Blades-Cottagers draw one to forget for Mitrovic

Blades-Cottagers draw one to forget for Mitrovic

LONDON • Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic missed a penalty and gave away a spot-kick as Sheffield United rescued a 1-1 draw in a battle of the Premier League strugglers yesterday.

Mitrovic fired over with his second-half penalty when the score was 0-0 at Bramall Lane.

Ademola Lookman put Fulham ahead with 13 minutes left, but Mitrovic’s foul on Jack Robinson conceded a late penalty that Billy Sharp converted.

The Serbia international is the first player to commit the unwanted penalty double in the same top-flight game since Mikel Arteta for Arsenal against Fulham in 2012.

As if that was not enough frustration for Cottagers boss Scott Parker to endure, he also had to watch Mitrovic miss two golden chances in stoppage time.

But he was pleased with his side’s “exceptional” performance in the second half. “The second half, I saw a dynamic team, a team that could create chances and I was pleased overall in that sense,” Parker said after Fulham’s first draw in 15 Premier League matches under him.

“There is still plenty of learning and plenty of improvement to do… The team is going in the right direction, not just today.”

Fulham at least moved off the bottom of the table after taking their first point at the fifth attempt, following last season’s promotion from the Championship.

The Blades also avoided defeat for the first time in five games this season. Manager Chris Wilder said: “We were a little bit more like our old selves in the first half… (but) not like our old selves in the second half. It is a bit of a battle at the moment, a bit of a grind, but delighted to get something out of the game.”

Crystal Palace were also awarded a penalty against Brighton yesterday. The hosts took the lead in the 19th minute through Wilfried Zaha after Michy Batshuayi was controversially adjudged to have been pulled in the box, but Alexis Mac Allister equalised in added time. Seagulls defender Lewis Dunk was sent off late on.