Aleksandar Mitrovic delivered another virtuoso performance – scoring his fifth goal in as many Premier League matches – to end Brighton’s unbeaten start and lift Marco Silva’s side into the top half of the table. The Serbian striker converted a cross from Neeskens Kebano to give the Whites a lead early in the second half that was swiftly doubled by Lewis Dunk’s own goal. The hosts held on after Alexis Mac Allister converted a spot-kick awarded by the video assistant, through eight and a half minutes added time, to bounce back after Saturday’s agonising defeat at Arsenal.

Silva has built a side that seem far harder to outfight than the Fulham sides of the recent past that have barely troubled the Premier League. They were smarting after being beaten at the death at the Emirates and started with a snarl against Albion, who had only conceded a solitary goal in a strong start to the campaign. The Seagulls were second best for much of the first half, penned back by Fulham’s ambition and endeavour and Graham Potter’s centre halves were preoccupied with keeping tabs on the pesky Mitrovic, who dropped in the spaces in front of the back four as well as buzzing around the eighteen yard box with intent.

The Whites pressed ferociously from the first whistle, which seemed to unsettle a Brighton outfit built on playing out from the back. Silva doesn’t have the luxury of changing his starting eleven but Bobby Decordova-Reid showed few signs of fatigue bustling down the right flank before supplying a low cross that appeared destined for Neeskens Kebano, until Joel Veltman got the slightest of touches to divert it away from the Congolese winger. From the ensuing corner, Robert Sanchez saved superbly from Joao Palhinha before a rampaging run from the majestic Mitrovic resulted in a tame shot at the Spaniard from the edge of the box.

The visitors threatened only sporadically, with Solly March spurning a good opportunity when he stooped to head Leonardo Trossard’s teasing cross wide of the far post, but the Seagulls enjoyed more possession as the first half came to close, which demanded a response from Fulham. Silva’s side upped the intensity after the interval and got their reward within three minutes of the restart. A clever short corner saw Kebano find space inside the box and the winger’s ball across was clinically converted by Mitrovic, who had been left criminally unattended at the back post, for his hundredth league goal for the Whites.

The hosts doubled their lead seven minutes later when Lewis Dunk, a longtime Fulham target, slid in to try and come to his side’s rescue after a sweeping counter attack that had featured Mitrovic, Harrison Reed and Kebano, but the centre half only succeeded in steering Pereira’s through ball between a stranded Sanchez and the near post. Albion got an unlikely lifeline five minutes later – following a video review of Decordova-Reid’s challenge on Pervis Estupiñán, with Mac Allister finding the bottom corner from twelve yards.

Fulham had to work hard for a precious victory, with Trossard drilling a shot at Leno, and substitute Denis Undav stabbed against the near post after the officials allowed play to continue despite the German forward being three and half yards offside. Thomas Bramall, taking charge of his first top flight fixture looked desperately out of his depth, and insisting on extending added time into the ninth minute (after asking the fourth official to display a minimum of six) exasperated the Fulham faithful after an evening of inconsistency. Fulham fought hard for all three points that sees them surge up to sixth in the early standings.

FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, A. Robinson, Adarabioyo, Ream; Palhinha, Reed (Chalobah 90+2); Kebano, Decordova-Reid, Pereira (Cairney 78); Mitrovic. Subs (not used): Rodak, Diop, Mbabu, Francois, Harris, Stansfield, Ablade.

BOOKED: A. Robinson, Reed.

GOALS: Mitrovic (48), Dunk (o.g. 55).

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION (3-5-1-1): Sanchez; Veltman (Lamptey 64), Webster, Dunk; Estupiñán (Mitoma 63), Mwepu (Welbeck 63), Caicedo (Undav 79), Mac Allister, March, Groß; Trossard. Subs (not used): Steele, Lamptey, Colwill, van Hecke, Enciso, Undav, Mitoma, Alzate, Welbeck.

BOOKED: Estupiñán.

GOAL: Mac Allister (pen 60).

REFEREE: Thomas Bramall (South Yorkshire).