It's Mitrovic at the double as Fulham give Millwall a lesson in finishing
Fulham (1) 3 Mitrovic 29, 50, De-Cordova-Reid 87
Millwall (0) 0
Aleksandar Mitrovic took his tally of league goals to 30 with another double as Fulham tightened their grip on the top of the table.
They were given a sound beating at Man City in the FA Cup on Saturday, but back on familiar Championship turf, they again looked masters of their own destiny.
Millwall started well and created a couple of very good chances, but once Marco Silva’s men took charge – Mitrovic in particular - there was only going to be one winner.
They now have an eight-point lead over second-placed Blackburn and still have a game in hand. Bournemouth and QPR have played a game less than the Whites but trail by nine and 10 points respectively.
Fulham were not out of the blocks quickly this time though, and were lucky to avoid an early calamity after a halfway line blunder from Antonee Robinson gave Ollie Burke the chance to bear down on goal from the right.
Marek Rodak was just about able to readjust and paw the ball away after a cross-shot deflected towards his net.
There was another good chance for the Lions soon after as well, when Mason Bennett teed up Maikel Kieftenbeld for a shot from 12 yards - the midfielder striking untidily over the bar.
But Fulham were soon starting to make waves and Fabio Carvalho invited home debutant Nico Wiliams to chance his arm from distance – a scenario Liverpool fans hope to see reproduced in the years ahead, if Carvalho eventually joins the on-loan Williams at Anfield, as has been mooted.
For now, though, both are very much in the white of Fulham and Williams – who played his first game for the club at Man City - had an assist for the opener.
His overlap for Harry Wilson ended in a deflected cross which fell perfectly for Mitrovic to bury from six yards.
Tom Cairney bent a shot just over from a Neeskens Kebano feed from the left as the Whites looked to put daylight between themselves and the south Londoners.
Five minutes into the second half, they had their wish. Cairney’s dink into the box caused mayhem and after Carvalho had spun to force a save from Bartosz Bialkowski, Mitrovic was on hand to smash in the rebound.
Another personal treble was on. And it almost came immediately, as the Serb made space before firing just over.
The Lions almost found a lifeline when Jed Wallace, fresh off the bench, fed Bennett for a first-time shot.
An even better chance came when Burke rolled the ball wide to an unmarked Wallace, 12 yards out, but a firm shot was turned aside by the alert Rodak and Bennett clipped a follow-up wide when well placed.
Still not done, they contrived another opening for Benik Afobe, which the striker looked certain to convert until Rodak deflected wide. Many away fans at the Putney end saw the side netting ripple and thought they had scored.
Had any of those gone in, we might have been looking at a tight finish. Instead, Fulham stayed firmly in control and added a third.
A lovely sweeping ball from Mitrovic was collected by Wilson, scampering down the right, and although Carvalho scuffed a near-post shot, sub Bobby De-Cordova-Reid was on hand to poke home.
Whites: (4-2-3-1) Rodak – N Williams, Tosin, Ream, Robinson – Chalobah, Cairney (Reed 71) – Wilson, Carvalho, Kebano (De-Cordova-Reid 76) – Mitrovic (Muniz 90). Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Hector, Seri
Lions: (3-4-2-1) Bialkowski – Hutchinson, Cooper M Wallace – McNamara, Kieftenbeld, Mitchell, Pearce (J Wallace 57) – Burke (Burey 77), Bennett (Freeman 77) – Afobe. Subs not used: Long, Saville, Mahoney, Evans