Fulham 3-0 Preston: Cottagers BACK in the Premier League after victory

Fulham 3-0 Preston: The Cottagers are BACK in the Premier League as Fabio Carvalho’s strike and another Aleksandar Mitrovic brace hands them a dominant win over Ryan Lowe’s men and seals promotion with four games to spare

  • Fulham secured promotion back to the Premier League on Tuesday night
  • Marco Silva’s side cruised to a 3-0 victory over Preston at Craven Cottage
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a brace to hit the 40-goal mark in all competitions
  • Fabio Carvalho also struck to ensure they sealed promotion with four games left
  • The Cottagers are now out of reach while 16 points clear of Nottingham Forest

The familiar elation of Championship promotion for Fulham – only this time they took the easy route.

Their last two elevations to the Premier League have been accompanied by the nail-biting tension of the play-offs. This time they have dominated the division, galloping clear from mid-January.

Marco Silva’s side got over the line with this rampant win over Preston. Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a double to move within two of equalling Guy Whittingham’s post-1992 second-tier scoring record of 42 goals in a season.

Fulham have sealed promotion to the Premier League after cruising to a 3-0 win over Preston

Fabio Carvalho was also on target at a jubilant Craven Cottage, with the ‘olés’ that greeted every Fulham pass starting well before half-time.

After three promotions and two relegations in five seasons, the million dollar question now is whether Fulham can finally re-establish themselves in the big time.

A certain amount of squad strengthening will be required to shed their yo-yo reputation but it will be a shame to see them totally sacrifice the wonderfully fluent style Silva has encouraged this season.

They had already squandered one opportunity to seal promotion, losing having been a goal ahead at Derby on Friday night.

Aleksandar Mitrovic fired the Cottagers in front after nine minutes of Tuesday night’s clash

Fabio Carvalho doubled their lead in the 34th minute with a superb finish over Daniel Iversen

The 19-year-old’s goal left Fulham with promotion back to the top flight firmly in their sights


Fulham (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Williams, Adarabioyo, Ream, Bryan; Cairney (c), Reed (Seri 70); Wilson, Carvalho (De Cordova-Reid 75), Kebano; Mitrovic (Muniz 77)

Substitutes not used: Gazzaniga (GK); Hector, Chalobah, Robinson

Manager: Marco Silva

Scorers: Mitrovic 9, 41; Carvalho 34

Booked: Cairney

Preston North End (3-1-4-2): Iversen; Van den Berg, Lindsay, Hughes; Potts (Sinclair 69); McCann, Whiteman, Johnson (c), Earl (Diaby 46); Evans (Maguire 25), Archer

Substitutes not used: Hudson (GK); Cunningham, Rafferty, Huntington

Manager: Ryan Lowe

Booked: Whiteman

Referee: Leigh Doughty


And there were some early jitters, with Marek Rodak clawing away an effort by Ched Evans that deflected awkwardly off Tosin Adarabioyo, before touching over Ben Whiteman’s effort.

But any nerves around Craven Cottage were settled nine minutes in thanks, inevitably, to Mitrovic.

Joe Bryan wriggled away from two Preston players close to the touchline, drove infield and slipped a through ball into Mitrovic’s path.

The angle was tight but with an assurance he has shown all season long, the Serbian tucked the ball through the legs of keeper Daniel Iversen to score.

Fulham sought to press home their early advantage. Carvalho shot wastefully wide after Mitrovic had backheeled a Neeskens Kebano pass into his path.

Harrison Reed then cleared the bar with a header from a training ground corner routine.

But two further goals before half-time cemented Fulham’s absolute control of proceedings.

The first was a wonderful piece of improvisation by the Liverpool-bound playmaker Carvalho, who smartly lifted the ball over Iversen from close range after Kebano’s low cross popped up off a defender.

Fulham’s third was another unerring Mitrovic strike, his 40th of the campaign, after Harry Wilson had driven directly at the Preston defence to tee him up.

Iverson arguably should have done better as he was close to the ball but Mitrovic imparts such fierce power on his shots. ‘The Whites are going up’ echoed around the Cottage.

Mitrovic then got on the scoresheet again to all but confirm their Premier League return

The striker has now scored a staggering 40 goals in the Championship for Fulham this season

Marco Silva’s side can wrap up the Championship title by winning at Bournemouth on Saturday

Rodak still had to be alert early in the second-half, turning Cameron Archer’s curling effort onto the crossbar.

Moments later, a slack pass by Bambo Diaby presented Mitrovic with the ideal chance to complete his hat-trick. But he had almost too much time to pick his spot and Iversen turned it onto the bar with his foot.

Iversen then denied Carvalho and Mitrovic in quick succession with Fulham hungry for more goals.

Promotion achieved, Fulham can effectively seal the title with a win at Bournemouth on Saturday. Then the hard work will really start.

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