0 users online

MATCH REPORT ~ Fulham beaten by Leeds United ~ Prem MD30 20/21

last updated Thursday 25th March 2021, 2:46 PM

Match Report

Fulham (1) 1-2 (1) Leeds United

Premier League Match Day 30 at Craven Cottage

Friday 19th March 2021    KO: 20:00

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Live on Sky Sports

Centre-back Joachim Andersen
Joachim Andersen
Joachim Andersen
His Wiki page
For nearly an hour this game teetered in the balance.

It had hinged on the width of two thin lines – one red, one white. One went for Fulham, one had rescued Leeds. Both sides had scored one and seen another denied by the barest of margins. The three points were there to grab by either side. But in the end it wasn't Fulham.

How often have we said that this season? How often in recent months have they gone toe-to-toe and more than held their own, only to fall short.

Those small differences all add up and in the end they could decide Fulham's future. This clash offered the chance to climb out of the bottom three for the first time since December. For how long? We'll never know.

Patrick Bamford had put the visitors in front after Luke Ayling saw his header ruled out for offside. But Fulham had the momentum after Joachim Andersen's equaliser. Instead Raphina's second-half winner leaves Scott Parker's side two points adrift having played two games more than Newcastle.

For all their undeniable improvements, that's now 10 home defeats for the season; only Sheffield United have fared so badly. This one, against a side who arrived on their joint-worst run all season – will be particularly difficult to take. How many more chances can they pass up?

Leeds had waited 53 years for a top-flight goal in these parts. Their more recent drought, across the whole division, ticked over into five hours by the time Bamford opened the scoring last night.

Match Stats Fulham Leeds
Goals (1) 1 2 (1)
Scorers Andersen 38 Bamford 29
Scorers - Belloli 58
Goal attempts 13 13
On target 6 4
Shooting Accuracy 46% 31%
Possession 52% 48%
Passes Success 73% 70%
Corners 13 7
Tackles Success 50% 64%
Saves 2 5
Fouls 13 12
Offsides 1 4
Yellows 2 2
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
But not before poor Ayling thought he'd broken his own duck. The 29-year-old had never before found the net in the Premier League so you could forgive him for letting his hair down – literally – and whipping out the air guitar after he lifted an early header over Alphonse Areola.

It was a brilliant finish after a fine deep cross from Tyler Roberts on the left. At least it would have been, had the blurred lines of Stockley Park not ruled Roberts offside in the build-up.

Midway through the half, though, Leeds had the precision of technology to thank for staying on terms.

Bielsa's side failed to clear a corner, allowing Josh Maja to fire at goal. His shot was brilliantly palmed out by Illan Meslier. Incredibly, the ball looped into the air, bounced on the line and spun back out, allowing Ayling to hook it clear.

That bitter pill tasted even more sour for Fulham when Leeds went up the other end and Bamford turned home Jack Harrison's cross. What is it about him and Fridays? That's now 13 goals in 16 matches on evenings like this.

But what is it about Leeds and defending set plays? They have conceded more goals from corners than any other side and No 11 for the season was particularly feeble. Seven minutes from the break, Andersen held off Ayling to turn the ball home.

It was the least Fulham deserved – Parker's side had taken a while to match the visitors' intensity but by the break they were banging on the door and matters could have been worse for Leeds, had Meslier not made another brilliant save to deny Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Aleksandar Mitrovic replaced Maja at the break and Fulham picked up where they let off - another flurry of pressure, another round of aerial attacks from corners. This time, though, Leeds held firm before they began to turn the screw.

Suddenly it was Fulham who were hanging on and suddenly it was Areola who was the busier goalkeeper.

Harrison forced him into a low save and then came Raphina's sickening second.

Kalvin Phillips robbed Mario Lemina before feeding Bamford. He slid the ball into Raphina who finished calmly. And just like that another chance goes begging for Fulham.

Fulham: Areola, Aina (Tete 72), Andersen, Tosin, Robinson, Lemina, Reed (Loftus-Cheek 63), Anguissa, Lookman, Maja (Mitrovic 46), Cavaleiro

Unused substitutes: Hector, Odoi, Ream, Bryan, Kongolo, Fabri

Andersen 38 (From the resulting corner, the Leeds defending is all over the place as Lookman's corner is met on the full by Joachim Andersen as he is too strong for Ayling and is able to prod past Meslier. It's a really soft goal to concede but a big one for Fulham.)

Booked: Lemina (51,f), Loftus-Cheek (90+2,f)

Leeds United: Meslier, Alioski, Struijk, Llorente, Ayling, Phillips, Dallas, Raphinha, Roberts (Koch 90), Harrison, Bamford (Klich 77)

Unused substitutes: Poveda-Ocampo, Casilla, Costa, Berardi, Gelhardt, Shackleton, Jenkins

Bamford 29 (Leeds hit the front as Alioski's throw-in is collected by Harrison, who peels off Cavaleiro to cross low to the near post and Patrick Bamford escapes Tosin to fire his shot beyond Areola.)
Raphinha 58 (Leeds break down the other end and Lemina is burgled by Phillips. The ball breaks free for Bamford, who skips away from Andersen and lays it into the path of Raphinha. He still has work to do but makes it look easy as he escapes Tosin and pokes the ball inside the near post beyond Areola!)

Booked: Bamford (31,f), Phillips (90+4,tw)

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Attendance: 0

Source Daniel Matthews for Mailonline
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"