Fulham got their first points of the season as they beat Burnley 4-2 in a thrilling encounter at Craven Cottage.
It was a bonkers start to the game with five goals being scored in the first half.
Fulham took the lead early on thanks to a lovely curling goal from new signing Jean Michael-Seri.
In the early stages of the game Burnley struggled to handle Fulham’s quick passing play with Schurrle and Seri causing problems especially. The Burnley players looked markedly leggy and tired compared to their counterparts.
Despite this they got a goal back through Jeff Hendrick only five minutes later after Aaron Lennon picked up the ball from a misplaced pass and whipped it across to Hendrick who scrambled the ball into the net.
Burnley were forced into an early change after Gudmundsson went down injured with Dyche choosing to bring on Charlie Taylor.
Burnley managed to find their rhythm and the game settled down after the frenetic start with both teams trying to impose some sort of dominance on the game.
Fulham took the lead again when Mitrovic headed in from a perfectly placed ball from Tom Cairney. There was nothing Joe Hart could do about it but the Burnley defence should have been more alert to the danger.
Fulham almost instantly doubled their lead on the counter-attack. Burnley found themselves caught short with all but three of their players pushed forward. This enabled Fulham to break at lightning speed and Vietto to cross the ball in for Mitrovic to head in again.
Burnley managed to get one back only a few minutes later through centre-back James Tarkowski who poked in Ben Mee’s header. Upon review it appeared that Tarkowski was just offside yet referee David Coote judged it to be legal.
The second half was much calmer than the preceding 45 minutes. The ongoing battle between Mitrovic and anyone in the Burnley defence was always entertaining. He is not dissimilar to Diego Costa in that he nibbles away at the defence constantly and uses his physical prowess to his advantage.
Burnley were starting to trouble Fulham at set pieces especially. The defence naiviety which Fulham showcased will be a cause for concern for Jokanovic.
Equally concerning was when captain Tom Cairney hobbled off injured. The extent of his injury is unknown but Fulham will be hoping that their midfield talisman will be available sooner rather than later.
Fulham put that game to bed on late on when Andre Schurrle hit in the rebound from Mitrovic’s original shot. It was a tricky afternoon for the German who had a host of mishit opportunities. This goal will restore some confidence and faith in him though.
Burnley’s Europa League hangover
It’s an old cliche but the Europa League does seem to have a detrimental effect on teams. In their last two Premier League games Burnley have looked sluggish and tired. They had played Europa League matches in both of the weeks before. For large swathes of this match Fulham looked far more energetic and lively than Burnley. This fatigue will be of concern for Sean Dyche as despite their great season last year, the Premier League does not take any prisoners.
Fulham growing into the season
Fulham fans will take solace in the fact that they started their last campaign slowly as well; they did not win until their 5th game. You can see the system which Jokanovic wants his players to use and although they did it so well last season, it will need a period of adjustment to adapt to the Premier League.
Rotation is key for Jokanovic
Fulham had a busy summer, spending big and bringing in 13 players. Their struggles at the start of the season could be down to the troubles which come with having to bed in so many new players. However, it now gives Jokanovic the option to rotate his squad and keep players fresh. The fast attacking style which Fulham play leave players vulnerable to fatigue or injury. This was epitomised today when he decided not to start Ryan Sessengon.
Man of the Match: Alexsandar Mitrovic
Alexsandar Mitrovic – faded slightly in the second half but still scored two goals and gave the Burnley defence problems from minute 1-90.