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The headlines following last night’s win over Swansea City were always going to belong to Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Serbian’s superb first half hat trick – the first by a Fulham player since Ross McCormack’s against Nottingham Forest six years ago gave the Whites a commanding advantage and took the peerless number nine above the likes of Clint Dempsey, Gary Brazil, John Mitchell, Jimmy Temple and Johnny Arnold in the all-time Fulham scoring charts. So simply did Mitrovic take his goals you were minded to file away his failure to finish off Bristol City at the weekend as an aberration.

Mitrovic, who appears to be pretty modest and unassuming off the field, was quick to credit his team-mates for creating his chances afterwards and, whilst the former Newcastle forward, was the clearest difference between the victors and Swansea, who are still in transition following the appointment of Russell Martin, he was right to highlight the outstanding displays of three stalwarts who have been bit part players under Marco Silva so far.

Neeskens Kebano, restored to the starting line-up after his lively cameo as a substitute at Ashton Gate, would have a compelling case for man of the match were it not for Mitrovic’s laser-like finishing. The Congolese winger looked full of confidence from the outset looking to take on the visiting deference and he gave poor Ben Cabango, dropped from the Welsh squad for next month’s internationals, a torrid time. Having played a part in the first goal by digging out a cross that was sent back into the danger area by Tim Ream, his purposeful running and precise delivery allowed the hosts to establish a crucial two-goal lead and Kebano, as has become customary, never stopped running in a perky performance.

So potent was his running and effective the end result that Silva must be close to considering the former Genk man as a possible regular in his side. Kebano has never been offered a consistent run in the side, starting just 32 league fixtures in his five years at Craven Cottage, but he seized his chance to stake a serious claim for the left wing spot with a dominant display that brought to mind his mesmerising evening at Millwall last month. With Bobby Decordova-Reid appearing off colour of late and Ivan Cavaleiro hardly pulling up any trees, Kebano looks like the most consistent option at present.

He linked well with Joe Bryan for the second goal, the pair combining fluently down the flank after the full back had nipped in to intercept an ambitious pass from Ethan Laird. The fact that Bryan succumbed to a back problem early in the second half was the only real negative of a successful night, especially when you consider that Antonee Robinson injured a knee in training on Tuesday. With Silva forced to introduce Alfie Mawson and adopt a back three, Fulham’s second half display was one of containment rather than command – but the head coach would have been pleased with the way his side, who have let advantages slip away a little too easily at times this season, saw the game through having soaked up several prolonged spells of Swansea possession.

Denis Odoi shrugged off the setback of being doubly culpable for the goal that briefly threatened to bring the visitors back into the contest by injecting both pace and precision into a brilliant break that culminated in Fulham’s crucial third goal. Silva suggested back in August that the experienced Belgian was not the ideal ‘profile’ to replace the injured Kenny Tete in his line up, but the versatile defender showed a sense of adventure to drive deep into the Swansea half and send in the perfect low cross for Mitrovic to majestically complete his treble. That it came shortly after Odoi had lost his man and then clattered into Paulo Gazzaniga in an attempt to make amends for his error as Jamie Paterson bore down on goal was a reflection of the 33 year-old’s resilience.

Swansea’s admirable commitment to Martin’s preference for both pretty and attacking football was arguably their outdoing in SW6 last night. It allowed Fulham to re-establish their credentials as one of the Championship’s most effective counter attacking sides and, in a pulsating first half display, the hosts looked like scoring almost every time they ventured forward. Achieving this when Harry Wilson, easily Fulham’s most creative player in the absence of Fabio Carvalho, was kept relatively quiet proved particularly cheering. Silva’s side are set up to punish sides on the break and, in this sort of mood, Fulham look fairly formidable.

There are still some wrinkles to iron out as the Whites head to Coventry this weekend, with Harrison Reed understandably a little light on match sharpness having hardly had any pre-season, and the composition of Fulham’s best midfield still up in the air. But this was an encouraging return to form following three recent setbacks and, as Silva always stresses, consistency will ultimately bring the biggest reward.