Fulham made it seven wins in a row as they ran riot on Saturday, beating strugglers Barnsley 4-1 at Craven Cottage.
Despite starting slowly in the first 10 minutes, Fulham quickly grabbed control of the game in a dominant display for the Cottagers.
Aleksandar Mitrovic gave Fulham the lead with his 21st of the season before Fabio Carvalho marked his return to the starting XI with a goal.
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Neeskens Kebano grabbed the third before Harry Wilson latched onto a precise pass from Jean Michael Seri to make it 4-1 shortly after Victor Adeboyejo scored a consolation goal.
After making his first start since August, Carvalho told club media of his happiness at being back in action: “I’m glad to be back. I’m playing in front of the fans as well, who I love.
“It’s great to be back. Obviously, you can’t play every game. I’ve come back from injury, I’m not going to start straightaway. I got my chance today and I took it – I’m very happy.”
Carvalho pointed out how pleased he was to link back up with Aleksander Mitrovic and the pair combined brilliantly for the teenager’s goal, with the England youth international going on to add: “It’s something I’ve been trying to practice in training a lot – combinations off Mitro [Mitrovic] a lot, because I know if I play it to him, the ball’s going to come back to me.
“Obviously, it worked today and I’m looking to keep that on and hopefully we’ll get more goals from it.”
The win means Fulham are now top of the league, 1 point ahead of Bournemouth and nine points ahead of West Brom in third.
Carvalho and co. are next in action on Wednesday night, when they host Derby County at Craven Cottage.
It was the ideal return for Fabio Carvalho who has been absent through injury and illness. Fulham’s formed dipped immediately after Carvalho was unavailable and has only recently started to improve last month.
Carvalho’s impact on this Fulham side cannot be understated. He makes things tick in the final third and his quality and ability have shone in this team.
There isn’t a player like him in the squad and having his ability back and available will only enhance Fulham’s chances of automatic promotion this season.