London (AFP) – Aleksandar Mitrovic rescued Fulham as the Serbia striker’s late goal secured a 1-1 draw and denied Watford a fifth Premier League win from six games on Saturday.
Mitrovic netted his fifth goal of the season with just 12 minutes remaining at Craven Cottage after Andre Gray had put Watford ahead in the second minute.
It was a sweet moment for Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, who was facing his former club for the first time since leaving Vicarage Road in 2015 just months after leading them to Premier League promotion.
Watford have been the league’s surprise package so far and they made a flying start again when Gray collected Will Hughes’ through-ball and slotted his third goal of the season past Marcus Bettinelli.
It was an open start to the game and the hosts almost drew level when Luciano Vietto raced on to Andre Schurrle’s pass, only to be denied by goalkeeper Ben Foster and curl a follow-up effort narrowly wide.
Gray should have doubled his tally when he fired straight at Bettinelli after Alfie Mawson made a mess of a long ball forward.
Fulham could have been down to 10 men in the 32nd minute when Timothy Fosu-Mensah escaped with only a yellow card following a dangerous, studs-up challenge on Troy Deeney.
Fulham were heading for a fourth defeat of the campaign until Vietto beat Daryl Janmaat to the ball on the left and squared for Mitrovic to prod in at the near post in the 78th minute.
The Cottagers nearly won it in the final minute of normal time but Foster tipped Mitrovic’s header onto the crossbar.