On an emotional afternoon, two of the unheralded heroes of Marco Silva’s stylish revolution delivered Fulham’s first top flight away London derby success since the last time the Cottagers cruised to victory at Selhurst Park. That night nine years ago, a wondergoal from Pajtim Kasami forged a fightback that extended Martin Jol’s managerial tenure for three more months and Fulham went down in the midst of Felix Magath’s madness. Silva has ensured a repeat is unlikely by entrusting the stalwarts who won the Championship with the responsibility of staying up – and the goalscorers here, Bobby Decordova-Reid, Tim Ream and – of course – Aleskandar Mitrovic, are paying the Portuguese back handsomely.

Palace came off the World Cup break seeking a fourth straight home win for the first time since 1990, but Patrick Vieira’s side were so far off the pace they might as well have been back in Qatar. They allowed their visitors to dominate possession from the outset and, save a deflected shot from Jordan Ayew that clipped the crossbar, carried little threat of their own. Joachim Andersen had demonstrated the range of passing honed in SW6 two years ago with one peach of a pass, but the Danish defender then delivered a gift to his former employers a day late. His dreadful distribution gave Kenny Tete the chance to feed Mitrovic, and as the right back overlapped in a fashion that the much missed George Cohen would approve of, Fulham’s number nine flighted a fabulous cross for Decordova-Reid to nod past Vincent Guaita from ten yards.

Describing the Jamaican, who once scored 25 goals in a season for Bristol City, as a jack of all trades would be exceptionally harsh. But his versatility has helped Silva out of a tight spot several times this season. Despite playing half the campaign at right back, Decordova-Reid has now scored four league goals and he retains a forward’s instinct in the eighteen yard box – as shown by the way he galloped into the gaping hole at the heart of the Palace defence between Andersen and James Tomkins. If the concession of a cheap opener wasn’t bad enough, the Eagles were down to ten men minutes later when Tyrick Mitchell was dismissed for a late lunge on Tete.

Fulham were so fluent in possession that they should have been further in front at the interval. Only Andreas Pereira getting into the way of Decordova-Reid as he prepared to shoot after a lovely link up with Tete prevented them doubling the lead. Vieira opted against any half-time substitutions and the pattern of the preceding 45 minutes continued. Shaun Derry emerged from the dugout to exhort the Eagles to show more fight. Tomkins, making a first Premier League start in a year, must have taken it literally. Already booked for a clumsy tackle on Mitrovic, he got his marching orders after elbowing the Serbian striker.

There wasn’t any way back for the nine men that remained. Pereira, such a smart runner in the spaces around Mitrovic, buzzed around with intent and was unfortunate to clip the outside of the near post with a drive after combining with Decordova-Reid inside the Palace box. Guaita saved twice from Mitrovic in two minutes, before the damn burst. Pereira put in another corner to the far post for the Serbian striker to flick on 35 year-old Tim Ream turned like a teenager to rifle a fabulous finish high into the net. There was a VAR check for handball, but that cruelly offered hope to the hapless hosts for a little longer.

Mitrovic, who had been doubt for this game after serving Serbia at the World Cup with a foot problem, rounded off the scoring with ten minutes to go – glancing in a clever header after Willian had turned a Tete ball back across goal. Ten goals in thirteen games isn’t bad for someone who couldn’t do it in the top flight. Fulham might have had more, with the overworked Guaita grabbing shots from Pereira and Mitrovic, but the margin of victory was emphatic enough. Twice in the recent past, Palace have overlooked Marco Silva’s credentials when filling their managerial vacancy. Like the rest of the Premier League, they are now finding out what the Fulham boss is capable of at the highest level.

CRYSTAL PALACE (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Clyne, Mitchell, Tomkins, Andersen; C. O. Doucoure (Milivojevic 84), Schlupp (Riedewald 83); Eze (Richards 60), Zaha, Olise (Hughes 84); Ayew. Subs (not used): Butland, Ward, Ebiowei, Gordon, Edouard.

BOOKED: Tomkins.

SENT OFF: Mitchell, Tomkins.

FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, A. Robinson, Diop, Ream; Palhinha (Cairney 75), Reed; Decordova-Reid (Wilson 81), Willian (James 82), Pereira (Harris 85); Mitrovic (Vinicius 85). Subs (not used): Rodak, Adarabioyo, Duffy, Chalobah.

GOALS: Decordova-Reid (31), Ream (71), Mitrovic (80).

REFEREE: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire).