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Fulham 0-3 Leeds Cham 38 1415 Daily Express

last updated Friday 20th March 2015, 10:17 AM
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Joe Short at Daily Express

Fulham (0) 0-3 (1) Leeds

Sol Bamba scored his first goal for Leeds United as the West Yorkshire club downed 10-man Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Bamba buried a far-post header early in the second half to double Leeds' advantage after Sam Byram's nod opened the scoring, before Mirco Antenucci wrapped up the win late on.

Former United striker Ross McCormack - signed to Fulham last summer for a reported £11million - spurned the Cottagers' best chance and saw another ruled out for offside.

And to add to manager Kit Symons' misery, left-back Konstantinos Stafylidis was sent off before McCormack hobbled off injured.

The result pushes Leeds into the top half of the Championship table but Fulham nervously remain just six points above the drop zone.

And yet they had enough chances to win the game 15 minutes in.

Symons named former Leeds strike duo McCormack and Matt Smith up front and the visiting side got an early taste of what they've been missing this season.

Only a string of saves from Marco Silvestri, who first blocked a McCormack one-on-one and then edged wide Smith's neat header in between a looping effort from Bryan Ruiz, kept the scores level.

And when McCormack finally found the net with a neat first-time finish off Smith's knockdown on the half hour, the assistant's flag was there to save Leeds' stopper.

It was all Fulham as Neil Redfearn's struggled to even control the ball in the middle of the park, which is why the home crowd - and even the away section - were stunned when Byram headed the visitors in front five minutes before the break.

On a rare foray forward Gaetano Berardi picked up the ball on the left and swung in a hopeful cross, which found Leeds' right midfielder for the night unmarked and free to head down into the turf en route to the net.

And shortly after the break Leeds doubled their lead when Bamba pounced at the back post to head in a corner that somehow evaded goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.

The Whites' tails were up and Fulham made their task much harder moments after the goal when Stafylidis was shown a second yellow for a somewhat innocuous trip on Bryam down by the home touchline.

Fulham's night got worse when they etched out a handfull of chances only for Smith to spurn two efforts while debutant Michael Turner headed onto a post - before Antenucci volleyed in a scrambled third for Leeds.

And McCormack's nightmare evening was ended early when he limped off with nine minutes left, an injury that will no doubt worry Symons with a crunch away trip to Huddersfield scheduled for Saturday.

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