Verdict: Great night for Fulham but frustrating times for Mitrovic and Loftus-Cheek

Fulham secured only their second win of the season, beating Leicester 2-1 on their own patch.

Who would have thought a side poised to go second would be second best to a team in the relegation places before the game?

Fulham handed their fans an early Christmas present – and that vital first goal made all the difference.

When shortly after that it became 2-0, the Whites at last had a platform to show what they can do with the ball at their feet.

From the start, there was an awareness – “nous”, as Scott Parker likes to call it – which was missing against Everton but very much evident in this game.

The anticipation was top notch, with players all over the pitch stepping in and out at just the right moment to set up attacks or thwart danger.

It was fitting that Andre Frank-Anguissa had another towering game in the light of Papa Bouba Diop’s untimely death.

The sad demise of a great Fulham midfielder saw another rise to the occasion in the Monday murk.

AFA is the glue and guts in the centre, and along with Harrison Reed, the Whites stiffened that middle third against Leicester.

‘Wardrobe’ would have been proud.

Where it all leave Tom Cairney is up for question – but for the time being, on the bench is patently obvious.

OK, fair play to Parker for giving Ivan Cavaleiro a second bite at penalties.

But did you see the boss’ reaction when the Portuguese finally converted a Fulham spot-kick at the fourth attempt?

It takes a bit to remove Parker’s poker stare, but his heart was in his mouth until Cavaleiro’s whack cleared Kasper Schmeichel.

That said, Cavaleiro as front man in place of Aleksandar Mitrovic from the start?

The Serb’s stock is clearly at an all-time low since his arrival in SW6.

Small carp, considering the result, but apart from the penalty what else did Cavaleiro do?

Meanwhile, there’s a player just itching to show his worth in Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

There’ll come a time when the Chelsea loanee scores a hat-trick while running rings around the opposition.

But he needs games.

That microsecond of speed and anticipation is missing, and he looks like a tortured man seeking an elusive bit of extra.

Patience is needed, but he’s lucky there’s a shortage of obvious replacements for him.

Joachim Andersen had a mixed game.

Caught out twice in the first half, the Dane was lucky Jamie Vardy’s clever flick was dealt with at the near post by a recovering Andersen, and then a few minutes later when the Foxes goal machine got the better of Andersen on the left.

In the second half, lesson learned, he tracked Vardy all the way down the left and out for a Fulham goal-kick.

On another day, Andersen won’t have time to get a second bite of the cherry.

As for Mitrovic, he has never had so much unattended goal to look at in his football life than in those final few seconds.

Schmeichel was up for that last desperate throw of the dice, and when the ball broke for him, the Serb had around 60 yards to punt long and straight into an open goal.

Hit it man! You could hear it throughout west London.

The worst that can happen if the ball stops short is a defender having to bring the ball back the entire length of the pitch.

Instead, the Serb set off on an unnecessary mazy run and elected to give a sideways pass that Ola Aina attempted to convert, only to see his effort balloon away for a corner.

You can bet that in his pomp, Mitrovic would have put his laces through that for 3-1.

Fulham don’t make it easy, do they?