Aleksandar Mitrovic scored an 88th-minute goal to settle a pulsating West London derby and hand Brentford their first defeat of the campaign.

It was the fifth goal scored on an afternoon that saw the Bees fight back from two goals down to level. Thomas Frank's side also had two goals disallowed before they were eventually beaten.

Bobby Decordova-Reid netted the early opener before Joao Palhinha powered in a second inside the opening 20 minutes.

Christian Norgaard volleyed home on the stroke of half-time to make it 2-1 with Ivan Toney levelling inside the final 20 minutes, one of three times he had the ball in the net on the afternoon.

Both sides created chances late on but, just when it looked like the points would be shared, Mitrovic met Kevin Mbabu’s deep cross to finally win his personal battle with David Raya and earn the home side the three points.

Frank opted to return to a 4-3-3 for our trip to SW6, Yoane Wissa coming into the starting XI in place of Mads Roerslev. Fulham lined up with Jay Stansfield and Bobby De Cordova-Reid either side of Mitrovic in attack and it was the three of them who combined inside a minute to put the hosts ahead.

There was a large element of luck involved: Mitrovic’s blocked cross landed right back at his feet, Aaron Hickey’s excellent challenge on Decordova-Reid only saw the ball roll perfectly for Stansfield, and then his shot, half-blocked by Ben Mee, looped up over Raya, down off the bar, and right back to Decordova-Reid to poke home.

Buoyed by that early goal, Fulham were all over the Bees in the opening stages. With Andreas Pereria finding space to dictate the game in the middle, and Fulham’s front four excellent in the press without the ball, we were hemmed back into our half for large periods.

Raya was called into action by Pereira’s long shot while Pontus Jansson atoned for giving the ball away to Stansfield by making an excellent recovery run and block as the Fulham youngster travelled from the halfway line to the edge of the box. The loose ball then landed back at the feet of Mitrovic but his follow-up effort was straight into the arms of Raya.

Brentford's only real opening came as Toney looked to get on to Wissa’s lofted ball but Bernd Leno sprinted off his line to punch clear.

Jansson had to make another important block as Pereira looked to gather Robinson’s ball through the middle and shortly after Raya was forced into an outstanding reflex save to repel Mitrovic’s bullet header. The Serb put the loose ball in the net, but the flag went up for offside.

The Fulham striker had been given too much space for that chance and Brentford didn’t learn their lesson. From the next corner, Henry didn’t know much about the block he made from Mitrovic’s volley but there was no stopping the Whites from the resulting set-piece. Palhinha rose highest and planted his header past Raya from eight yards.

The Fulham man could, very quickly, have gone from hero to zero as he flattened Mee in an aerial battle – his eyes were always on the ball, but he led with his arm and caught Mee dangerously in the head. However, Peter Bankes saw fit only to show him a yellow card.

That break in play seemed to suit the away side better as the Bees began to get a foothold once the game restarted. Bryan Mbeumo registered the first shot on target with a right-footed effort that was easy for Leno while the Fulham ‘keeper was also equal to Wissa’s looping header moments later.

However, there was nothing the Fulham debutant could do when Norgaard peeled away to the front post and met Jensen’s out-swinging corner with the cleanest of volleys a minute before the break.

Having been second best for much of the opening 45, that goal changed the tone of the half-time team talks and the boys wearing black came out of the traps quickly.

Tosin had to, and did, time his last-man challenge perfectly to stop Toney on the edge of the box. When, on our next attack, Toney did get the better of the Fulham backline, VAR came to their aid. The Bees frontman was adjudged offside by the merest of margins as he controlled Rico Henry’s dinked ball, turned, and slotted into the bottom corner from 15 yards.

Toney and Mitrovic were the last two winners of the Sky Bet Championship golden boot and both were on the end of a number of chances as the game stretched in the final quarter.

Fulham’s number nine should have wrapped things up when he pounced on Norgaard’s loose backpass. He only had Raya to beat but Raya stayed big, read where the shot was going and produced a crucial save.

Toney then gathered Wissa’s flick-header through and beat Leno but once again the linesman’s flag cut short the celebrations from the away end. By now, Brentford were well on top, and it was no surprise when the leveller came with 19 minutes remaining.

It was made by Bryan Mbeumo’s slide-rule pass into Wissa. The winger then flashed a ball into the six-yard box which Keane Lewis-Potter dummied, allowing Toney to turn home from close-range.

Even at 2-2, the crowd knew the scoring wasn’t done. Lewis-Potter nearly opened up a shooting opportunity after going on a mazy run past three Fulham defenders - the ball was recycled to Norgaard but Leno was equal to his low shot from inside the D.

After weathering a storm following the equaliser, Fulham finished far the stronger. Raya denied Mitrovic twice, the first of which was a superb reaction save, while Jansson made a vital, and painful, block from Reed’s effort.

However, there was to be no denying last season’s 43-goal man when, as the clocked ticked towards the 90, he peeled away, got up above Mbeumo, and nodded Mbabu’s cross back across Raya and into the net.

Injury-time was spent with the Bees piling men forward in search of another equaliser but none came as we suffered a first defeat at Craven Cottage in 32 years.

Brentford: Raya; Hickey (Lewis-Potter 60), Jansson, Mee, Henry; Norgaard, Jensen (Janelt 60), Dasilva (Baptiste 74); Mbeumo, Wissa (Ghoddos 83), Toney

Subs not used: Strakosha, Onyeka, Dervişoglu, Bech, Roerslev

Fulham: Leno; Tete (Mbabu 77), Tosin, Ream, Robinson; Reed, Palhinha; De Cordova-Reid, Pereira, Stansfield (Cairney 77); Mitrovic (Duffy 89)

Subs not used: Rodak, Chalobah, Diop, Francois, Ablade, Harris

Attendance: 21,798