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Why Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic thrived in Claudio Ranieri’s first match

Fulham

Why Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic thrived in Claudio Ranieri’s first match

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic steered the Whites to their first Premier League victory since August, netting twice in a 3-2 win over Southampton on Saturday.

The Serbian international thrived at Craven Cottage due to the Whites’ reliance on crosses from wide areas, a new feature of play that Claudio Ranieri hopes to emphasise in SW6.

Mitrovic’s opening goal was the result of an incisive passing move from the Whites, with Tom Cairney’s lofted through ball finding Maxime le Marchand on the left wing. The fullback chipped in a cross from the byline, which was met by a glancing header by Mitrovic to level the scores at one.

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

And the Fulham centre-forward won the match in the second half, when Cyrus Christie’s delivery was flicked on by Ryan Sessegnon and volleyed home by Mitrovic.

 

Notably, both of Fulham’s fullbacks swung in crosses that led to Mitrovic’s goals, revealing an increased reliance on attacking wingback play under the Italian manager.

Mitrovic is at his best when attacking crosses in the box and had struggled in recent weeks due to a lack of service in central areas.

Yet under Claudio Ranieri’s new-look Fulham system, Aleksandar Mitrovic feasted off delightful deliveries and bagged a brace to lift the Whites off the foot of the table.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

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