CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND UP: Aleksandar Mitrovic continues his record-breaking form to keep Fulham top


Aleksandar Mitrovic continued his record-breaking form when he grabbed his 34th goal of an incredible season to keep Fulham firmly on course for a Premier League return.

Mitrovic made it 12 goals in his last nine Championship matches when he headed into the corner from Harry Wilson’s cross.

It wasn’t a vintage Fulham performance against a Cardiff side fighting at the other end of the table.

Aleksandar Mitrovic continued his record-breaking form with his 34th goal of the season

But the victory maintained Fulham’s nine-point lead over Bournemouth.

‘It was tough,’ Fulham boss Marco Silva said. ‘It is always hard to come here and play and we had to be resilient.

‘We knew what type of game it would be. We always expect first and second balls and balls in our box. Apart from one moment when we slept completely, we dealt well with the situation.

‘We controlled big parts of the match. We were a bit slower than I wanted but we created enough, we were the best team and deserved the three points.’

Cardiff’s squad had been hit with a stomach bug in the build up. But it was the home side that first came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 13th minute.

The 27-year-old headed home from Harry Wilson's cross just before the break

The 27-year-old headed home from Harry Wilson’s cross just before the break

James Collins raced clear on to Alex Smithie’s goal-kick but could not find the net when one-on-one with Fulham keeper Marek Rodak.

Fulham went on to carve out the better chances, Mitrovic spurning one before he did find the net to continue his remarkable scoring campaign — his 34-goal haul is three more than Brentford frontman Ivan Toney’s previous Championship best. The Serb could have another 13 matches to play.

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It was a spirited effort from Cardiff, but nevertheless they slipped to 20th in the table after one win in their past four games.

Manager Steve Morrison said: ‘It was one of the toughest 24 hours I’ve had as a manager. We’ve had a nightmare with sickness.

‘But I couldn’t be prouder. I thought the lads were fantastic, gone toe to toe with Fulham and limited them to the least amount of shots they’ve had all season.’

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray praised Reda Khadra for ‘stepping up’ after his goal sealed a key win.

Mowbray said: ‘What a threat Khadra is to anybody. You must watch him and think, “I wouldn’t want to play against him”.’

The result was QPR’s third defeat in their past five games and manager Mark Warburton said: ‘I think we lacked an energy. I said to the players it was my fault, I could have maybe freshened it up.’

Scott Parker hailed Jamal Lowe after the winger scored a late winner for his Bournemouth side.

Tommy Smith had put Stoke ahead before Morgan Fox was dismissed for the visitors.

Goals from Dominic Solanke and Lowe turned the tide in the last eight minutes, and Parker said of his matchwinner: ‘He has shown his character’

Nathan Jones  hailed a great month for Luton as they made it 15 points from 18 in February.

Danny Hylton scored the only goal as the hosts climbed into the play-off zone, and boss Jones said: ‘It’s been a great month — apart from a debacle at Birmingham we’ve taken 15 points from 18.’

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County boss Wayne Rooney said: ‘I’m frustrated, we changed our shape, we gave Luton the respect they deserved. We kept them at arm’s length.’

Forest boss Steve Cooper is happy that Brennan Johnson has added a ruthless streak to his armoury of talents.

Johnson grabbed his sixth goal in eight games before James Garner wrapped up a straightforward triumph.

On Johnsons’s contribution, Cooper said: ‘It was good to see him get back to what he is brilliant at.’

Huddersfield  head coach Carlos Corberan praised the mentality of his players after their hard-earned win at St Andrew’s.

Levi Colwill’s knock down deflected in off Birmingham midfielder Gary Gardner to put Huddersfield in front and Lewis O’Brien made it 15 games unbeaten and moved the Terriers up to third place in the table.

‘It’s down to many things – we’re in this dynamic, they’re giving the best they can,’ said Corberan.

Reading  interim manager Paul Ince labelled his team’s defending as ‘naïve’ and said the ‘season is going to go to the wire’ as they were well-beaten at Blackpool.

Lucas Joao had put the visitors in front, but goals from Marvin Ekpiteta, Gary Madine, Shayne Lavery and Josh Bowler earned Blackpool their first victory in five games. 

Their manager Neil Critchley said: ‘I’m not sure that 4-1 was the right scoreline if I’m honest, but we’ll take it.’

Mark Robins branded Ryan Lowe’s take on his Coventry side’s equaliser a ‘load of cr*p’, after Preston’s boss bemoaned the amount of added time.

Daniel Johnson looked to have earned Lowe’s men the victory with a penalty but Fabio Tavares sent the CBS Arena wild. 

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Preston’s Liam Lindsey and Coventry’s Fankaty Dabo were sent off.

Millwall boss Gary Rowett was delighted after his side kept their fine run of form going.

Rowett said: ‘To win four on the spin is a brilliant achievement for the players.’ 

The victory came thanks to Jake Cooper continuing his remarkable record against the Blades, with his header being the centre-back’s fifth goal in his last seven appearances against them.

Disappointed United manager Paul Heckingbottom added: ‘It was an attritional game.’

Amine Bassi’s brace and a strike from Mads Andersen were enough to seal the points

for Barnsley, whose manager Poya Asbaghi said: ‘What we did do was work really hard.’

Andraz Sporar’s penalty and Liam Kitching’s own goal made the scoreline respectable for Boro and their manager Chris Wilder said: ‘The first 15 minutes cost us dearly.’

Grant McCann  could not hide his disappointment following a losing return to the Peterborough hotseat at the hands of his previous club.

‘I’m really pleased to be back but it was a frustrating and disappointing result,’ he said.

Tyler Smith’s first league goal of the season set Hull on the way to victory, before Keane LewisPotter bagged a classy brace.

Hull manager Shota Arveladze said: ‘The boys give a fantastic reaction to the last game.’



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