Mitar is on fire : Fulham win 3 : 1 with Swansea Hat-trick by Aleksandar Mitrovic !


Aleksandar Mitrovic once again proved to be Swansea City’s nemesis as his hat-trick inspired Fulham to a 3-1 win over Russell Martin’s side.
The Serbian ran riot in the opening half at Craven Cottage, although his first strike should have been disallowed for offside.
He netted his second after an error from Ben Cabango, although Jamie Paterson pulled a goal back for the Swans in fine fashion.
But Mitrovic notched his third of the night on the stroke of half time as he sailed to the top of the division’s scoring charts while bringing an end to Swansea’s four-match unbeaten Championship run in the process.
The Swans went with the same 11 that started the 1-0 triumph over Huddersfield Town four days earlier.
And they survived a scare in the fourth minute as, after Olivier Ntcham lost possession, Joe Bryan looked to play Harry Wilson through on goal.
The Wales international went down in the Swansea box under a challenge from Ryan Manning, although referee Joshua Smith refused to point to the spot.
However, as was the case on their last visit to the home of the Cottagers, Swansea were on the receiving end of a frustrating decision from the officials as Fulham went 1-0 up.
Tim Ream’s header landed at the feet of Mitrovic who spun inside the box before coolly slotting beyond Ben Hamer to put the hosts ahead, although he appeared to be in an offside position when he received possession.
It will no doubt have frustrated the Swans’ coaching staff and the 1,200 or so members of the Jack Army who packed out the away end.
Swansea struggled to show much encouragement going forwards, and they had a lot on their plate when it came to dealing with the likes of Wilson, Mitrovic and Neeskens Kebano.
Mitrovic could only head straight at Hamer after beating Kyle Naughton to reach Bryan’s cross soon after.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid then spurned a golden opportunity to double his side’s lead after blazing over from Mitrovic’s perfectly weighted cross after a swift Fulham counter.
Matters went from bad to worse for the away side on the half hour mark as Ntcham was forced off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury – with Korey Smith replacing the Frenchman.
And within a minute of that enforced substitution, Swansea went 2-0 down as Cabango lost possession which allowed Kebano to cross to Mitrovic whose shot went in off the inside of Hamer’s post.
Swansea looked a shadow of the side that dominated against Huddersfield last time out, although, in the blink of an eye, they gave themselves a huge lifeline.
Joel Piroe sent Paterson through on goal, and the summer signing put Paulo Gazzaniga on to his backside before drilling home to halve Fulham’s advantage.
That strike gave the Swans a real lift, and they looked to get in the faces of the hosts.
But just as they had their tails up, they were undone by another blistering counter attack which ended with Mitrovic completing his hat-trick after being teed up by Denis Odoi.
Having come from three goals down to draw at Luton Town in their most recent away league outing, Swansea refused to throw in the towel.
They should have pulled a goal back five minutes after the restart as the lively Ethan Laird picked out Flynn Downes with a cross from the right flank, although the 22-year-old’s side-footed effort flew just over the crossbar.
They went even closer to bulging the net with their next attack as Laird’s deflected strike struck Gazzaniga’s crossbar.
Former Swan Alfie Mawson then replaced the injured Bryan as Fulham took the sting out of proceedings.
Martin threw caution to the wind and sent on Liam Cullen and Joel Latibeaudiere for Downes and Jake Bidwell respectively while Rodrigo Muniz replaced Mitrovic.
Hamer made a smart save to deny Odoi while Piroe and Laird then had shots blocked before substitute Joel Latibeaudiere headed wide from a corner.
But there was to be no repeat of the heroics at Luton as Swansea remain with just two league wins to their name after 10 fixtures of the campaign ahead of Saturday’s trip to Derby County.