Report: Leeds United 4-3 Fulham
Whites edge seven goal thriller.
Leeds 4 (Costa 5, 57, Klich pen 41, Bamford 50)
Fulham 3 (Mitrovic pen 34, 67, Reid 62)
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Costa, Klich, Rodrigo (Roberts 45), Harrison, Bamford (Alioski 70). Subs not used: Poveda, Struijk, Caprile, Bogusz, Shackleton.
Fulham: Areola, Kete, Hector, Odoi, Bryan, Zambo Anguissa, Reed (Lemina 70), Kamara (Kebano 58), Onomah (De Cordova-Reid 58), Cavaleiro, Mitrovic. Subs not used: Cairney, Knockaert, Rodak, Ream.
Booked: Klich (Leeds), Tete, Mitrovic (Fulham)
Referee: K. Friend
Venue: Elland Road
Leeds United’s second game back in the Premier League produced another thrilling spectacle, with the Whites this time coming out on the right side of a 4-3 win against Fulham at Elland Road.
The Whites were dealt a blow ahead of kick-off when Pablo Hernandez had to be withdrawn after picking up a groin strain in the warm-up, so Rodrigo was handed his first start.
Leeds made the perfect start to the match, when a Kalvin Phillips corner ended up landing at the feet of Helder Costa at the back post and he smashed home the opener, via the crossbar.
Fulham came close to going level in the 13th minute, also from a corner, with Michael Hector’s header deflecting just over.
Another corner led to another chance for Leeds 12 minutes later, with Robin Koch seeing a header superbly stopped by Alphonse Areola.
Fulham got the chance to level when Joe Bryan was felled in the area by Koch and following VAR confirmation, Aleksandar Mitrovic made no mistake from the spot.
With six minutes of the first half remaining, Leeds were also awarded a penalty, when Bryan pushed Bamford in the back, as a cross floated towards his head. Mateusz Klich remained calm and collective, to put Leeds back in front from 12 yards.
Harrison Reed forced Illan Meslier into action with a long range strike, with the Whites heading in leading at the break.
Half time: Leeds United 2-1 Fulham
Like in the first half, it took Leeds just five minutes to find the net in the second. Klich played a lovely through ball to Bamford and he slotted home with cool.
Bamford then turned provider in the 57th minute, he did superbly down the left before crossing low for Helder Costa to smash home his second of the game and Leeds’ fourth.
Fulham manager Scott Parker reacted immediately by introducing Neeskens Kebano and Bobby De Cordova-Reid which sparked the visitors into life. The latter was played in on goal four minutes later by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and he fired past Meslier to give the Cottagers hope.
Koch headed over a free-kick for Leeds, before Fulham pulled back another goal. Kenny Tete got to the byline and Mitrovic was on hand to head home.
A minute after Mitrovic’s goal, substitute Kebano nearly pulled the game level, but he saw his strike hit the post.
Marcelo Bielsa reacted by introducing Ezgjan Alioski and he almost netted a Leeds fifth, but he was denied by Areola from a narrow angle, before the Fulham stopped denied Tyler Roberts’ rebound.
Meslier was forced into action to prevent Mitrovic from getting a hat-trick, stopping his half volley well, whilst Jack Harrison saw a free-kick hit the wall.
The Whites then saw out four minutes of stoppage time to earn a first Premier League win since 2004 and get up and running in the 2020/21 season.
Full time: Leeds United 4-3 Fulham