Fulham clinched the Sky Bet Championship in style, thrashing Luton Town 7-0 at Craven Cottage as Aleksandar Mitrovic broke yet another record.
The Serbian striker broke Guy Whittingham’s second-tier record of 42 goals in a single campaign with his two second-half strikes taking him onto 43 for the season with a game to play.
The stunning result in Fulham’s final home game of the season saw them lift the trophy in front of their own fans as they prepare for another season back in the Premier League.
After slipping up against Nottingham Forest in midweek, Fulham knew a win would see them secure the title. Luton themselves were not looking to be there to make up the numbers though, with a top-six finish in their sights with three points.
And although it was set to be an even affair in the first half an hour – both goalkeepers forced into early saves – once Fulham scored, they did not look back.
The hosts notched up their 100th Championship goal of the season with Tom Cairney’s opener. He played a neat pass down the right of the area for Harry Wilson, who then returned the ball to his captain at the top. It was then a superb, curling hit from Cairney to see Fulham ahead.
Ten minutes later and a goal of similar quality doubled the lead. Peter Kioso – who replaced the injured Fred Onyedinma after the opening goal – headed the ball clear, but only as far as Kenny Tete who then rifled the ball home from 20 yards out with a fantastic strike.
Both Wilson and Cairney could have added the third either side of the break, but it was Fabio Carvalho who came up with the goods in the 54th minute.
It was a brilliant run from the youngster, cutting in from the left, with Mitrovic’s through ball tapped into his path by Wilson. Carvalho then picked up the pass before slotting home past Matt Ingram – and there were more goals yet to come in the second half.
Mitrovic then equalled Whittingham’s record with Fulham’s fourth. The striker picked up Wilson’s through ball, with his initial attempt bouncing off a sliding Reece Burke. However, the ball was immediately back at Mitrovic’s feet as he showed brilliant instincts to slot past Ingram.
The fifth of the evening was not far behind. Carvalho skipped across the top of the area before slotting the ball through for Bobby Decordova-Reid. He easily slipped between the two Luton defenders before finding the back of the net.
Jean Michael Seri had been on for just seven minutes as he fired home Fulham’s sixth. It was from a similar distance to Tete’s too as Luton failed to clear their lines properly. Seri picked up the loose ball from 20 yards and rifled the ball home.
But there was more to come as Mitrovic sealed the Championship title in style while bagging yet another record. He was picked out on the left side of the area before slotting home into the far corner past a battered Ingram, celebrating with the fans behind the goal.
It will be a disappointing result for Luton, who will now be aiming for a win against Reading on Saturday to secure their spot in the Championship play-offs.
Cairney: Fulham can be a PL team for a long time
Fulham captain Tom Cairney speaking to Sky Sports:
“We’ve gone up in amazing fashion. I really do believe that if we can stay up one year, Fulham will be there for a long, long time.
“We’ll enjoy this moment first before we think about next season but the goal will be to stay in the league.”
Asked about Marco Silva’s impact: “He’s brought a hell of a lot. He’s brought a professionalism, a desire, a work rate, a training ground mentality change by improving little things around the training ground like food. It sounds minor, but it’s big.
“He’s also brought attacking football; I’ve not played under a manager when you’re 2-0 or 3-0 up at half-time and says, ‘Go and score more goals in the second half’ so he’s different.”
Fulham’s final game of the season on Saturday will see them play away to Sheffield United, who will also be looking to secure their own play-off spot. Luton will host Reading, with both games kicking of at 12.30pm.
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