United come from behind to claim a 1-1 draw away to Fulham...
FULHAM 1 (Dembele 23), UNITED 1 (Wood pen 64)
Fulham team: Lewis, Richards, Stearman, Burn, Garbutt, Tunnicliffe, O'Hara, Christensen (Kacaniklic 67), McCormack, Pringle (Fredericks 65), Dembele (Woodrow 84). Subs: Rodak, Hutchinson, Parker, Husband.
United team: Silvestri, Byram, Cooper, Bamba, Berardi, Dallas (Phillips 85), Adeyemi, Murphy (Botaka 58), Cook, Antenucci, Wood (Buckley 70). Subs: Horton, Bellusci, Wootton, Mowatt.
Referee: K Hill
Booked: Dembele, O'Hara, Burn, Garbutt (Fulham), Cook (United)
Att: 19,969 (3,789 United)
New head coach Steve Evans made three changes when picking his first United starting line-up, most notably handing a recall to Sam Byram in place of Scott Wootton at right back. Elsewhere, Luke Murphy came into midfield for Alex Mowatt and Mirco Antenucci replaced Jordan Botaka to partner Chris Wood in attack.
Ahead of kick-off, Evans had called for his side to up the intensity in their play and that was visible within seconds of referee Keith Hill’s opening whistle as United mounted an immediate attack, with Fulham just managing to clear their lines after Stuart Dallas had scuffed a strike into the area.
The hosts then broke at speed and former Whites captain Ross McCormack flashed a low effort against the side-netting in a lightening start to proceedings at Craven Cottage.
Ryan Tunicliffe dragged well wide from 25 yards out moments later, but United were seeing more of the ball and the chances soon came their way.
Dallas had the first sight of goal for Evans’ men, stinging the palms of goalkeeper Joe Lewis with a rasping strike after the ball had rolled into his path on the edge of the area, before Chris Wood’s close-range attempt was smothered by Lewis after being picked out by Murphy’s back-post free-kick.
But an encouraging start meant little on the 23rd minute as Fulham broke and opened the scoring through Moussa Dembele, working his way into the area before squeezing the ball beyond Marco Silvestri at his near post with a low strike.
Leeds looked to respond and threatened through Dallas, who lashed high and wide from the right after his initial cross was blocked, before Ben Pringle, coming up against his former Rotherham United boss, drilled a 20-yarder into the stand behind Silvestri’s goal after driving Fulham forward.
Lewis Cook and Gaetano Berardi both called Lewis into action with low strikes from range, while Sol Bamba towered a back-post header over the bar from Murphy’s free-kick on the stroke of half-time.
Both sides re-emerged unchanged and Liam Cooper was forced into a crucial block just two minutes into the second half, sliding in to deny Lasse Vigen Christensen a sight on goal as Fulham started in a positive manner.
Leeds soon started to put their hosted under a sustained spell of pressure, though, and could have had a penalty when Tom Adeyemi burst into the area before going down under the challenge of the onrushing Lewis, but referee Hill waved away the appeals.
Botaka was introduced shortly before the hour mark, replacing Murphy in midfield, and gave United a further injection of energy with his direct running at the Fulham defence.
Evans’ side were the ones asking all the questions, and on 63 minutes were awarded a penalty following a handball inside the Fulham penalty area. Wood stepped up calmly from the spot and found the net to pull United level despite a touch from Lewis on its way in.
However, that proved to be the striker’s final involvement as he was forced off minutes later to be replaced by Will Buckley following a heavy challenge in the middle of the pitch.
Buoyed by their equaliser, United continued to press for a second and some dazzling footwork on the edge of the area from Cook carved apart the Fulham defence before Antenucci was slotted through on goal, but Lewis was quick off his line to deny the Italian from a tight angle.
Dallas then thought he had given his side the lead with 10 minutes remaining, curling a left-wing effort towards the top corner, only to see Lewis somehow claw it away when it appeared destined to find the net.
A Leeds onslaught in the closing stages could have seen all three points return to Yorkshire, but Man of the Match Lewis was again on hand to deny Antenucci with another stunning save to ensure the spoils would be shared in the capital.