LONDON (AFP) – Leeds returned to the top of the English Championship with a convincing 3-0 home win against promotion rivals Fulham on Saturday night.
Patrick Bamford gave Leeds an early lead before second-half goals from substitute Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison took them three points clear of West Brom.
Only the top two clubs at the end of the regular season are guaranteed promotion to the Premier League. West Brom are still five points clear of third-placed Brentford.
At Elland Road, a minute’s silence took place before kick-off in memory of former Leeds players Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry, who both died in April. There were no fans present, however, with spectators barred on health grounds in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Leeds took a 10th-minute lead when Bamford scored his 14th goal of the season after running on to Helder Costa’s cutback.
They doubled their lead against fellow promotion contenders Fulham in the 56th minute when Harrison raced on to Mateusz Klich’s pass down the right before his ball into the box was turned home by Alioski.
Harrison added a third goal and Fulham’s defeat was compounded when substitute Neeskens Kebano was sent off in stoppage time for his trip on Luke Ayling, a second bookable offence.
“The first half was better for them than for us. In the second half it was better. The win was necessary for us and very important,” Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Radio.