LEE BOWYER seemed to know exactly what was to come.
After his Birmingham City team drew with Preston on Saturday, an interviewer told him: “Let’s get back to that quickly for Tuesday’s game against Fulham, they won 6-2 today…”
Bowyer grimaced and replied: “What is it, 13 goals in two games? Look forward to that then.”
And it so happened that Birmingham suffered the same fate as Bristol City at Craven Cottage – a 6-2 loss, and that followed a 7-0 thrashing of Reading away from Fulham last Tuesday by Fulham.
Marco Silva’s men are the first English side in 88 years to score six or more goals in three consecutive games – and have the nation’s best goal-to-match ratio this season.
Reading’s disappointment, following a similar scoreline against promotion Blackburn in November, has made Fulham the Football League side since the 1890s to hit two 7-0 wins in the same Season.
With a goal difference of +47 and 20 games remaining, the leaders of the Championship will naturally break the all-time national record of +79 set by Manchester City four seasons ago.
Fulham visited Pep Guardiola’s champions in the FA Cup on 5 February and at their last three games fervent supporters sang ‘Manchester City, we come for you!’ – a hymn that started with humor in the gallows but has now left them wondering.
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However, Fulham’s ultimate goal for the campaign is to become the first English club in history to play between two leagues for five consecutive seasons.
Because the asterisks are large compared to their recent tally is that Fulham have not even come close to surviving the last two Premier League challenges.
Last season, Fulham scored just nine Premier League goals at Cottage – three fewer than they’ve scored in the past four days.
Along with Norwich City, who continue to go in opposite directions, Fulham is showing that the gap between the two leading teams is higher than ever.
This is certainly a poor historic championship – financially battered by Covid.
Fulham is too rich, too cruel and too good.
The most remarkable thing about the Birmingham boom is that the leading striker Aleksandar Mitrovic – 27 goals in 25 appearances – has not scored.
The Serb’s every achievement has been met with the idea that he is ‘too good for the championship, not good enough for the Premier League’.
However, Mitrovic scored 11 top goals in a bad team three seasons ago and last year he suffered a crisis of confidence – triggered by a penalty for Serbia against Scotland, denying place. attend his country’s Euros – and rarely start under Scott Parker.
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Under former Hull, Watford and Everton manager Silva, Mitrovic has been reborn – his all-round play as well as his stellar goalscoring ability are phenomenal.
No one who regularly watches him doubts that the 27-year-old is capable of becoming an effective top performer.
Parker’s departure from Bournemouth caused deep frustration with Tony Khan, who ran the club in place of his father Shahid, and showed naivety in his approach to the Premier League.
However, while Parker made Fulham hard to beat in the middle of last season, no one at Cottage was without him.
As Silva’s vast side played with stunning brutality, using a rare bloodlust for eye-catching scoring lines, it was often noted that Parker would string five or six defenders up the side. behind to defend their lead against Fulham for the last time being promoted.
In the unusual past week, Fulham has scored dizzyingly – four in 13 minutes against Reading, again against Bristol City and three in eight minutes against Brum.
Sometimes they look as if they are using cheat mode in a computer game.
Opponents will point to the biggest playing budget in the division – and the £12million signing of winger Harry Wilson, who has scored twice and been involved in four more at Reading.
However, Silva has also revived a number of long-serving players tired of the Premier League’s modesty and snubs – sub-player Neeskens Kebano, defender Tim Ream and captain Tom Cairney are playing one of them. the best football stuff of their careers.
However, Silva’s side have suffered two serious declines, most recently in December, when they led Parker’s Bourenmeouth and Blackburn by just five points.
Before the game against Reading, Fulham had not won since 20 November – despite three consecutive opposition teams canceling games during the festive period due to Covid.
Promotion is by no means guaranteed and on Saturday we will discover if Silva’s underdogs can do it on a chilly January afternoon at Stoke.
But despite the many goalscoring records they have broken in a jolly season, Silva knows that finishing 17th in the Premier League next term will be a more significant achievement than any of them. surname.
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8235106/fulham-top-scoring-europe/ Most of Europe’s most prolific teams have revealed to Fulham TOP after equaling an 88-year record against Birmingham