Report | Fulham 1 Swansea City 0

26th February 2020
First team
Fulham Andre Ayew

Swansea City suffered last-gasp heartbreak as Aleksandar Mitrovic headed in at the death to cap a dramatic conclusion to the Championship clash at Craven Cottage.

The Serbian had missed a penalty moments earlier as Freddie Woodman denied him following a barely conceivable decision by referee Tim Robinson to adjudge Connor Roberts had fouled Neeskens Kebano.

Woodman, not for the first time this season, guessed right to deny the striker from the spot but he could not keep out his towering header.

Steve Cooper’s Swans could have left south-west London with all three points themselves with Andre Ayew and Jake Bidwell going close, while the Ghanaian and his team-mates were convinced he should have been awarded a late penalty following a tackle by Denis Odoi.

The Cottagers also had their chances, Mitrovic and Joe Bryan among the men to go close for the hosts before the late drama.

The Swans were unchanged from the win over Huddersfield, with only one alteration on the bench as illness ruled out Bersant Celina; Nathan Dyer the man to come in.

Woodman was forced into action inside 40 seconds, getting down quickly at his near post to keep out Anthony Knockaert’s drive.

The keeper then saved from Bobby Decordova-Reid after his own sliced clearance had allowed Fulham to attack quickly from the resulting throw.

The Swans responded, Joe Rodon heading a Matt Grimes free-kick back across goal, only for no yellow shirt to be able to connect.

Fulham Jake Bidwell

Woodman was soon busy again, a combination of his fingertips and the bar keeping out an Ivan Cavaleiro corner.

Grimes then made a crunching challenge on Mitrovic, before the Serbian striker saw a big chance blocked by Bidwell.

Ayew spurned the best chance yet, showing great strength to beat Tim Ream to Conor Gallagher’s flick, but could not get a shot away in time after rounding keeper Marek Rodak.

Cavaleiro fired over via a touch off the covering Ben Cabango, before Mitrovic clipped well wide after getting away from Joe Rodon.

Bidwell went close at the other end, timing his run well to meet a Grimes corner, but just guiding his effort wide.

It remained goalless at the break although the positive intent continued into the second half; Brewster firing at Rodak, while Woodman held a dangerous Knockaert cross.

The Swans then had a penalty appeal turned down as Jay Fulton’s cross struck Bryan’s body and then rode up onto the defender’s elbow.

Fulham had a succession of set-pieces as the hour neared, and great defending from Rodon denied Mitrovic from Bryan’s whipped cross.

The Wales international excelled again seconds later, reacting sharply to scoop the ball away from Cavaleiro, before Rodak gathered Brewster’s flick from Bidwell’s well-weighted pass.

Fulham Matt Grimes

Cooper sent on Jordon Garrick for Aldo Kalulu and the sub nearly scored for the third game in a row, only for the offside flag to deny him.

Brewster then whistled an effort just wide of the goal from 25 yards with 20 minutes to go and the tension ratcheting.

Rodak pushed away an Ayew effort with the Swans enjoying a good spell.

Fulham responded, Bryan firing across the face of goal and just wide of the far post before Ayew was left with his arms aloft in anguish after going down as Odoi challenged him in the area.

However, the spot-kick came at the other end, only for Woodman to step up and save, also denying Kebano’s follow-up.

But Mitrovic would not be denied, powering home a header in the final minute of stoppage time.

Fulham: Marek Rodak, Michael Hector, Denis Odoi, Tim Ream, Joe Bryan; Tom Cairney (captain), Harry Arter (Kevin McDonald 90); Anthony Knockaert (Aboubakar Kamara 83), Bobby Decordova-Reid, Ivan Cavaleiro (Neeskens Kebano 78); Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Substitutes: Marcus Bettinelli, Stefan Johansen, Cyrus Christie, Steven Sessegnon.

Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Kyle Naughton (Connor Roberts 82), Joe Rodon, Ben Cabango, Jake Bidwell; Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain); Aldo Kalulu (Jordon Garrick 64), Conor Gallagher, Andre Ayew; Rhian Brewster.

Substitutes: Erwin Mulder, Ben Wilmot, Yan Dhanda Nathan Dyer, Liam Cullen.

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 17,626