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Leeds United vs Fulham. Sky Bet Championship.

Elland Road.

Leeds United 3

  • P Bamford (10th minute)
  • E Alioski (56th minute)
  • J Harrison (71st minute)

Fulham 0

  • N Kebano (sent off 91st minute)

Leeds 3-0 Fulham: Patrick Bamford on target as United move top of the Championship

Report from the Sky Bet Championship clash at Elland Road

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds and Fulham

Leeds opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after a professional display earned them a 3-0 win over Fulham.

Patrick Bamford's calm finish put the hosts in charge at Elland Road (10), before substitute Ezgjan Alioski took the sting out of the visitors' advances shortly after his introduction (56).

A tidy finish from Jack Harrison extended the slightly flattering scoreline (77), before Fulham's afternoon worsened when Neeskens Kebano was sent off in stoppage time after a clumsy second booking (90+1).

Marcelo Bielsa's side leapfrog West Brom into top spot on 74 points as a result, while the Cottagers stay fourth, two points behind west London rivals Brentford, following their 1-0 win over the Baggies on Friday night.

How Leeds took another step towards the Premier League

Friday night's result at Griffin Park meant a Fulham win had the potential to blow the race for automatic promotion wide open and after such a tremendous billing, the game was barely two minutes old when the drama began.

Making his presence known at the earliest opportunity, Aleksandar Mitrovic appeared to catch defender Ben White in the face with his trailing elbow.

Aleksandar Mitrovic challenge 1:36
Soccer Saturday's Paul Merson was shocked to see Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic stay on the pitch after this controversial incident appeared to be missed by the referee.

With 10 minutes on the clock, the much-maligned Bamford put Leeds ahead, coolly tucking just his fourth goal of 2020 past goalkeeper Marek Rodak from the edge of the area after Helder Costa's square ball.

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Fulham grew dominant but couldn't find a way to level before the break; penalty appeals were turned down after a potential handball from Tyler Roberts, while a ferocious volley from Mitrovic was kept out by the feet of Illan Meslier.

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Soccer Saturday's Paul Merson was made to eat some humble pie after Patrick Bamford gave Leeds the lead against Fulham!

The visitors' hard work started to unravel after the break. A Harrison cross from the right-hand side of the area evaded several defenders on its way to Alioski, who swept home, but while they recovered from going behind in the first half, now they appeared increasingly subdued.

A 45-minute cameo from Pablo Hernandez produced undoubtedly the goal of the game. The Spaniard had the presence of mind to hit a no-look pass to Harrison from around halfway and the on-loan Manchester City winger cut in from the right flank to apply an impressive finish to match it.

As the rained poured in Yorkshire, a needless challenge from Kebano on Luke Ayling saw the midfielder shown a second yellow card as Scott Parker's side ended a miserable afternoon with 10 men.

Man of the match - Ben White

The key to stopping Fulham is keeping Aleksandar Mitrovic quiet and, though the Serbian striker did his best to unsettle the on-loan Brighton defender early on, from there on in, he failed to do so. The 22-year-old turned in a typically brave performance in the heart of defence and was rewarded with one of the most important clean sheets he'll help keep all season.

What the managers said...

Leeds' Marcelo Bielsa: "In the first half, they were better than us and after we scored, the last 30 minutes in the first half was tough for us. But in the second half, the reality was the opposite to that of the first half - the key was to correct our mistakes.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa insists there's still a long way to go in the battle for automatic promotion, despite seeing his Leeds side move top of the table

"With 21 points left to play for, an eight-point lead is not a definite advantage."

Fulham's Scott Parker: "When you analyse a game, from the way I felt, they've scored the first goal against the run of play. We created numerous chances and put Leeds under pressure but for all the chances we created, we needed to be more clinical.

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Fulham boss Scott Parker admits the 3-0 defeat to Leeds has dealt a significant blow to their chances of automatic promotion

"There's a challenge ahead of us and there's been many challenges this year. I've been at this football club for a long time now. We need to man up, dust ourselves down because we have seven games left in a season we've worked very hard for."

What's next?

Both sides are next in action on Tuesday June 30, when Leeds host Nathan Jones' battling Luton at Elland Road at 7.45pm, while Fulham facing QPR in a west London derby at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium at 6.30pm.

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