Report: Leeds United 2-3 Fulham
Premier League action at Elland Road.
Leeds United 2 (Rodrigo 20’, Summerville 90’)
Fulham 3 (Mitrovic 26’, De Cordova-Reid 74’, Willian 84’)
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling, Koch, Cooper (C), Aaronson, Roca, Harrison, Rodrigo (Bamford 64’), Struijk (Gelhardt 85’), Sinisterra (Summerville 64’), Greenwood (Klich 76’). Subs not used: Robles (GK), Firpo, Llorente, Gyabi, Kristensen.
Fulham: Leno (GK), Tosin, Reed (Cairney 90’), Wilson (Kebano 63’), Mitrovic (Vinicius 90’), Ream (C), De Cordova-Reid, Pereira, Willian (Duffy 89'), Palhinha, Robinson. Subs not used: Rodak (GK), Onomah, Mbabu, Diop, Harris.
Venue: Elland Road
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Booked: Cooper (Leeds) Robinson (Fulham)
Despite taking the lead at Elland Road, Leeds United were beaten by Fulham as they battled back from behind to claim the three points. Jesse Marsch’s side scored late in the game to reduce the deficit, but the clock ran down as they searched for a turnaround of their own.
Leeds began the game brightly and were on top in the opening stages, looking to get in behind their opponents. A couple of early set-plays came for the Whites - but were then well dealt with - after pushing forward into the box.
With Fulham’s first real attack of the game, they should have taken the lead. A cross from the left-wing was flicked on by Aleksandar Mitrovic at the near post, finding Harrison Reed at the back of the area.
He controlled and shot well on goal, but Marc Roca was well placed to block on the line and Robin Koch was there as well, to back his teammate up by clearing the danger altogether.
Six minutes after that vital intervention, Marsch’s side went into the lead. A quick break forward saw Brenden Aaronson skip through midfield and he played the ball wide to Jack Harrison.
The winger controlled on his right foot and set himself to shoot with his left, seeing his strike deflected up into the air by Tim Ream. However, Rodrigo was alert and anticipated the rebound, following in and heading home his fifth goal of the season.
The lead didn’t last long though. Fulham hit back quickly, through their inform striker Mitrovic. A near post corner whipped in by Andreas Pereira found the forward’s head and he flicked the ball in at the near post to level.
Just a few minutes after getting back on terms, the away side had a golden chance to turn the game around and go ahead. However, after Andreas was released through on goal and looked to pick his spot, Illan Meslier read him perfectly and made a huge save to deny him.
The rest of the remaining minutes saw half chances - but nothing to test either ‘keeper, meaning we were all square at the break.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-1 Fulham
No changes were made on either side as they came out from the dressing room to begin the second half.
Two early chances did arrive though, for Leeds. Firstly Rodrigo fired a strike on goal which was saved by Bernd Leno, before a quick move shortly after gave Aaronson a chance, from which he chipped a curling attempt over the bar.
Making his first Premier League start of the season, the next good chance went to Luke Ayling. Roca picked him out with a quick free-kick and following some superb chest control, he struck left-footed narrowly wide of the post.
Back doing his usual duties, Ayling was then called into action down the other end. He raced back and denied a clear chance on goal for Joao Palhinha, with a last ditch foot to block the ball.
Just after the hour mark, Marsch made a double change. Patrick Bamford and Crysencio Summerville were brought into the action, replacing Sinisterra and goal-scorer, Rodrigo.
Both players were immediately into the thick of it, aiming to keep Leeds on the front foot after a strong start to the second half. Aaronson was again the creative force, making a chance for Bamford, who saw his shot well saved and cleared by Leno.
With 15 minutes left of the match, the missed chances were punished when the away side went ahead in the game. The ball was initially cleared from a corner but Andreas crossed it straight back into the box and Bobby De Cordova-Reid flicked a header into the back of the net.
Approaching the final five minutes, a quick run into the box from Reed gave him the chance to pull the ball back to Willian, who was waiting on the penalty spot to calmly slot into the far corner and get Fulham’s third.
Entering stoppage time, the Whites pulled one back. Joe Gelhardt was on off the bench and played through fellow sub Summerville, who toe-poked beyond Leno to reduce the deficit.
After conceding, the away side managed onto the ball in the final few moments to secure the three points.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 2-3 Fulham