Classy Fulham ease past struggling Leeds
LONDON – Fulham beat Leeds 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Saturday as Marco Silva’s side were deserved winners following a fine second half.
Fulham went 2-0 up early in the second half thanks to goals from Harry Wilson and Andreas Pereira, while Leeds pulled one back through substitute Patrick Bamford’s shot which deflected off Joao Palhinha and in.
But Fulham held on comfortably and could have added further to their tally as the Cottagers are back to their best.
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With the win Fulham move on to 45 points and are back in the hunt for European qualification. Leeds remain on 29 points after a poor display and are embroiled in the relegation scrap as Javi Gracia’s side are really struggling.
Discontent grows as lackluster Leeds failed to turn up for the fight
It is now three defeats in a row for Leeds United and despite the heavy defeats they took over the last two weeks, this was the worst loss. Playing against a Fulham side who have their flip flops on, Leeds showed little aggression and played scared the entire game. Javi Gracia is a pragmatic coach by nature but this Leeds squad is not and it just isn’t working. Leeds fans chanted against the board and Victor Orta throughout and the discontent is growing as the Yorkshire side are once again fighting for their Premier League status as they enter the final weeks of the season. There is no way this squad should be in this position, at least on paper. But they are and that is because of the muddled tactics, lack of direction from leadership and a lack of confidence from the players. What do Leeds want to be? What is their style of play? Ever since Marcelo Bielsa was fired over a year ago nobody seems to know and it has been a mess.
Javi Gracia ‘worried about everything’ after Leeds loss
“I’m worried about everything,” Gracia said in his post-match presser, via Sky Sports. “It’s our third defeat in a row.
“We have to improve all the players, the level of the players. We have to recover the best 11. We have a very important game in three days, we have to be ready.
“I don’t speak about individuals or players. All of them are trying their best, sometimes all the players make mistakes but I prefer to keep the strength of the team or the squad and try to compete.”
USMNT’s Antonee Robinson focused on breaking records
Stars of the show; Fulham vs Leeds player ratings
Harry Wilson: Scored a beauty of a goal, always a threat cutting in on his left and that is now two goals in his last two games.
Joao Palhinha: Dominated midfield and his fantastic season continues.
Andreas Pereira: Got his goal and he often got on the ball in dangerous areas and tried to make things happen.
Antonee Robinson: Involved in both of Fulham’s goals and surged forward brilliantly from left back in the second half but also defended really well.
Fulham head to red-hot Aston Villa on Tuesday, April 25. Leeds host Leicester on the same day in a huge relegation six-pointer.
How to watch Fulham vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 7:30am ET, SaturdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Fulham vs Leeds live analysis! - By Joe Prince-Wright at Craven Cottage
FULL TIME: Fulham 2-1 Leeds - A very comfortable win for Fulham and the scoreline doesn’t reflect their dominance from a fine second half.
SAVE! Illan Meslier with a stunning stop to deny Willian’s free kick. He then gets up and claws the loose ball away before Fulham were about to tap home.
GOALLLL! Fulham 2-1 Leeds - Now then. Leeds back in it with 12 minutes to go. Patrick Bamford’s shot deflects off Palhinha and goes in. Game on!
Great block from Robinson at the other end but the offside flag was up. Still, he didn’t know and that was a great intervention from the USMNT left back.
GOALLLL! Fulham 2-0 Leeds - Andreas Pereira slots home after a wonderful run and cross from USMNT’s Antonee Robinson down the left wing. Fulham have really cranked it up a few notches in the second half.
Patrick Bamford is on for Brenden Aaronson. Luis Sinisterra is on for Rodrigo. Will that change anything for Leeds?
CROSSBAR! Andreas Pereira whips a lovely free kick up and over the wall, Meslier was beaten but it hits the bar. Fulham cranking through the gears now.
At the other Crysencio Summerville smashes a shot into the side-netting from a Leeds corner. Leeds have to go for it now. 30 minutes to go.
GOALLLL! Fulham 1-0 Leeds - Harry Wilson smashes home a beauty of a goal off the crossbar. A cross into the box from Willian was only pushed away to Wilson by Illan Meslier and he volleyed home a beauty. Antonee Robinson did really well in the build up too.
Antonee Robinson gets back in as Brenden Aaronson races free. Looks like the Fulham defender won the ball but he also got plenty of Aaronson too. Good battle between the USMNT stars.
CLOSE! Willian cuts inside and his low shot deflects off a Leeds defender and squirms just wide.
We are off and running for the second half here. No changes for either side but there’s a higher tempo ahead.
HALF TIME: Fulham 0-0 Leeds - Safe to say that was a tight, tense and not too exciting first half. Leeds happy to sit back after their recent defeats, while Fulham just can’t get going in attack. Will we see Solomon and Kebano early in the second half for Leeds?
Pretty even game so far. Leeds are working so hard and Fulham are struggling to find any rhythm.
“You’re going down with the Chelsea!” is the chant from the Fulham fans to Leeds. Banter.
SAVE! Wonderful stop from Bernd Leno to deny Marc Roca’s powerful curling free kick from the edge of the box. Leeds growing into this now.
SAVE! What a stop from Illan Meslier. Tosin heads a beautiful free kick towards the far corner but Meslier pulls off a stunning save. Tosin was offside but Meslier didn’t know that.
KICK OFF: We are underway here at the Cottage and Leeds are pressing high. Fulham look sharp though.
Big news for USMNT fans: all four Americans who are available to play start. Ream and Robinson for Fulham and Aaronson and McKennie for Leeds, with Tyler Adams still out due to injury.
Hello and welcome to west London! A lovely day here by the River Thames at perhaps the most picturesque stadium in England.
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
Dan James and Harry Wilson were both on the scoresheet for Fulham last time out and it looks like they could plug the huge gap left by Mitrovic’s suspension. However, James is not available to play against his parent club Leeds so Carlos Vinicius could come in. The Cottagers will play in a slightly different way without their targetman and they ripped Everton apart with pace and trickery on the counter. Their first season back in the Premier League has gone superbly well and USMNT star duo Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson have been a big reason behind their success.
Leeds are really struggling without USMNT captain Tyler Adams after he picked up a serious injury and his absence in front of the back four is a big reason why they’ve shipped 18 goals in their last five games. But two of those games have been wins against Wolves and Nottingham Forest and there are goals in this Leeds team. Can Gracia get the balance right? It will be intriguing to see if Brenden Aaronson and Weston McKennie start against Fulham as the former was lively in attack against Liverpool, while McKennie made a big mistake and struggled in midfield.
Fulham team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Aleksandar Mitrovic (suspension), Layvin Kurzawa (knee), Daniel James (unable to face parent club)
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Tyler Adams (hamstring – out for season), Stuart Dallas (thigh)