2018/2019 English Premier League
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic (78')
  • Andre Gray (2')

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic rescues point against Watford

A late Aleksandar Mitrovic equaliser gave Fulham a 1-1 draw against Watford at Craven Cottage after the visitors had spurned chances to take a comfortable half-time lead.

Andre Gray had given the Hornets the lead after less than two minutes, but they missed opportunities to stretch the advantage and were made to pay as Fulham improved after the break.

Fulham were stunned as their in-form visitors took only seconds to grab the lead, Will Hughes sliding a pass to Gray, whose low finish beat Marcus Bettinelli.

The home side were struggling to deal with a purposeful Watford start in the rain at Craven Cottage and scrambled clear after a Jose Holebas free kick had created problems.

They had a chance to equalise when Luciano Vietto got away from Daryl Janmaat but Ben Foster saved his shot and an angled rebound was steered wide.

But Watford were swiftly back on the front foot and could have doubled their lead when Christian Kabasele saw a header blocked and Bettinelli made a fine save to deny Gray after Alfie Mawson's poor header.

With 22 minutes gone, Andre Schurrle tried to lift Fulham spirits with a run and dangerous cross that forced a corner, and then Mitrovic had a low shot blocked after finding a pocket of space.

Mawson and on-loan Timothy Fosu-Mensah went into the book in quick succession, the latter arguably fortunate not to be sent off after a high challenge on Troy Deeney.

Moments later, Mawson made a sliding challenge on Hughes inside the area but referee Martin Atkinson waved away half-hearted penalty appeals.

Roberto Pereyra found space and curled his effort just wide as Watford almost closed a dominant first half with a second goal.

Home manager Slavisa Jokanovic made a double change at the break as he looked to turn the momentum, Denis Odoi on for Mawson and Floys Ayite replacing Kevin McDonald.

It almost paid quick dividends as Schurrle crossed from the right but Mitrovic headed over with less than five minutes of the second half played.

Vietto blasted over when he had better options available and Jean Michael Seri looped a cross too close to Foster after a swift break.

Fulham were stepping up the pace, and Vietto was again wasteful when given space and time to cross, and then Fosu Mensah found Ryan Sessegnon only for his attempted set-up to go awry.

Back came Watford and, shortly after the hour, Abdoulaye Doucoure just failed to play in Gray following a swift counter before Deeney flicked wide and then Fulham made their third change, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa replacing Stefan Johansen.

Fose-Mensah made a superb run into the Watford area but saw his low cross cut out by Hughes, who was replaced by Kiko Femenia moments later.

And with 78 minutes gone, Fulham made their improved second-half performance count as Mitrovic sidefooted home Vietto's low cross to pull them level and set up a frenetic finale.

Watford took off scorer Gray and brought on Isaac Success, and they had a chance to regain the lead only for Deeney's unselfish cross to be cut out when he could have opted to shoot.

With time running out, Mitrovic tried his luck with a swerving strike from the edge of the box, but Foster was equal to it and, from the resulting corner, the striker's effort came back off the bar.

Pereyra came off for Watford, Ken Sema replacing him, with neither side able to conjure a dramatic late winner.

English Premier League Standings

1 Liverpool 27 +47 79
2 Manchester City 27 +39 57
3 Leicester City 27 +27 50
4 Chelsea 27 +8 44
5 Manchester United 27 +12 41
6 Tottenham Hotspur 27 +8 40
7 Sheffield United 27 +4 40
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 +6 39
9 Arsenal 27 +3 37
10 Burnley 27 -6 37
11 Everton 27 -5 36
12 Southampton 27 -14 34
13 Crystal Palace 27 -8 33
14 Newcastle United 27 -17 31
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 27 -7 28
16 AFC Bournemouth 27 -17 26
17 Aston Villa 27 -18 25
18 West Ham United 27 -16 24
19 Watford 27 -19 24
20 Norwich City 27 -27 18