Patrick Bamford responded to his omission from the England squad with a goal as Leeds ended their misfortunes in the capital with an entertaining 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The defeat saw the Cottagers fail to grasp the opportunity to move out of the relegation zone for the first time since December.
After Bamford’s 29th-minute opener, Fulham’s Joachim Andersen got the equaliser with his first goal for the club, before Raphinha scored his sixth Premier League goal of the season, slotting the ball past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola for Leeds’ winner.
💬 "I think the result was fair" Patrick gives his thoughts on tonight's 2-1 win, VAR and England pic.twitter.com/0rhxU1grLN
— Leeds United (@LUFC) March 19, 2021
Marcelo Bielsa’s men had lost all five of their games in London this season, and were winless in their last 16 visits to the capital in all competitions, losing 14.
Leeds’ intensity proved too much for Fulham, who remain in the drop zone ahead of the crucial clash between relegation battlers Brighton and Newcastle on Saturday.
Leeds looked to have taken the lead in the eighth minute, only for Luke Ayling to be denied by VAR.
Ayling had lost his marker at the far post and headed home from a Tyler Roberts cross, but after VAR intervened, the goal was disallowed as Roberts was ruled marginally offside in the build-up.
Fulham uncharacteristically struggled to get out of their own half in the early stages of the match, and had difficulty coping with Leeds’ energy, especially in the middle of the park.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) March 19, 2021
With Harrison Reed momentarily down, Leeds had the ball in the back of the net for the second time, as Raphinha was played through before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Areola, but the linesman had to wait until the ball was in the back of the net to raise his flag, with the Leeds winger obviously offside.
Fulham, who had been second best in the opening exchanges almost had the opener, when Josh Maja turned in the box before shooting towards goal from close range, but Illan Meslier was able to make the save.
Just moments later, it was Leeds who took the lead. Jack Harrison’s cross found Bamford, who made no mistake, putting it past Areola to break the deadlock just before the half-hour mark.
Leeds’ advantage did not last long however, with stand-in captain Andersen equalising for Fulham from an Ademola Lookman corner.
Andersen beat Ayling to the ball before finding the back of the net with a first-time strike for his first club goal since his arrival on loan from Lyon in the summer transfer window.
It was also the first time Fulham have scored from a set-piece since Matt Ritchie’s own goal during the draw at Newcastle in December.
At the start of the second half, Fulham definitely had to weather the Leeds pressure as they pushed for a second, which came in the 58th minute, just after Lookman had missed a chance to put Fulham ahead.
Another quick break, with Kalvin Phillips dispossessing Mario Lemina, before another defensive error from Fulham allowed the ball to be played through to Bamford, who found Raphinha, with the winger able to slot past Areola.