On Saturday afternoon Dafabet sponsored Fulham was paid a visit by Leeds United, currently standing second in the Championhip and vying for the automatic promotion. The home team had been through a rough patch, having lost three straight and the pressure piling on to keep their pace to challenge for the promotion. Their opponents had gone 11 games unbeaten. The Championship is once again closer than ever and each point is crucial – especially against the teams fighting for the same positions. Only two points divide the 3rd and 7th spot. While Fulham was overwhelmed for the most part of the game by their dynamic visitors, the home team managed to strike twice and take the narrow, hard-fought 2-1 victory.
Leeds is currently 2nd in the Championship and for a good reason. Under guidance of Marcelo Bielsa, the talented squad is playing dynamic and attacking football, and against Fulham they came out of the gates with fury. Fulham has often controlled the game, but failed to score and kill off the game when needed. This time the parts had changed completely and it was Leeds who took control early on. Indeed the visitors had the possession for 65% and they took 8 shots against Fulham’s 2.
However, it was Fulham to strike first, already on the 7th minute. Bobby Reid was fouled in the penalty area and the penalty was clinically scored off the woodwork by Aleksandar Mitrovic, who leads the scoring race with 17 goals. Fulham had to go into defensive as Leeds pushed hard for the equalizer, but managed to keep their clean sheet for the first half.
Leeds eventually pulled level in the second half. Patrick Bamford had the easy job of putting the ball into the net from a juicy rebound off Eddie Nketiah’s shot saved by Marek Rodak. The equalizer had Leeds step back some and allowed Fulham to have a period of pressure in the offensive end. It paid off in the 69th minute, when Josh Onomah blasted the ball past Kiko Casilla in the aftermath of Fulham corner kick. While Leeds took control of the game for the reminder, the home team put in a huge defensive display and worked their socks off to secure an all-important 2-1 victory.
Fulham climbed third in the Championship and closed within nine points of Leeds in the 2nd place. On Boxing Day Fulham is travelling to face Luton, one of the easier opponents in the league – if there really is any.