Raphinha celebrates after restoring Leeds' advantage at Fulham

Fulham 1 – 2 Leeds

Fulham missed the chance to move out of the bottom three for the first time since December, losing 2-1 to Leeds thanks to Raphinha’s winner.

Scott Parker’s side knew a victory would send them into 17th ahead of Brighton vs Newcastle on Saturday evening – but a slow start saw Luke Ayling nod home inside ten minutes – before VAR ruled it out for offside.

Bamford took advantage of some lax defending when he fired home Leeds’ deserved opener in the 29th minute. Against the run of play, Fulham then equalised just before the break as Joachim Andersen scooped home his first Fulham goal.

Leeds retook the lead not long after the break as Bamford set-up Raphinha (58) for a superbly taken goal, with Fulham unable to muster a reply, having just two shots on target in the second half.

It’s an opportunity missed for Fulham, who remain in 18th place and two points from safety, having played two more games than Newcastle and Brighton immediately above. Leeds move above Crystal Palace into 11th place and have completed their first league double over Fulham since the 1984-85 campaign in the second tier.

How Leeds saw off Fulham

Raphinha celebrates after restoring Leeds' advantage at Fulham
Raphinha celebrates after restoring Leeds’ advantage at Fulham

Leeds began the game well, and thought they had gone ahead inside eight minutes. It was a superb header from Luke Ayling as he nodded home Tyler Roberts’ cross, letting down his trademark top knot during his celebration. However, VAR had a long look and eventually ruled it out for offside against Roberts in the build-up.

Leeds had another offside goal ruled out in the 20th minute, but this was a much easier decision. Raphinha fired home into the far corner, but the flag was well raised. Illan Meslier then pulled off a sensational save at the other end in Fulham’s first real opening, pushing away Josh Maja’s shot before Ayling booted the ball off the line.

Player ratings

Fulham: Areola (7), Aina (6), Robinson (6), Andersen (6), Adarabioyo (7), Reed (7), Lemina (6), Anguissa (7), Lookman (6), Cavaleiro (6), Maja (6).

Subs used: Mitrovic (6), Loftus-Cheek (6), Tete (5).

Leeds: Meslier (7), Ayling (7), Alioski (7), Struijk (7), Llorente (6), Roberts (6), Phillips (7), Dallas (7), Harrison (7), Raphinha (8), Bamford (8).

Subs used: Klich (n/a), Koch (n/a).

Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.

But Leeds finally scored a goal that counted just before the half-hour mark. After being played through by Jack Harrison, Bamford peeled away from Tosin Adarabioyo before thundering a shot beyond Alphonse Areola, showing England manager Gareth Southgate what he is missing after missing out on a call-up earlier in the week.

Seemingly from nowhere though, Fulham equalised. Leeds’ defending was chaotic as Ademola Lookman delivered a corner, with Andersen able to curl his foot around Ayling to prod the ball home. It lit a fire underneath the hosts too, with Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa firing goalwards just after, but Meslier was there again to make a vital save.

Team news

  • Josh Maja was back in Fulham’s starting XI following the 3-0 defeat against Man City as Ruben Loftus-Cheek dropped to the bench. Antonee Robinson started at left-back with Kenny Tete left out.
  • Patrick Bamford was fit to start as part of an unchanged Leeds team following the 0-0 draw with Chelsea last weekend.

Both sides had chances early in the second half – Jack Harrison firing at Meslier and Ademola Lookman scuffing a golden chance – but Leeds went back ahead just before the hour. Bamford sped away down the field, skipping past Andersen, before playing Raphinha through. Despite having defenders either side and the goalkeeper to beat, the Brazilian did superbly well before slotting home past Areola.

Leeds began to dominate proceedings as the half continued with Fulham looking lost in front of goal. In the pick of the visitors’ chances, Raphinha fired wide before Stuart Dallas just dragged a shot past the far post. Areola then tipped an Ezgjan Alisoki effort past the post.

Patrick Bamford celebrates after opening the scoring for Leeds against Fulham
Patrick Bamford celebrates after opening the scoring for Leeds against Fulham

Fulham had a golden chance in the first of five minutes of added time. Lookman sent a wonderful corner into the area, with Anguissa’s flick inadvertently sent back through the area by Pascal Strujik. However, Aleksander Mitrovic was unable to convert as Leeds won the goal kick, capping a frustrating evening for Fulham.

Man of the match – Patrick Bamford

All eyes were on Bamford after he was left out of Southgate’s latest England squad, but he shrugged off the pressure just as he shrugged of Adarabioyo for his goal. It was wonderfully taken and he extends his good run of scoring against Fulham.

He also added a lovely assist for Raphinha’s winner, who was also superb on Friday evening. The only downside was a potential knock picked up, but it was still a great performance.

Opta stats

  • Leeds have won away in London for the first time in 17 games in all competitions, with the previous occasion being a 3-1 win at QPR in December 2017.
  • Fulham have lost 10 league games at Craven Cottage this season, with only Sheffield United (11) losing more home games in the Premier League this season. The last season in which Fulham lost more home league games was 2013-14 (11).
  • This was Leeds United’s seventh away win in the Premier League this season, the most by a newly-promoted side since 2005-06, when Wigan Athletic won eight and West Ham won seven.
  • Leeds United have conceded 11 Premier League goals from corner situations this season, at least three more than any other side.

What’s next?

Following the international break, Fulham travel to face Aston Villa on Saturday, April 3 at 8pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event. Leeds host Sheffield United at Elland Road on the same day at 3pm.

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