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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Fulham pounce on Meslier mishaps to beat Leeds for a third time this season

Fulham (0) 2 Wilson 58, Pereira 72

Leeds united (0) 1 Palhinha og 79

Lunchtime kick-offs. Sometimes they are good. Often, they are not. But at least Fulham did enough to secure a win as a follow-up to last week’s highly-encouraging victory at Everton.

Two mistakes from Leeds keeper Illan Meslier in the second half ushered in another win for the Whites, who put the visitors out of the FA Cup at the Cottage not too long ago, having won 3-2 at Elland Road earlier in the season.

Harry Wilson was the first to profit from a mistake by Meslier to spark a hitherto dull game into life.

The Leeds keeper flapped at a Willian cross to offer up a free hit for the Fulham winger and he duly dispatched via the underside of the crossbar.

Unblocked after their mostly constipated first-half display, the Whites now finally sensed they ought to be doing to Leeds what Palace and Liverpool had done in recent games and that is score a goal or two against them.

The relegation-threatened Yorkshire outfit had shipped 11 goals in their previous two home games.

And from a cross by Antonee Robinson, Meslier only succeeded in palming the ball out to a lurking Andreas Pereira, who was able to virtually walk the ball home.

It took an age for Bernd Leno to be called into action but moments after tipping over a shot from Marc Roca he was beaten by a flick from Patrick Bamford – deflecting off Joaoa Palhinha - during a goalmouth melee.

Meslier went some way to atoning for his errors by athletically tipping a curled Willian free-kick onto the bar, but it did not quite rescue his day.

This was a game Fulham badly needed to win to maintain interest in European qualification, but Leeds’ need for points to avoid the drop seemed to trump that in terms of effort and focus in the first half.

Not that this translated into a plethora of clear-cut chances. The opening half was bereft of such moments.

Palhinha looked off the pace and picked up an 11th booking of the season for a clumsy challenge – only Newcastle’s Joelinton can match that Premier League high for the season.

But it all turned out Ok for the Cottagers in the end.

Whites: (4-2-3-1) Leno – Tete, Tosin, Ream, Robinson – Reed (Lukic 82), Palhinha – Wlson (Solomon 86), Pereira (Cairney 86), Willian (Kebano 90) – Decordova-Reid (Vinicius 82). Subs not used: Rodak, Duffy, Soares, Diop

Leeds: (4-2-3-1) Meslier – Kristensen, Koch, Cooper, Wober – McKennie (Forshaw 80), Roca – Harrison (Gnonto 80), Aaronson (Sinisterra 65), Summerville – Rodrigo (Bamford 65). Subs not used: Robles, Ayling, Firpo, Struijk

Attendance: 24,488


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