Fulham clinched the Championship title with a 7-0 demolition of Luton Town at Craven Cottage, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring his 43rd goal of the season.
Fulham took the lead in the 29th minute when Tom Cairney scored his 100th league goal, and Kenny Tete doubled the lead 10 minutes later to put the hosts in command at the break.
With goals from Fabio Carvalho, Bobby Decordova-Reid, substitute Jean Michal Seri, and a double from Mitrovic in the second half, the Serbia striker confirmed a record tally in the second division. Marco Silva’s side had scored seven goals for the third time this season.
Luton, who had emergency loanee Matt Ingram on the bench, had the game’s opening chance when Kal Naismith raced forward from midfield and forced a great save from Marek Rodak.
Fulham, on the other hand, asserted themselves, and it was not a portent of things to come. Midway through the first half, they had their first attempt, with Ingram comfortably save a Mitrovic shot, but the home fans did not have to wait long for their team to break the tie. Following up on some great technique, Harry Wilson found Cairney, who slammed home from the edge of the box.
The Hatters’ woes were exacerbated by the injury of midfielder Fred Onyedinma, who was replaced by Peter Kioso after being injured in the build-up to the goal.
Six minutes before the break, Tete grabbed on to a sloppy clearing and fired a fantastic shot into the bottom corner, seemingly securing the win and the title.
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Luton appeared to be breaking under the Fulham onslaught and came close to conceding a third goal before the break when Wilson rounded Ingram, but Tom Lockyer cleared off the line. Two minutes after the restart, Cairney came close to scoring his second goal, his curling attempt grazing the top of the bar.
Carvalho, with the help of Mitrovic and Wilson, scored Fulham’s third goal in 54 minutes. Just after the hour, Mitrovic scored for the first time, making his way into the area and finishing confidently, and three minutes later, Decordova-Reid made it five with a beautiful turn and shot.
Seri added a sixth with a 20-yard shot 11 minutes from time, his first of the season before Mitrovic completed a flawless night in stoppage time.
With his two goals, the Serbia striker set a new record for the highest-scoring English league season in over half a century. With one game remaining in the Championship season, the Serbia striker has overtaken Guy Whittingham’s 42 goals for Portsmouth in 1992-93, the most in the current 46-game league structure.
Marco Silva believes Mitrovic will be able to continue his good form in the Premier League next season. The 27-year-old scored only three Premier League goals last season as the Cottagers were relegated, but Silva believes he will return in 2022-23 as a wiser player.
“He’ll be more confident next season,” Fulham’s manager stated. “We need to be that as a club as well.” “Every year, we must all strive to develop. We can’t judge him solely on the goals he scores next season; we need to look at a lot of other factors.”
“We have to prepare well ourselves,” the 44-year-old added. It’s pretty much the same as this season. The task will be more difficult, but it was already difficult this season. This season, we’ve designed and created something unique. Something is wrong if I don’t have ambition at my age. I have to applaud everyone, including our entire team and the support crew.”