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Mitrovic played like Drogba against Liverpool – Former Manchester United player Crooks

13:08 BST 08/08/2022
ulham Liverpool Virgil van Dijk Aleksandar Mitrovic
The Serbian scored twice against the Merseyside outfit in a 2-2 draw at the Craven Cottage

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United forward Garth Crooks has said Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic imposed himself like ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba after netting a brace against Liverpool on Saturday.

Mitrovic’s heroics saw the Whites deny the Reds – who mounted a comeback to share the points – an opening day Premier League victory. Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s equalisers.

While naming Mitrovic in his team of the week, Crooks castigated Liverpool for their pace against the opponents, but lauded the Serbian for his stellar performance.

"I know it was warm at Craven Cottage, but not even the former European Champions can win football matches playing at a walking pace," Crooks said.

"Meanwhile, Fulham were right in the face of the visitors, and they didn't like it.

"Mitrovic, a player I thought was done playing Premier League football two years ago, was putting himself about like Didier Drogba - much to the dismay of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who got destroyed by the Serbia international for the first goal, and a Liverpool backline who had come for an easy life."

Mitrovic became the first player to score two goals for a newly-promoted side on the opening day of a Premier League season since Steve Mounie for Huddersfield against Crystal Palace in August 2017.

The effort by the forward saw Fulham remain unbeaten in three games against Liverpool in all competitions (W1 D2), after losing each of the six before that.

Fulham also avoided defeat in their first game back in the top-flight after promotion for the first time ever, losing on each of the previous five occasions; 1949-50, 1959-60, 2001-02, 2018-19, and 2020-21).

Meanwhile, Fulham manager Marco Silva heaped praise on Mitrovic after the heroics against Jurgen Klopp’s men.

"I repeat something I said maybe 20 times last season, Mitro is not just a goal scorer for us. He did an unbelievable job this afternoon without the ball. Unbelievable," Silva told the club’s website.

"The way he pressed, the way he helped the midfielders, in some moments he helped the backline as well.

"Even after all the work he did, 70 minutes of the game, he can take the ball 30-40 metres and run and win a penalty.

"He was fantastic, and he really deserved the two goals with the good performance that he put on the pitch. I’m really pleased for him because he deserved it."