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Aleksandar Mitrović Bags First-Half Hat Trick To Keep Fulham Flying High

Aleksandar Mitrović's phenomenal start to the 2021-22 Championship season continued on Wednesday as he buried Swansea with a first-half hat trick. The hulking Serbian now has 10 goals in as many games this campaign, along with three assists, for third-placed Fulham. 

The 27-year-old has endured tough times recently, often finding himself on the bench last season as Fulham was relegated from the Premier League — this despite the fact that his 26 goals in 2019-20 propelled the West London side to the top flight in the first place. 

Mitrović first arrived at Fulham in January 2018 on an initial loan from Newcastle, where he scored 17 goals in 72 appearances. He scored 12 goals in 17 games as Fulham earned promotion, following up that half-season stint with 11 goals in 37 Premier League games in 2018-19. With Fulham so desperate for goals last season, it boggles the mind that Scott Parker left Mitrović on the bench so often.

The center forward was afforded a fresh start under new coach Marco Silva and is taking full advantage of it. Now the leading scorer in the Championship, Mitrović has taken his total in the second tier to 48 goals in 67 appearances in the white of Fulham. 

Wednesday's hat trick was his first since 2019, and he had it wrapped up within 33 minutes — striking first in the 12th minute, then in the 32nd before finishing the job on the stroke of half time. 

Mitrović, much like Simon Terrode in his travels around the 2.Bundesliga, consistently dominates in the second tier. 

After decimating any and all hopes Swansea had of claiming a victory on Wednesday, Mitrović let his qualities as a top-tier shithouser shine through by hitting the Ayatollah, a celebration used by Swansea's bitter rivals Cardiff City. 

Fulham's next game will pit third place against fourth as the Cottagers take on Coventry, before hosting QPR in a West London derby the following week.

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