Fulham climb to third as Josh Onomah ends Leeds’ unbeaten run

Josh Onomah’s first goal since Christmas 2017 rekindled Fulham’s automatic promotion hopes with a crucial home win over Leeds. The midfielder’s clinical finish in the 69th minute moved them to within nine points of their opponents and halted Leeds’s 11-game unbeaten run.

Fulham climbed to third thanks to the win, courtesy of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s seventh-minute penalty and Onomah’s second-half strike, either side of Patrick Bamford’s 10th goal of the season.

“The most overriding feeling I have at this moment in time is pride,” said the Fulham manager, Scott Parker, who saw his side end a three-game losing run. “Today I saw a team that was on the front foot, aggressive and determined to make a statement. A team that showed passion and desire. That’s what made me happiest.”

The first goal in this game was always going to be vital and after Hélder Costa had sent a first-minute volley into the arms of Marek Rodak, it went to the home side. Ben White needlessly pushed Bobby Decordova‑Reid in the back, the striker fell and Fulham were awarded a penalty. Kiko Casilla got a hand to Mitrovic’s spot-kick but unfortunately for the keeper the ball struck the inside of the post before rebounding over the line.

For the remainder of the first half it was Rodak who was the busier goalkeeper, racing off his line to block a Stuart Dallas shot after 23 minutes before plunging to push Mateusz Klich’s shot to safety via the post.

Marcelo Bielsa brought on Eddie Nketiah for Costa at half-time. Within 10 minutes, the substitute had played a crucial role in Leeds’s equaliser, turning on a smart pass from Ezgjan Alioski, a third-minute replacement for the injured Pablo Hernández. Nketiah’s shot ought to have been held by Rodak but he pushed it into the path of Bamford, who tapped in.

It seemed that Leeds would take advantage and secure victory, but when the game’s third goal arrived, it was at the other end. Mitrovic caused problems at a Fulham corner, attempting a bicycle kick that was blocked. The ball rolled out to Onomah, who directed a fierce shot into the corner of the net.

Leeds pressed for a second equaliser in a frantic finale, Mitrovic somehow clearing the ball off the line after Liam Cooper had headed across the goal following a final corner.

Bielsa praised the quality of both sides. “We played against one of the most powerful opponents in the league,” he said. “They play well on the counterattack, but today they didn’t damage us or create chances. They scored from a corner and from a penalty. They had just one more chance. We had seven or eight chances to win the match.”

source: theguardian.com