Aleksandar Mitrovic scored from the penalty spot on his return from injury to grab a 2-2 draw for Fulham against Bournemouth in a pulsating Premier League game at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Dominic Solanke gave the visitors a flying start, combining brilliantly with Danish midfielder Philip Billing and rifling home a first-time finish after 62 seconds.
Mitrovic, recovering from an ankle knock, started slowly but burst into life with a snap shot that was turned behind in the 22nd minute, and Issa Diop brought Fulham level with a thumping header from the resulting corner.
Bournemouth were back in the lead seven minutes later when a defensive lapse from Fulham was punished, Solanke running at Tim Ream before cutting the ball back to Jefferson Lerma who slotted it past Bernd Leno.
Bournemouth could have gone in two goals up at the break with a well-worked corner, but a brilliant double save from Leno denied Lerma and Adam Smith.
Fulham levelled again early in the second half when Mitrovic was wrestled to the ground by Lerma, and the 28-year-old Serbian striker made no mistake from the spot to net his seventh goal of the season.
With Bournemouth content to sit back, Fulham poured crosses into the box, but a tiring Mitrovic struggled to convert them.
He almost grabbed all three points for his side late on, but his left-foot shot towards the top corner lacked the power to beat Neto and he dragged another shot wide in stoppage time.
“I’ve been in a lot of pain, (but) painkillers helped a lot. I still haven’t completely recovered but managed to get the goal today. I had one or two chances where I could have done better, but that’s football,” Mitorvic said.
“The main target at home is three points, no matter who we play. We conceded sloppy goals and I think that cost us the game. In the end we managed to get the draw,” he added.
The sides remained close together in mid-table, with Bournemouth in ninth spot on 13 points and Fulham 10th, one point adrift.
Bournemouth caretaker boss Gary O’Neil, who is unbeaten in six games in the league, was not happy about the penalty.
“It’s a terrible penalty decision. I’ve been told that Jefferson is holding Mitrovic, but why Mitrovic falls backwards, I have no idea,” he told the BBC.
“He pulls Jefferson over, otherwise you wouldn’t fall that way. I think it’s a terrible decision.”
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