Fulham secured all three points thanks to goals from Alexander Mitrovic and Josh Onomah, who propel their side above London rivals Brentford into third position. The result puts significant pressure on the Welsh side, as Cardiff City now find themselves at the mercy of Swansea City who sit a single point below the Bluebirds with a game in-hand.
Story of the match
Cardiff fail to take advantage of slow-starting Cottagers
Neil Harris' side began the game at lighting pace, putting the pressure on the home side, not giving Fulham a chance to catch their breath. The Bluebirds were running the game for the first 15 minutes of the game. Winger Mendez-Laing was at the forefront of the waves of pressure; his persistence forced Anthony Knockaert into handling the ball on the edge of Fulham's 18-yard box. The free-kick forced Marek Rodak into the first true save of the fixture.
Sleepy Cottagers come to life
After constant Cardiff pressure, Fulham were finally kicked into life. The London side began to create opportunities. Harry Arter played for Cardiff last season, and this season he nearly placed an effort past Bluebirds keeper Alex Smithies, but his shot went just wide of the post.
Despite a positive start, Cardiff's hard work was cruely undone just 10 minutes before the end of the first half. Dion Sanderson was adjudged by referee Gavin Ward to have held Mitrovic in the area, and pointed to the spot. The Serbian forward now sits outright top goalscorer in the Championship, as he dispatched a superb penalty into the top corner of the goal putting the home side a goal to the good.
Fulham have now taken the lead 23 times this season, winning 20 of those and drawing just three.
Once again, Cardiff fail to make pressure count
Impressively, the Welsh side began the second half in an upbeat manner. Neil Harris' men were greeted by a sluggish Fulham outfit, but again didn't take the bull by its horns. Moreover, Michael Hector will be feeling lucky to have got away with his lash out at Callum Paterson, where the defender was dealt only a yellow card - despite it appearing to of constituted a red.
The game flipped on its head quickly. Fulham felt they deserved a second penalty decision just five minutes after they dodged a red card. A cross into the area clattered against the falling Curtis Nelson, as the defender attempted to make contact with the ball; claims were waved away by the officials - no VAR in England's second tier.
Onomah doubled the Cottagers lead with a rapidly dispatched ball into the Cardiff goal. Quick feet from second half substitute Stefan Johansen saw the midfielder split Cardiff's Joe Ralls and Joe Bennett - the pass was picked up by Onomah who struck the ball past Smithies who could only watch; his feet firmly glued to the ground.
Fulham still have their automatic hopes alive thanks to victory this evening - however, with the form of fellow promotion chasers West Brom and Leeds United being superb, the Cottagers will more than likely have to remain happy with play-off football.
Fulham's play-off hopes will mostly fall to Mitrovic, who's goal scoring ability is central to Scott Parker's side's success.
Cardiff’s play-off fate is no-longer in their hands. Defeat this evening means Neil Harris' men now find themselves at the mercy of fellow hopefuls Swansea City, Preston North End and Derby County.
As usual, Alexander Mitrovic was lethal in his pursuit of goals for Fulham. The serbian won and dispatched the penalty which set Fulham on their way to victory - it was his 24th of the season, taking him one ahead of Brentford's Ollie Watkins.
Mendez-Laing was unfortunate to have been on the losing side this evening. The Cardiff winger showed incredible pace and ability at times, with his performance not being matched by his teammates.