Championship

Championship Top Five, Round Ten: Triple threat for Fulham

Aleksandar Mitrovic, Tom Cairney, and Stefan Johansen all star for the Cottagers away at Reading.

 
1:14pm on Thursday 3rd October 2019
By
Martin Macdonald

It takes one hell of a team performance to have the top three rated players of the round, but that is exactly what Fulham put in to comfortably defeat Reading 4-1 away from home on Tuesday.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney will take the plaudits for their two goals each, but Stefan Johansen starred also, laying on two assists for his team-mates.

The Serbian continues to prove he is the most prolific striker currently operating in the Championship, as he netted another two goals as Fulham defeated Reading. They were both scored in typical predatory fashion, as for his first he drifted beyond his marker to prod home from close range, and cleverly held his run at the right moment inside the box to guide a Joe Bryan cross past the goalkeeper for his second.

CHAOct 1, 2019W
Tom Cairney M, AM (C)
  • 73'
  • 8.9

    The Scotland international scored two goals from midfield on Tuesday, and you probably won't see a better pair of strikes this week. The first, to open the scoring at the Madejski Stadium, was a beautiful, curled effort from the edge of the area which nestled perfectly in the top right corner. His second was opportunistic as he took advantage of the goalkeeper being in no man's land to dink a cheeky chip over everyone into the empty net from 25 yards.

    The former Celtic midfielder struggled to make an impact in the Premier League last year as Fulham brought in a raft of new signings, but has once again proved how effective he can be at Championship level this season. As well as laying the ball on a plate to record two assists for his team-mates, he made six ball recoveries and completed 55 out of 59 passes.

    Moving away from Fulham, now, and we have a remarkable display from Sam Johnstone of West Brom. The Baggies may have lost 1-0 to Leeds, but if not for him between the sticks, it could have been much, much more. Leeds had nine shots on target in total in the game, and Johnstone saved all but one which was scored by Ezgjan Alioski. The 26-year-old really did not deserve to be on the losing side.

    That vital, match-winning goal which ruined Johnstone's performance was scored by Alioski in the 38th minute. After some neat work by Jack Harrison, the ball comes to the Macedonian in the left channel, and he makes no mistake with the finish, sending it across goal into the bottom right corner beyond all the bodies inside the box. He made eight ball recoveries and three interceptions, so was effective in his defensive duties, too.

    HONOURABLE MENTIONS

    Alex Mowatt (8.3) was excellent in the middle of the park for Barnsley as they drew 2-2 with Derby at the Oakwell Stadium. He won 100% of his attempted tackles and also made four ball recoveries and three interceptions. Marlon Pack (8.1) scored in Cardiff's 3-0 win over QPR, and also won 7 out of 9 duels.

    ROUND TO FORGET

    While Mowatt was on form for Barnsley, behind him Mads Juel Andersen (4.4) was certainly, well, not. He was basically at fault for both goals, as for Derby's first he seemed to be trying to shield the ball back into the hands of his goalkeeper, only to slip, allowing Chris Martin to score. Incredibly, he tried to do the same thing AGAIN later on, only to give away a penalty, which Tom Huddlestone scored.

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