Aleksandar Mitrovic: How the Fulham striker broke the Championship goals record | Soccer News

It took him until the last game of 46, but last season Brentford’s Ivan Toney set a new record for most goals scored in a single league season.

For extended stretches throughout the season he scored so frequently it looked like he would go some length past Glenn Murray’s benchmark of 30, but unwelcome barren spells meant just one goal in a 3 win -1 against Bristol City on May 8, 2021. took him to a historic tally.

Given that it took eight seasons for Murray’s record to fall, it looked like Toney’s would stick around a bit longer.

But history shows that Aleksandar Mitrovic thrives in the second tier, and that’s been true all season. And now he has written into the history books by scoring his 32nd and 33rd league goals of the season. in Fulham’s 2-1 win over Peterborough at Craven Cottage.

Even more amazing is the fact that he managed to top Toney’s feat with 14 games left.

Here, we take a look at how the Cottagers’ prized asset worked his way to a new record.

The 2019/20 season was a success for player and club, as Mitrovic finished joint Golden Boot winners – alongside Brentford’s Ollie Watkins – with 26 goals and Fulham propelled the Bees to the Premier League when they won the championship play-off. final 2-1 after extra time at Wembley on August 4, 2020.

It was the second-best comeback of his career and there was no reason to suggest he was unable to replicate similar – although probably not quite as prolific – form on his return to the Premier League.

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates his first goal against Bristol City

But 2020/21 quickly became a slog. He scored a Carabao Cup goal against Ipswich and two goals in a 4-3 loss at Leeds in the second league game of the campaign, but then failed to hit the net for the best part of seven months until he scored Fulham’s only goal. in a 3-1 loss to Aston Villa.

In fact, throughout the season, he scored more international goals for Serbia (7) than for his club (4).

There is a very clear correlation between his goals and Fulham’s success and therefore Fulham suffered immediate relegation to the second tier after winning just five games and scoring just 27 goals.

Serbia didn’t take part in Euro 2020 last summer so Mitrovic had a long period to prepare before lining up for the Cottagers’ opener against Middlesbrough on August 8.

His immediate impact was nothing more than a first-minute booking in an eventual 1-1 draw on the banks of the Thames.

But then came the first of many, on a trip to Huddersfield six days later.

Aleksandr Mitrovic questions a decision in Fulham's home game against Bournemouth

With nine minutes on the clock, Terriers goalie Ryan Schofield threw a long ball forward quite impressively, swung one leg to try and kick the ball up, but couldn’t get only enough purchase to find a hidden Mitrovic, who slipped trying. to go home, but still managed to get the ball over the line.

Just like that, his magic touch was back. And it was a sign of things to come, as Marco Silva’s towering, well-drilled and deadly side battled their way to a resounding 5-1 victory.

Aleksandar Mitrovic: league record against the Premier League

Division Appearances Goals Aids Goals per game
Championship 116 75 17 0.65
premier league 104 24 ten 0.23

He then converted a Fabio Carvalho drop against Millwall, before being left unmarked to head into the opener in a 2-0 win over Hull, then went on to score four goals in as many games when he caught up a yard or more when Harry Wilson generously squared for his team-mate as he came into the penalty area at breakneck speed.

After the international break in September, the Serb scored six games in six games – including a glorious first-half hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Swansea at Craven Cottage on September 29 – taking his tally to 12 goals in 10 matches.

Still, as impressive as that was, a spell between October and November was where he really got his start.

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates with his Fulham team-mates at Nottingham Forest

A clinical finish on the corner and a superb gaze header he made easy helped Fulham to a 4-1 victory in the West London derby against QPR, one more against Cardiff, two more against Nottingham Forest then another hat-trick, this time against promotion rivals West Brom, just for good measure.

It’s no surprise, then, that he triumphed in perhaps one of the most one-sided Sky Bet Player of the Month contests on record.

“I have a lot of quality around me in this team, a lot of creative players who create a lot of chances for me, so I have to thank them for helping me score as many goals as in October,” he said. he declared. when collecting the prize.

As he mentioned, many of his goals come from inside the box; a header brushed from a center or a low, composed finish after a flowing attack. But he showed time and time again that he was more than happy to set up a team-mate instead, with two assists in a shock 7-0 win over Blackburn on November 3.

Indeed, that selflessness – similar to that of Toney, who got 10 last season – is exemplified by the fact that he currently has seven assists. to his name, taking his goal involvement figure to 40 in 30 games.

Silva’s men returned to the top of the Championship after a 4-1 win over struggling Barnsley on November 17 but then began to falter after rising to the top, drawing four games and losing one before Christmas.

Who helped Mitrovic’s record?

Player Aids
Harry Wilson 4
Neeskens Kebano 4
Jean Michel Seri 3
Denis Odoi 2
Fabio Carvalho 2
Tom Cairney 2
Bobby Decordova – Reid 1
Kenny Head 1
Tim Rame 1
neco williams 1

As mentioned, when Mitrovic struggles in front of goal, so do Fulham – and he’s only scored once in that stretch. What was more disappointing was the fact that Covid-related issues only saw them play three league games between December 11 and January 11.

The layoff served both player and club well, as he came back with two in a 7-0 demolition of Reading and another first-half hat-trick in a 6-2 win over Bristol City .

Despite their leader’s form, Fulham have shown that they are much more than a one-man team and there is no overreliance to speak of. None of the six goals in the 6-2 win over Birmingham were scored or even assisted by him, as they beat Stoke 3-2 without him in the squad, with Rodrigo Muniz proving to be a competent assistant.

He netted his 28th in a 1-1 draw with Blackpool on January 29 and reached 30 with two in a 3-0 win over Millwall 10 days later. In that match, he first launched a recoil from Neco Williams and then caught himself just yards out when Carvalho’s shot was parried his way by Bart Bialkowski.

Williams was the provider when Mitrovic also equaled Toney’s record in a 1-0 win at Hull. The Liverpool loanee fired an inviting ball into the penalty area, where the leader peeked past Matt Ingram from no less than 15 yards out.

In front of the Sky Sports cameras on Saturday February 19, he missed two golden chances against Huddersfield to score the all-important goal, but four days later he made history.

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Aleksandar Mitrovic has set a new Sky Bet Championship goalscoring record with his 32nd league goal of the season for Fulham!

As struggling Peterborough arrived at The Cottage, days after manager Darren Ferguson left, Mitrovic was to be licking his lips. And, with all eyes on him, he delivered under pressure, slamming home a penalty he won himself in the 28th minute.

But he wasn’t done there. He helped himself to a second, connecting with a Neeskens Kebano cross from the left flank and effortlessly finding the net with a nonchalant side-foot volley.

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Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship game between Fulham and Peterborough.

As of February 23, with 33 goals in 30 league games, Mitrovic has averaged 1.1 goals per game. With 14 games to play, if he continues to score with the same frequency, he will score 15 more and reach 48, which will smash the initial record of 17 goals.

It really is a record that will take a few beatings.

Sky Sports

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