Fulham’s hopes of Premier League survival were dealt a huge blow as goals from Patrick Bamford and Raphinha handed Leeds a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side came out of the traps quickly, and actually had the ball in the back of the net twice early on. Both Luke Ayling and Raphinha were offside though, the former’s effort ruled out after a tight VAR adjudication.
The Whites didn’t have to wait too much longer for their goal, as Bamford’s powerful half-volley on the half hour gave Leeds the lead they deserved. Inevitably, after all their pressure, that lead didn’t last long – Joachim Andersen poking home from a corner eight minutes later to level the scores.
Fulham began the second half well, but it was Leeds who bagged the next goal. Bamford played a cute pass through to Raphinha, and the in-form winger somehow found a way to poke the ball past Alphonse Areola.
Both sides pushed forward in search of the fourth goal of the game, but there was a distinct lack of clear-cut chances for either team. There were some nervy moments for Leeds, but ultimately, Bielsa’s men were just too strong.
Here’s your ratings for both sides…
Alphonse Areola (GK) – 5/10 – Didn’t have an awful lot to do, but did make a smart save late on. Beaten four times in total, though only two counted.
Ola Aina (RB) – 5/10 – Looked very shaky up against Harrison and Alioski. Didn’t cope well with Leeds‘ press, invited pressure a little too often and was invariably wayward with his passing.
Joachim Andersen (CB) – 6/10 – Second best in defence all night long, but Andersen completely mauled Ayling for his goal. Desire and physicality both there in abundance.
Tosin Adarabioyo (CB) – 5/10 – Failed to pick up Bamford for the Leeds opener and looked a little nervy at the back.
Antonee Robinson (LB) – 5/10 – Didn’t have too much defending to do as Leeds spent a lot of time attacking on the opposite side. Comically sliced at a shot in the first half which summed it all up nicely.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (CM) – 4/10 – Was Anguissa supposed to attack or defend? Ended up doing neither and was completely overwhelmed by Leeds’ midfield.
Harrison Reed (CM) – 4/10 – Seemed more focused on starting a fight than playing football. Probably had more conversations with the referee than complete passes.
Mario Lemina (CM) – 5/10 – Can’t fault his effort but his execution was just not good enough. Stifled by the lack of creativity around him and wasn’t good enough to provide it himself.
Ivan Cavaleiro (RW) – 4/10 – Had a shot on target which wasn’t even particularly good… and that’s about it.
Josh Maja (ST) – 4/10 – Had to settle for scraps as he couldn’t get into the game at all. Looked like a passenger before being withdrawn at half time.
Ademola Lookman (LW) – 5/10 – Isolated from the game as Fulham couldn’t get the ball over to him. Didn’t get the chance to do much right, but at least he didn’t get much wrong.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – 5/10
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 5/10
Kenny Tete – 6/10
Illan Meslier (GK) – 8/10 – Made some fantastic saves to deny Anguissa and Maja in the first half and looked dominant whenever the ball came towards him.
Luke Ayling (RB) – 5/10 – Unlucky to have his goal chalked off early on but then spent most of the game struggling at the back. Was poor in possession and in the air, and didn’t do anywhere near enough for Andersen’s goal. Good hair though.
Diego Llorente (CB) – 6/10 – Had some good moments, but combined that with some scary decisions. Sold Meslier short once or twice with some poor back passes.
Pascal Struijk (CB) – 5/10 – Made a couple of sketchy errors and looked unsettled dealing with the physicality of Maja and Mitrovic.
Ezgjan Alisoki (LB) – 4/10 – Had a relatively quiet day defensively but consistently gave away poor corners and invited pressure needlessly. Very poor on the ball.
Kalvin Phillips (DM) – 7/10 – Phillips’ energy was far too much for Fulham‘s midfield. Was solid at the back and put in some crunching tackles to kick-start counters, including for Raphinha’s goal.
Raphinha (RM) – 7/10 – By his standards, a relatively quiet night – but the Brazilian was still impressive in attack. Switched to the left for the second half and found himself through on goal on a number of occasions. Should have had a second.
Stuart Dallas (CM) – 8/10 – Doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his energy. Charged around the pitch all night long and completely overwhelmed Fulham. Outstanding pressing.
Tyler Roberts (CM) – 6/10 – Dawdled in possession a little too often but made up for it with real energy and passion. Did take it too far on occasion and somehow managed to avoid a booking.
Jack Harrison (LM) – 7/10 – Had a lot of joy against Aina in the first half, and although he might have been overshadowed by Raphinha, did enough to cause problems for Fulham.
Patrick Bamford (ST) – 8/10 – Shook off an early knee injury to make a real difference in this game. Took his goal very well and did well to set up Raphinha for the second.
Mateusz Klich – 6/10
Robin Koch – N/A