Fulham lose at Leeds despite second-half fightback

Leeds 4 Fulham 3

Fulham were punished for some ominously woeful defending but almost rescued a point in a seven-goal thriller at Elland Road.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored twice, brought them level with a first-half penalty, but their defensive frailties left them 4-1 down before a stirring fightback. Bobby De Cordova-Reid also scored for the visitors.

Those defensive frailties resulted in their most recent stint in the top flight lasting just one season.

They have conceded a total of seven goals in their first two league games of the new campaign and it will be another immediate return to the Championship unless they tighten up at the back.

But at the other end of the pitch, Fulham showed their quality and had Leeds worried in the later stages.

Leeds, promoted along with Fulham last season, went ahead after just five minutes, when Helder Costa was left unmarked to control Kalvin Phillips’ corner and fire in off the bar.

Mitrovic equalised from the spot 11 minutes before half-time following Robin Koch’s foul on Joe Bryan.

But Bryan himself then gave away a penalty, enabling Leeds to regain the lead before the interval – Mateusz Klich tucked away the spot-kick after Fulham’s left-back had pushed Patrick Bamford.

Bamford was allowed to drift between defenders Kenny Tete and Michael Hector to collect Klich’s pass and make it 3-1 early in the second half.

With Fulham all over the place, Bamford cut the ball back for Costa to fire home and at that point Leeds were in total control.

However, Fulham rallied and De Cordova-Reid scored soon after coming on as a substitute before Mitrovic gave them real hope.

Cordova-Reid applied the finish after being teed up by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

And after Mitrovic headed in Tete’s right-wing cross, Fulham almost equalised when Neeskens Kebano’s shot hit the post.

Fulham: Areola, Tete, Hector, Odoi, Bryan, Reed, Anguissa, Onomah (Kebano 59), Cavaleiro, Kamara (De Cordova-Reid 59), Mitrovic