Fulham win again - beating Leeds 2-0 but games are running out to nab automatic promotion
Fulham 2-0 Leeds United
Fulham’s appetite for the chase shows no sign of relenting. But time is running out.
Try as they might, they cannot quite close that gap on second place and now have just six games to make up five points or face the play-offs. Cardiff – the team they must catch - still have a game in hand.
The Whites made their superiority over mid-table Leeds obvious from the outset and eventually made it tell to extend their club record of undefeated league games to 18.
Kevin McDonald broke the deadlock with only his second goal of the season on 33 minutes – although he knew little about it – and Aleksandar Mitrovic bagged his 8th goal in Fulham colours to seal the deal after 63.
The opener came when Mitrovic flicked on a Matt Targett corner at the near post and the ball cannoned in off the Fulham no6’s hip, as he was half turning his back.
That bit of good fortune was merited. The Whites had hit the post through Floyd Ayite early on, and keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell had to be sharp to keep out a Mitrovic header from a resulting corner.
Mitrovic was such a presence he even managed to get in the way of a goalbound Ryan Sessegnon shot in the second half – but the Serb can be forgiven that, considering another great contribution.
At times he looked like Fulham’s answer to Diego Costa – such was ability to scare defenders around him, keep hold of the ball and create danger. He never gave his opponents a moment’s rest.
Sessegnon kept looking for the goal that would make the game safe and drilled in a shot with his unfavoured right foot, which the Leeds keeper palmed away.
But it was not long before Mitrovic did made it 2-0 – moments after Marcus Bettinelli had spread himself to deny Caleb Ekuban what looked a certain equaliser.
From the resulting breakaway, the Fulham striker exchanged passes with Tom Cairney and rolled a low shot under Peacock-Farrell from just inside the area.
Although it was a more or less routine evening for the Whites, they will be glad to have avoided the frustrations of recent clashes with the men from Elland Road – the previous five fixtures having all ended in draws.
Fulham: Bettinelli – Fredericks, Odoi. Ream, Targett – McDonald (Kalas 88) – Ayite (Norwood 66), Johansen, Cairney, Sessegnon – Mitrovic. Subs not used: Button, Kebano, Piazon, Christie, Kamara