Mitrovic downs Bournemouth and fires Fulham to second consecutive win


Bournemouth 0-1 Fulham

Already relegated Fulham earned their second win in a row as they beat Bournemouth 1-0, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring the only goal of the game and his 11th of the season.

The sun soaked the pitch on the south coast on Easter weekend, as relegated Fulham travelled to Bournemouth looking to finish the season with at the very least a sense of pride. They came into the game off the back of a 2-0 win over Everton, whilst Bournemouth were on the hunt for more goals after a 5-0 thrashing of Brighton last weekend.

An injury in the warmup to Adam Smith meant Eddie Howe had to reshuffle the pack, with Junior Stanislas coming in at right back.

Callum Wilson forged a good opportunity in the opening minutes, getting in behind the lackadaisical Fulham defence, but could only fire over the bar. Bournemouth again went close as Fulham failed to settle early in the game, a Ryan Fraser corner was headed goalwards by Nathan Ake and a smothering save by Sergio Rico prevented Callum Wilson forcing the ball over the line and into the net.

Bournemouth should have taken the lead on 15 minutes, Ryan Fraser left Denis Odoi for dust down the left hand side before his ball across the box fell to the feet of Josh King. The 11 goal man only managing to fire well over the bar from just six yards out.

Almost immediately, Fulham went up the other end and wasted a glorious chance themselves.

Ake cleared an Aleksandar Mitrovic header off the line before some confusion amongst the Cherries’ defence saw the Serbian forward blaze over seconds later. The game had kicked into life as the end to end play continued, Fraser again beating Odoi down the left and forcing Rico into a fine save.

Stanislas, the last minute replacement for Smith, injured himself firing a free kick over the bar. Eddie Howe was forced into a substitution as academy graduate Jack Simpson entered the fray for only his third appearance in the Premier League. Steve Cook moved to right back as Simpson filled in at centre back for Bournemouth.

After a scrappy phase of play where neither side could manufacture anything of note, Ryan Sessegnon got the better of Ake to flash a ball across the goalmouth, but there was no awaiting white shirt to finish the move off. Fulham came close again from a set piece, Artur Boruc got down low to palm away Odoi’s front post header.

Callum Wilson and Rico clashed as they challenged for the ball leaving them both in need of treatment, the fourth official indicating four minutes of injury time due to various stoppages but the sides went into the break goalless.

Fulham carved the first decent opportunity of the second half, Jean-Michael Seri crossing from the right for Ryan Babel to head over the bar.

Fulham were awarded a penalty on 52 minutes after Mitrovic was fouled in the box by Chris Mepham. The Serb stepped up and confidently dispatched the penalty, sending Boruc the wrong way and the Fulham fans into an ironic frenzy. Chants of ‘we are staying up’ were coupled with ‘1-0 to the Championship’.

Joshua King made way for Dominic Solanke as Eddie Howe looked to bring a different dynamic to the forward line which had been starved of the ball for the opening proceedings of the second half. Ryan Sessegnon began to find more joy against Nathan Ake and Zambo Anguissa tried to emphasise his physical presence in the middle.

Bournemouth broke with rapid pace from a Fulham corner, David Brooks playing in Fraser as the Fulham defence were out of sorts, but Rico came out well to smother the Scots effort on goal. Rico required another spell of treatment which brought on a chorus of boos from the crowd.

Bournemouth should have found themselves level on 72 minutes, a goalmouth scramble saw both Wilson and Solanke have attempts to score but somehow Odoi emerged from the box with the ball. Rico then got under the skin of the Bournemouth fans once again as he claimed a foul when Wilson challenged him for the ball.

The home side refused to relent in their attempts to equalise, Fraser again with an opportunity from inside the box but blazed his effort over the bar as tempers began to flare. Mitrovic went into the book for a challenge on Ake and then went close with a low, left footed effort from the edge of the box.

Mepham was sacrificed for a more attacking approach from Howe with Lys Mousset adding to the forward line of Solanke and Wilson. Scott Parker made his first change of the game in response, with Seri making way for Cyrus Christie to add some more defensive stability to his side.

Brooks managed to work his way to the byline and attempt to dink the ball towards an unmarked Dan Gosling at the far post, but his cross was wayward and bounced off the top of the goal frame and out for a goal kick. The young Welsh winger then found himself behind the defence but couldn’t connect with a volley as it skewed wide.

Ryan Babel, a clear fan favourite, was replaced by Floyd Ayite as Parker looked to add fresh legs to his sides counter attacking opportunities in the final five minutes. Anguissa went down with cramp as his hard work in the middle caught up with his body, the Cameroon international replaced with Havard Nordtveit taking to the field.

The referee added six minutes of additional time, which gave the Bournemouth fans and players a lift as they looked to reap rewards from an extended spell of pressure on the Fulham goal.

But Fulham held strong as Scott Parker led his side to their second consecutive win. Eddie Howe will lament the missed chances by his side, and their inability to control the game in midfield.


Bournemouth – Artur Boruc; Junior Stanislas, Chris Mepham, Steve Cook, Nathan Ake; Jefferson Lerma, Dan Gosling, Ryan Fraser, David Brooks; Callum Wilson, Joshua King

Subs – Jack Simpson (Stanislas 23′), Dominic Solanke (King 61′) Lys Mousset (Mepham 76′)

Fulham – Sergio Rico; Dennis Odoi, Tim Ream, Maxime Le Marchand, Joe Bryan; André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Jean Micheal-Seri, Callum Chambers; Ryan Babel, Aleksandr Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon

Subs – Cyrus Christie (Seri 79′), Floyd Ayite (Babel 86′)


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