Nobody in the ground really seemed to understand the reasons for Aleksandar Mitrović’s booking, and the man himself was unable to shed any real light on it either. “I tried to help [Jude Bellingham] because he had blood on his lips,” Mitro told FFCtv. “I told him he had the blood and to stay on the ground so that the referee could come over. Then the referee went to talk to his assistant and gave me a yellow card. I don’t know why. I just tried to help.” Unfortunately, yellow cards cannot be appealed, which means Mitrović will miss the Queens Park Rangers match having collected five bookings.
Mitrović’s importance to the Fulham team is plain to see, but we will need to switch things up for the West London derby. Bobby Decordova-Reid has played the number nine role many times for his previous clubs, while Aboubakar Kamara provides a different type of option. One silver lining is that the international break will provide Scott Parker with more time than usual to try out new systems and tactics.
Cyrus Christie was introduced earlier than he would have expected after Maxime Le Marchand picked up a first half injury, but the right-back delivered an assured performance that influenced proceedings at both ends of the pitch. While contributing to a much craved clean sheet, he also delivered the flighted cross that proved too testing for Lee Camp to hold, allowing Mitrović to turn home the winner.
It was a bitter, torrential afternoon in the Midlands, and so when stand-in captain Mitrović realised the Fulham mascot was shivering, he quickly took his jacket off and draped it over the young fan. Birmingham had a whole host of kids in the same situation, and so the rest of the Whites players copied their skipper’s example and parted with their tops. (It was perhaps a little surprising the Blues mascots were willing to wear the FFC crest, though, having spent plenty of pre-match booing our media team in the tunnel). 😉
While Marek Rodák technically kept a clean sheet against Middlesbrough, he’ll likely count this shutout as the first official one of his Fulham career in the Championship, and fully deserved it was too. The youngster made a number of saves throughout the encounter, most impressively in the second half when he tipped a Lukas Jutkiewicz header onto the crossbar.