Millwall 1-2 Fulham: Aleksandar Mitrovic and starlet Fabio Carvalho on target to seal victory at The Den and keep the Cottagers flying under new boss Marco Silva… despite late consolation from Benik Afobe
- Fulham picked up their second victory of the season after easing past Millwall
- Aleksandar Mitrovic handed the visitors the lead after tucking home a cut-back
- Their advantage was soon doubled when Fabio Carvalho fired in the near post
- Marco Silva’s team created plenty of chances in a dominant display at The Den
- They were almost made to pay when Benik Afobe hauled one back on 87 minutes
For all the hundreds of millions invested in assembling a squad of talent from around the continent, the new prince of Fulham is a kid plucked from the dizzying heights of Balham FC in south London.
Remember the name: Fabio Carvalho, the 18-year-old midfielder who notched a goal and assist to go with a dazzling display as Marco Silva’s Fulham schooled Millwall at The Den.
Born in Lisbon, Carvalho moved to England aged 11 and, after a few years in Fulham’s youth setup, it is now him lighting up this league, not the £20m-plus buys Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jean-Michael Seri or Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.
Fulham continued their good start to life under Marco Silva by beating Millwall at The Den
Aleksandar Mitrovic (right) opened the scoring after three minutes with a cool, composed shot
Millwall: Bialkowski, Ballard, Wallace, Cooper, Romeo (Smith 46), Leonard (McNamara 81), Saville, Kieftenbeld (Evans 81), Malone, Wallace, Afobe
Subs not used: Long, Bradshaw, Pearce, Mitchell
Goals: Afobe 87
Booked: Romeo, Malone
Manager: Gary Rowett
Fulham: Gazzaniga, Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson, Onomah (Anguissa 46), Seri, Kebano, Carvalho, Cavaleiro (Bryan 86), Mitrovic
Subs not used: Rodak, Odoi, Mawson, Francois, Stansfield
Goals: Mitrovic 3, Carvalho 8
Manager: Marco Silva
The match began as a large section of Millwall supporters embarrassingly insisted on booing the knee taken by Fulham players, but their jeers were drowned out within minutes as the away end toasted an early goal.
Indeed, it took just three minutes for Fulham to break through, as Carvalho danced through a string of static defenders before teeing up Aleksandar Mitrovic for an easy finish from close range.
It was a second league strike of the season for the Serbian, who flattered to deceive in the Premier League last term, notching just three goals after 27 in the Cottagers’ promotion campaign the year before.
Starlet Fabio Carvalho stole the spotlight and capped off his superb display with a second goal
So perhaps Mitrovic falls into the bracket of forwards not quite at Premier League level. But all that matters for Silva and Co is that he is certainly a stellar striker at this level.
He has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and this Fulham side seem to create chances at will. A perfect recipe for success.
Just five minutes went by before they doubled their lead and, in truth, put this game to bed. Neeskens Kebano strode through and slid in Carvalho who drilled a shot past Bartosz Bialkowski at his near post.
Some teenagers who break through show talent in glimpses but 18-year-old Carvalho had a real grip on this game. His goal was taken with class after a smart run off the ball to evade two defenders and create space.
Carvalho wheeled away to celebrate Fulham doubling their lead within the first 10 minutes
Fulham remained unbeaten under Silva and have picked up two wins so far in the new season
He continued to terrorise the Millwall defence and should have had at least one more goal, but for the steely goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.
Gary Rowett’s side are often correctly cited as overachievers at this level but this felt like a match of men against boys, as Fulham broke through at will like a training exercise.
Benik Afobe pulled one back for Millwall after a strange deflection. It was the home side’s first real chance of the match.
Ivan Cavaleiro looked to dance his way beyond two players as Fulham eased into cruise control
The Cottagers brought in seven men on loan last season, meaning many of the players who got them promoted were cast aside and hardly featured. They are back in the line-up now and Silva’s main task is to re-motivate them.
But the early signs are promising, with Fulham top of the pile already. The boss has Luis Boa Morte by his side, a man said to be a shrewd man-motivator.
He might help Silva put the golden touch on this rampant Fulham side.