Leeds United 4 Fulham 3: Whites survive Cottagers comeback in Elland Road thriller

LEEDS UNITED survived an almighty scare and Cottagers comeback to record their first win back in the Premier League with a thrilling 4-3 triumph at home to Fulham.

By Lee Sobot
Saturday, 19th September 2020, 6:52 pm

United went ahead in just the fifth minute when Fulham failed to clear a Kalvin Phillips corner which fell to Helder Costa who unleashed a rocket of a shot from a tight angle that crashed in off the crossbar.

Leeds were then saved by fine defending by Robin Koch in the 13th minute as the German centre-back managed to get in a last ditch challenge on Michael Hector whose close-range header from a corner was subsequently deflected behind.

United, though, were on top and after a Phillips free-kick was punched clear by keeper Alphonse Areola, Koch then almost excelled at the other end of the pitch as his header from a Phillips corner was tipped over the bar.

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WHOOSH: Helder Costa's powerful effort fires Leeds United in front. Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images.

Koch's afternoon then took a turn for the worse in the 34th minute when the German conceded his second penalty in two games with a sliding challenge on Joe Bryan and Aleksandar Mitrovic stepped up to fire home the spot kick into the bottom left corner with Illan Meslier diving over the ball.

Yet just seven minutes later United were awarded a penalty of their own after Bryan pushed Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich coolly sent Areola the wrong way to restore the Whites lead and ensure a 2-1 advantage at the break.

Record signing Rodrigo was then replaced by Tyler Roberts during the break and within five minutes of the restart United had put themselves two goals ahead with Bamford producing a calm and composed finish after a neat through ball from Klich.

Seven minutes later, United then took just 14 seconds to get the ball from 'keeper Illan Meslier into the back of the Fulham net as Costa doubled his tally with another splendid finish into the top corner after a fine run and pull back from Bamford.

But Fulham still weren't done and the Cottagers pulled a goal back just five minutes later as Bobby Decordova-Reid produced a fine finish after latching on to Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa's through ball.

Incredibly, Fulham then made it 4-3 just five minutes later when Mitrovic headed home his second and Neeskens Kebano was then only denied by the post.

Both sides then exchanged chances in a game resembling a basketball match but United held on to record their first victory in the country's top flight for over 16 years.

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Costa, Rodrigo (Roberts 46), Harrison, Bamford (Alioski 70). Subs not used: Caprile, Struijk, Poveda, Shackleton, Bogusz.

Fulham: Areola, Tete, Hector, Odoi, Bryan, Zambo Anguissa, Reed (Lemina 70), Cavaleiro, Onomah (Reid 58), Kamara (Kebano 58), Mitrovic. Subs not used: Rodak, Ream, Cairney, Knockaert.

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Thank you Laura Collins