Championship
Leeds3Fulham0

Leeds United 3-0 Fulham: Marcelo Bielsa's side go top of Championship

Leeds celebrate Patrick Bamford's opener
Leeds had won five successive games before the season was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic

Boss Scott Parker conceded Fulham face a "big ask" to win automatic promotion after they were hammered by Leeds, who went back to the top of the Championship table.

Parker's fourth-placed side now look bound for the play-offs and are likely to see topscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic banned after an off-the-ball elbow.

Mitrovic appeared to lead with his elbow into Leeds defender Ben White inside the opening two minutes and though it was unseen by the referee he is almost certain to face retrospective punishment.

Patrick Bamford gave the hosts the lead with a cool finish inside the opening 10 minutes after an incisive run and cutback from Helder Costa.

Leeds doubled their lead after the break when substitute Ezgjan Alioski scored with a low finish after two Fulham defenders failed to cut out Jack Harrison's low centre, and Harrison wrapped it up on the counter-attack.

"I think it is going to be a big ask to go up automatically," Parker, who said he had not seen the Mitrovic incident, accepted.

"I wouldn't write it off because the unexpected could happen with the way the division is and games are."

He added: "I think overall the performance in the first half was exceptional. We took the game to a very good side.

"I thought we were superb then but over the course of the game we needed to be more clinical."

What proved to be an ultimately miserable day for the London side was compounded in injury-time as substitute Neeskens Kebano was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Leeds, who had lost their first game back following the suspension of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic at Cardiff last week, are now eight points clear of third-placed Brentford with seven games to play.

Fulham fail to take first-half chances

Despite leading at the break, Leeds spent much of the first half on the back foot as Fulham mounted a succession of attacks.

Winger Anthony Knockaert looked bright and he and Mitrovic forced relatively comfortable saves from home goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

The visitors were incensed that they were not awarded a penalty when the ball struck Tyler Roberts on the arm in the area as Leeds were left hanging on for the half-time whistle.

It was a different story after the interval, as subs Alioski and Pablo Hernandez both made pivotal impacts to secure a vital three points for Marcelo Bielsa's men.

Fulham have now lost both of their games since the restart and are seven points off the top two with seven games to play.

Perhaps more damagingly, they are now likely to be without 23-goal leading scorer Mitrovic for three matches if he is found to be guilty of violent conduct in his early challenge on White.

Minute's silence at Leeds
A minute's silence was held at Elland Road before the game to remember former Leeds players Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry, and all victims of coronavirus

Subs make difference

Leeds struggled to create anything of note after Bamford's early goal and boss Bielsa decided to make two changes at the break, bringing on Alioski and Hernandez for Bamford and Costa.

Alioski doubled Leeds' advantage after a quick counter-attack from Fulham's corner ended with Harrison's ball just evading two desperate visiting defenders and finding its way to the Macedonia international's feet in the area.

Hernandez, who has so often been at the heart of the Whites' best play over the past four seasons, was making his first appearance since the restart but showed no signs of being rusty.

He clipped a wonderful ball in behind the Fulham defence for Harrison to end the contest with a shot that went through visiting goalkeeper Marek Rodak.

Leeds host struggling Luton on Tuesday, while Fulham will be looking to get their season back on track when they visit London rivals QPR on the same evening.

Post-match reaction

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Radio Leeds:

"In the first half it was difficult for us to recover the ball in the opponents' half and when we were close to our box we lost it again quickly.

"That is why the first half was better for them than for us. In the second half it was better.

"The win was necessary for us and very important."

Line-ups

Leeds

  • 1Meslier
  • 2Ayling
  • 5White
  • 6Cooper
  • 15Dallas
  • 23PhillipsBooked at 89mins
  • 17Hélder CostaSubstituted forAlioskiat 45'minutesBooked at 50mins
  • 43KlichSubstituted forDouglasat 80'minutes
  • 11Roberts
  • 22HarrisonSubstituted forPoveda-Ocampoat 83'minutes
  • 9BamfordSubstituted forHernándezat 45'minutesSubstituted forShackletonat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Douglas
  • 7Poveda-Ocampo
  • 10Alioski
  • 19Hernández
  • 28Berardi
  • 30Miazek
  • 34Struijk
  • 46Shackleton
  • 48Stevens

Fulham

  • 12Rodák
  • 4Odoi
  • 3Hector
  • 13Ream
  • 23BryanSubstituted forLe Marchandat 75'minutes
  • 21Reed
  • 18ArterSubstituted forKebanoat 63'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 24KnockaertBooked at 35minsSubstituted forCavaleiroat 70'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 10CairneySubstituted forJohansenat 75'minutes
  • 14De Cordova-ReidSubstituted forOnomahat 75'minutes
  • 9Mitrovic

Substitutes

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 6McDonald
  • 7Kebano
  • 8Johansen
  • 19Cavaleiro
  • 20Le Marchand
  • 22Christie
  • 25Onomah
  • 43S Sessegnon
Referee:
Tony Harrington

Match Stats

Home TeamLeedsAway TeamFulham
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home10
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home16
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Leeds United 3, Fulham 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leeds United 3, Fulham 0.

Booking

Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham).

Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Marek Rodák (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United).

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Jamie Shackleton replaces Pablo Hernández.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) for a bad foul.

Foul by Neeskens Kebano (Fulham).

Luke Ayling (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Denis Odoi (Fulham).

Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Harrison Reed (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).

Foul by Maxime Le Marchand (Fulham).

Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Stefan Johansen (Fulham).

Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Josh Onomah (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stefan Johansen.

Booking

Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Neeskens Kebano (Fulham).

Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Ian Carlo Poveda-Ocampo replaces Jack Harrison.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Barry Douglas replaces Mateusz Klich.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Stefan Johansen replaces Tom Cairney.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Josh Onomah replaces Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Maxime Le Marchand replaces Joe Bryan.

Goal!

Goal! Leeds United 3, Fulham 0. Jack Harrison (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Ivan Cavaleiro replaces Anthony Knockaert.

Attempt saved. Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Denis Odoi.

Attempt missed. Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jack Harrison.

Offside, Leeds United. Jack Harrison tries a through ball, but Ezgjan Alioski is caught offside.

Offside, Leeds United. Ezgjan Alioski tries a through ball, but Jack Harrison is caught offside.

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Michael Hector.

Foul by Denis Odoi (Fulham).

Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Neeskens Kebano replaces Harry Arter.

Tom Cairney (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds39228959322774
2West Brom391914664382671
3Brentford391991167333466
4Fulham391810115243964
5Nottm Forest381613949391061
6Cardiff39151595751660
7Preston39169145249357
8Derby391512125452257
9Blackburn391511135548756
10Swansea391414114946356
11Millwall391316104643355
12Bristol City381510135256-455
13QPR39148175864-650
14Reading391310164845349
15Sheff Wed381310154750-349
16Birmingham391213145160-949
17Wigan391211164250-847
18Charlton39129184654-845
19Middlesbrough391014153950-1144
20Stoke39127205058-843
21Hull39119195267-1542
22Huddersfield38119184560-1542
23Luton39116224572-2739
24Barnsley39911194362-1938
View full Championship table

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