20 Premier League matches during 2018 - more than any other side.
- During 2018, Aleksandar Mitrovic scored 20 league goals for Fulham - seven more than any other Cottagers player.
- Since the start of last season, only Lukasz Fabianski (4) has saved more Premier League penalties than Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl (3).
- Huddersfield striker Steve Mounie had two shots in this game without success, taking his tally to 32 without scoring in the Premier League this season - the most of any player.
- None of Fulham's last 158 home league matches have ended goalless.
Claudio Ranieri: "The man who should shoot the penalty is Mitrovic, and Kamara did not respect me, the club, the team-mates, the crowd, anybody. He take the ball and want to shoot the ball, it is unbelievable. I want to kill him."
David Wagner: Obviously it's a low point. Not only because we've lost seven in a row but how we lost it. It's a heavy loss we've conceded (at Fulham). We will need for sure a little bit longer than only 30 minutes afterwards to deal with it.
"December wasn't our month, obviously. But for me it's not possible to think so quickly after the game about the transfer window or the next game. I have to reflect."
Man of the Match - Denis Odoi
The experienced defender has come in for criticism for some of his displays with his side struggling this season.
However, against Huddersfield, the Belgium international was back to the sort of form he showed as the Cottagers won promotion to the Premier League last season.
The 30-year-old was a dominating presence in the hosts' back line, breaking up opposition attacks, before helping to launch attacks with his accurate passing into midfield.
Ranieri will need more such performances from the Belgian between now and the end of the season if Fulham are to beat the drop.
Fulham take on Champions League-chasing Arsenal at the Emirates on Tuesday afternoon, while Huddersfield host fellow-strugglers Burnley on Wednesday night.