Match ends, Bournemouth 0, Fulham 1.
Bournemouth 0-1 Fulham: Aleksandar Mitrovic penalty spoils Eddie Howe's 500th game as a manager
Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser said defeat by already relegated Fulham "summed up" an inconsistent season of being "good one week and a shambles the next".
The Cherries, who thrashed Brighton last Saturday, slipped to a third loss in five games at the Vitality Stadium as Aleksandar Mitrovic's second-half penalty gave the Cottagers a first away victory this term.
It spoiled Eddie Howe's 500th game as a manager and gave Fulham their first back-to-back Premier League victories since April 2014.
"We started well and had a couple of chances, which we probably should have scored, and as usual we gave away a stupid goal - everyone's to blame," Fraser said.
"When we're good we always say 'let's back it up' - and then we lose the next week. We need to get to grips with it. I think it's mentality, I think we go into games thinking it's too easy.
"That's our season summed up: good one week and then a shambles the next. It's really disappointing because we thought we started well and then we just crumbled."
The Cherries, unbeaten until now in their 10 home matches against promoted opposition, began brightly but fell away after missing several early chances.
Howe's side were also hampered by injuries to right-back Adam Smith in the warm-up and his replacement Junior Stanislas midway through the first period, contributing to a disjointed showing.
Serbia international Mitrovic profited by drawing a foul from substitute Jack Simpson and sending home goalkeeper Artur Boruc the wrong way from the resulting penalty.
The result leaves Bournemouth in 12th while Fulham remain second bottom of the Premier League.
Mitrovic and Rico set the tone
Having gathered just two points on their travels all season, the odds were stacked against Fulham when they arrived on the south coast.
With their relegation to the Championship confirmed a fortnight ago, it was hard to see how the division's second leakiest defence could contain a Bournemouth side that looked so irresistible when scoring five at Brighton last Saturday.
However, after taking time to grow into the game and capitalising on the Cherries' early wastefulness, caretaker manager Scott Parker saw his side earn a victory they more than merited.
"I asked the team if they could back up the performance [against Everton] and the challenge was: can we get the first away win and win two on the bounce?" Parker said.
"It was a fine performance last week and today was the same."
Spanish goalkeeper Sergio Rico made several excellent saves, twice denying Callum Wilson in the second period to preserve Fulham's advantage.
At the other end of the pitch, Mitrovic caused problems all afternoon. The 24-year-old lashed a left-foot volley over in the first half when well placed, but made no mistake from 12 yards after drawing a foul from Simpson.
His nuisance value was underlined by his five shots on goal, which was only bettered by Bournemouth winger Fraser.
Disjointed Bournemouth fail to spark
The numbers were all stacked in Bournemouth's favour prior to and during the first half of this fixture, but the game went dramatically off script once Mitrovic had stroked home from the penalty spot.
The Cherries had enjoyed close to 70% of the possession in the first 20 minutes but Wilson's ballooned effort inside the first minute ended up setting the tone for an unproductive afternoon.
That was the first of a number of gilt-edged chances that came and went for Howe's team.
Joshua King blazed over from 10 yards after excellent work by Fraser on the left, and the Scotland winger also twice tested Rico without success.
Bournemouth's reorganisation in defence, with both captain Steve Cook and Chris Mepham utilised at right-back, and fellow central defender Nathan Ake at left-back, also proved a hindrance as Fulham carved out nine chances in the second period.
It leaves Bournemouth one victory short of what could be a club record of 13 in a Premier League season and five points adrift of their best ever points tally (46 in 2016-17).
"We created enough chances to win the game but we obviously didn't take those. We were rocked with a couple of injuries and that's never easy to take," Howe said.
"The effort was there but the quality wasn't there. From last week it was the polar opposite, the decision making wasn't quite where it was."
Man of the match - Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)
'The Vitality penalty hot-spot' - the stats
- Fulham picked up their first league win over Bournemouth since January 1994, when both sides were in the third tier of English football.
- Bournemouth suffered their 18th defeat of the Premier League season, equalling their most in a single campaign in the competition (18 in 2015-16).
- Fulham have won back-to-back games in the Premier League for the first time since April 2014, when they beat Aston Villa and Norwich under Felix Magath.
- Bournemouth have lost four of their seven Premier League home games against teams starting the day in the relegation zone, with this their first such defeat since losing against Crystal Palace in January 2017.
- Bournemouth haven't won any of their last five home games in the Premier League - their longest such run since February 2017 (D2 L3).
- No stadium has seen more penalties awarded this season than the Vitality Stadium (10 - seven for Bournemouth, three for the opposition).
- Aleksandar Mitrovic's goal for Fulham ended a run of nine Premier League games without scoring - he hadn't netted with any of his previous 36 shots in the competition prior to his penalty.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic's penalty was the first he has scored in the Premier League since April 2016 (for Newcastle v Norwich) - he had failed to score each of his last two penalties before today.
Bournemouth travel to Southampton for their next Premier League fixture on Saturday, 27 April (15:00 BST). Fulham host Cardiff on the same date (also 15:00 BST).
- 19StanislasSubstituted forSimpsonat 23'minutes
- 33MephamSubstituted forMoussetat 76'minutes
- 3S CookBooked at 80mins
- 17KingSubstituted forSolankeat 61'minutes
- 13C Wilson
- 25RicoBooked at 90mins
- 20Le Marchand
- 5ChambersBooked at 59mins
- 29Zambo AnguissaSubstituted forNordtveitat 89'minutes
- 3R Sessegnon
- 24SeriSubstituted forChristieat 79'minutes
- 12BabelSubstituted forAyitéat 86'minutes
- 9MitrovicBooked at 75mins
- David Coote
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Bournemouth 0, Fulham 1.
Attempt saved. Lys Mousset (Bournemouth) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jefferson Lerma.
Foul by Denis Odoi (Fulham).
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Floyd Ayité.
Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jack Simpson (Bournemouth).
Sergio Rico (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Fulham. Håvard Nordtveit replaces André-Frank Zambo Anguissa because of an injury.
Delay in match André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham) because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Joe Bryan (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Floyd Ayité.
Substitution, Fulham. Floyd Ayité replaces Ryan Babel.
Attempt missed. David Brooks (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jefferson Lerma.
Denis Odoi (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lys Mousset (Bournemouth).
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Jefferson Lerma.
Hand ball by Dan Gosling (Bournemouth).
Steve Cook (Bournemouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.