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Fulham 0-3 Leeds Cham 38 1415 Daily Mail

last updated Friday 20th March 2015, 10:14 AM
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Fulham (0) 0-3 (1) Leeds

Leeds United delivered a masterclass in smash and grab football as they were battered by Fulham but stole away from Craven Cottage with a resounding 3-0 victory.

The game marked five years to the day Fulham beat Juventus 4-1 in the Europa League, arguably the greatest night in the club's history.

But defeat left them only six points clear of relegation to League One.

Manager Kit Symons, who was a coach at Fulham in 2010 in that memorable night, was aware of the anniversary.

'That's football,' was all he could summon about their fall, adding: 'We had 27 shots altogether, I'm incredibly frustrated.

'I thought we were excellent first half, created numerous chances and didn't take them. I've been in and around football for a long time, often there's sucker punch if you don't take chances.

'We need three wins to stay up, it's down to us to go get them. We probably had enough chances to win three games here.'

Twice the home side's defence fell apart either side of half-time to allow Sam Byram and Sol Bamba to head Leeds ahead.

Fulham went down to 10 men and still managed to outplay their opponents, until substitute Mirco Antenucci made it three late on.

It was inexplicable that Fulham were not in front before Leeds took the lead, five minutes before the break.

Ross McCormack and Matt Smith, facing their former club, raced through early on but could not convert. Bryan Ruiz almost caught out Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri with a 35-yard lob, but he tipped over, then hit the crossbar from a corner.

But out of nowhere, Leeds scored when Gaetano Berardi crossed for Byram to head in completely unmarked and by seven minutes into the second half the home team completely capitulated.

On 48 minutes Leeds went two ahead, an Alex Mowatt corner bouncing all the way through Fulham's box to allow defender Bamba to head in at the back post. Then left-back Konstantinos Stafylidis was sent off for two yellow cards within 45 seconds of each other to end any hope of a comeback

Symons said: 'It was ridiculous getting the second so soon after the first. He dived in right in front of the Leeds fans for the second. It seemed the ref was moving on, but someone was in his ear then he changed his mind and went for the second yellow. It was rash and petulant.'

Fulham continued to dominate, despite having a man less, until the 88th minute when Antenucci scored with a first-time shot.

Leeds manager Neil Redfearn said: 'Our lot got a bollocking at half time, I thought we were off the pace.

We worked it out and toughed it out. It could've been four or five by the end.'

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