Leeds 4-3 Fulham: Player Ratings as Hosts Edge Thrilling Contest

Helder Costa
Leeds picked up all three points against Fulham in a thriller | Pool/Getty Images

Leeds picked up all three points in their first home game of the 2020/21 season as they edged past Fulham 4-3 in a gripping encounter on Saturday.

It took the hosts just five minutes to break the deadlock, Helder Costa thumping home ferociously from a corner. Scott Parker's men left him completely free at the back post, giving him the space he required. But the away side levelled things up ten minutes before half time from the penalty spot after Robin Koch fouled Joe Bryan.

Aleksandar Mitrovic stepped up and cooly slotted home from 12 yards. However, Marcelo Bielsa's men re-took the lead just five minutes later, also from the penalty spot. Mateusz Klich stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way. The Peacocks made it 3-1 five minutes into the second half through Patrick Bamford, the forward slotting the ball home cooly.

Substitute Bobby Decordova-Reid pulled one back with a ruthless right-footed finish from inside the area and Mitrovic made it 4-3 on 67 minutes with a towering header from six yards out, but the away side weren't able to find a leveller.

A cracking encounter, so let's get into some player ratings, shall we?

Leeds United

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Aleksandar Mitrovic, Illan Meslier
Meslier had a tough afternoon | Pool/Getty Images

Illan Meslier (GK) - 4/10 - Yes, it may seem harsh, but Meslier can be slightly annoyed he didn't save Mitrovic's penalty considering he guessed the right way. Was at fault for Fulham's third as well.

Luke Ayling (RB) - 5/10 - Wasn't given many opportunities by Fulham to get forward, but was sloppy in possession a number of times in the defensive third.

Robin Koch (CB) - 4/10 - Two penalties given away in your first two games in the Premier League? That's not fantastic.

Liam Cooper (CB) - 5/10 - Cooper made his return to the starting lineup, but he couldn't stop the defence from looking very open throughout the game.

Stuart Dallas (LB) - 5/10 - After a quiet first half, Dallas made a number of surging runs in the second half to support attacks and link up with the midfielders and attackers. Left gaping holes at the back though.

2. Midfielders

FBL-ENG-PR-LEEDS-FULHAM
Klich netted from the penalty spot | CARL RECINE/Getty Images

Kalvin Phillips (CM) - 5/10 - Started strongly, dictating the game with his range of passing - but Phillips was unable to influence proceedings as much once Fulham began to see more of the ball, and was guilty of a few wayward passes.

Mateusz Klich (CM) - 7/10 - Cooly slotted home from the spot to make it 2-1 and worked hard in the centre of the park throughout the afternoon. Showed real quality with the pass for the third goal as well.

Helder Costa (RM) - 7/10 - Look, when you hit a ball as sweetly as that, it doesn't matter what else you do for the rest of the game, does it really? Second goal wasn't too bad either.

Jack Harrison (LM) - 6/10 - Showed moments of real quality, but Bielsa will be demanding more from Harrison consistently moving forward.

3. Forwards

Patrick Bamford
Bamford is proving his doubters wrong | Pool/Getty Images

Rodrigo (ST) - 3/10 - Brought into the starting lineup after Pablo Hernandez pulled up with an injury in the warmup....but was sharply taken off at half time after not doing very much at all, really.

Patrick Bamford (ST) - 8/10 - Well, where are the Bamford doubters now? An expertly taken goal and a wonderful assist, Bamford enjoyed an excellent afternoon.

4. Substitutes

Marcelo Bielsa
Bielsa's substitutions didn't have much impact. | Pool/Getty Images

Tyler Roberts - 5/10

Ezgjan Alioski - 5/10

Fulham

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Helder Costa, Joe Bryan
Fulham looked shaky defensively | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Alphonse Areola (GK) - 6/10 - Took Areola just five minutes to concede his first goal on his first Premier League start...although it wasn't his fault. Made a number of crucial stops during the game.

Kenny Tete (RB) - 6/10 - Pressed well when out of possession and looked to get forward when on the ball and support attacks. An impressive league debut for Tete.

Michael Hector (CB) - 3/10 - As the leader at the back, Hector will have been required to organise and marshal his defence. He didn't do this - at all. Very sloppy defending and was punished.

Denis Odoi (CB) - 4/10 - Look, Odoi is versatile, but he isn't a Premier League-quality centre-back - not at all. When is the new central defender coming in, Scott?

Joe Bryan (LB) - 5/10 - Looked bright going forward, but was caught out at the back for the penalty.

6. Midfielders

Rodrigo Moreno, Harrison Reed
Reed was tireless in his work | Pool/Getty Images

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (CM) - 8/10 - Assured and composed, Anguissa brought stability to the midfield and complimented Harrison Reed nicely with his tackling and passing ability. Very promising display.

Harrison Reed (CM) - 6/10 - Gave the ball away a couple of times early on, but grew in confidence and soon began to dictate the game in the centre of the park. As usual, he never stopped pressing and forcing mistakes throughout the game.

Josh Onomah (CAM) - 4/10 - 'Nice touches' are good...but Fulham need more from Onomah. Picked up a few clever positions, but wasted a few opportunities to play incisive forward passes, instead opting to go back or sideways.

7. Forwards

Anthony Taylor, Aleksandar Mitrovic
Mitrovic is a lethal finisher | Pool/Getty Images

Aboubakar Kamara (RW) - 4/10 - Worked hard, but never caused too many problems for the Leeds defence.

Ivan Cavaleiro (LW) - 5/10 - Similar to Kamara, the wingers' performance on Saturday once again highlighted the need for Parker to strengthen in this area before the deadline.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (ST) - 7/10 - Give this man opportunities and he will score - as seen against Leeds. A ruthless striker, Mitrovic will be desperate for better service.

8. Substitutes

FBL-ENG-PR-LEEDS-FULHAM
Parker's substitutes made a major difference | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Neeskens Kebano - 7/10

Bobby Reid - 7/10

Mario Lemina - 5/10