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scores, results, news, Premier League, Leeds vs Fulham, video

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Fulham’s bid for Premier League survival suffered a major blow as Raphinha sealed Leeds a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage on Friday.

Scott Parker’s side would have climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since December 20 if they had managed a rare home victory.

But Patrick Bamford put Leeds in front in the first half and, although Joachim Andersen equalised before the break, Raphinha punished sloppy Fulham defending to win it in the second half.

Third-bottom Fulham remain two points behind fourth-bottom Newcastle, who have two games in hand including a crucial clash with fellow strugglers Brighton on Saturday.

Beaten in three of their last four games, Fulham have now lost 10 home league matches this season.

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Leeds too fast for sloppy Fulham | 01:24

Survival is still possible given Newcastle’s struggles, but with only eight matches left Fulham are running out of time to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

“It’s fair to say we didn’t deserve anything. The best team won,” Parker said. “We really struggled with their intensity at times. The home form hasn’t been where it needs to be.

“We’re at the point where it’s the final hurdle. We need to win some games.” Mid-table Leeds’ first win in four games was their first in London in 17 attempts.

Bamford’s goal was the ideal riposte to England boss Gareth Southgate after he missed out on a place in the squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“It was in the back of my mind a little bit I guess. It gives you a bit of an extra fire in your belly,” Bamford said.

“I just need to keep working and see if I can get my name in contention. If I keep going as I am I think I’m in with a shot.”

Leeds took the lead in the 29th minute thanks to Bamford’s opportunism. A quick throw caught Fulham sleeping and Jack Harrison found space for a cross to the near post, where Bamford made a perfectly timed run to smash past Alphonse Areola for his 14th goal of the season.

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Despite just two goals in their previous nine home league games, Fulham responded well and equalised by exposing Leeds’ longstanding set-piece weakness in the 38th minute.

When Marcelo Biela’s side failed to deal with Ademola Lookman’s corner, Danish defender Andersen got in front of Luke Ayling to volley home from six yards.

Andersen’s first goal since his arrival on loan from Lyon last year was the 15th conceded by Leeds from a corner this term.

Having showcased his predatory instincts earlier, Bamford turned provider in the 58th minute.

Kalvin Phillips robbed Mario Lemina and Bamford slipped a deft pass through to Raphinha, who punished poor Fulham defending to poke his shot past Areola.

Unable to muster another equaliser, Fulham were left to rue VAR’s refusal to award a penalty after Bamford’s arm made contact with the ball while he jumped to clear a free-kick.

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Real Madrid could sign three free agents as Raphael Varane seals Man Utd transfer

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Raphael Varane has a deal in principle to join Manchester United this summer.

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qualifying, results, Celtic vs Midtjylland, reaction, Ange Postecoglou, score, goals, football news

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Celtic failed in their latest Champions League campaign Wednesday, going down 2-1 after extra-time at Denmark’s Midtjylland as the Scots crashed out in the second round of qualifying 3-2 on aggregate.

Celtic, the first British club ever to be crowned European champions in 1967, getting in a year ahead of Manchester United, had only themselves to blame as they squandered the lead to drop into the far less lucrative Europa League, where they will now take on Czech side Jablonec.

Callum McGregor fired in a scorcher to give them hope, volleying home following a corner to put Celtic ahead three minutes after half-time.

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Manchester United set to sign Varane | 00:35

James Forrest should then have all but killed the tie, only to fluff a gilt-edged chance for the visitors just after coming on.

The Glaswegians, under their new Australian coach Ange Postecoglou, lived to regret that as Midtjylland drew level just after the hour as Awer Mabil, with 17 Australia caps to his credit, headed beyond keeper Scott Bain.

Celtic promptly fell behind on the night and on aggregate four minutes into the first period of extra-time, Raphael Onyedika firing home from close range amid confusion in the Celtic defence after a freekick routine.

The reaction was fierce post-game but in defence of Postecoglou.

“No surprise Celtic going out,” ex-Celtic player Chris Sutton tweeted.

“Ange Postecoglou has been dealt the worst hand of any Celtic manager in the last 20 years. The powers that be should be ashamed of dealing him this hand.

“Years of acting too slow and bringing in players too late but this season is something else.”

Speaking on Premier Sports, Sutton was adamant none of the blame should be placed on Postecoglou.

“Dominic McKay should be phoning up Ange Postecglou and apologising,” he said.

“This is on the board and not the manager”

John Hartson, meanwhile, warned that a return towards consistent success will not come quickly.

“Celtic are in a massive transition,” he said on Premier Sports.

“It’s going to take, for me, two years to get back on track.”

“It’s a huge blow but I think you’ll find a huge number of Celtic supporters who won’t be surprised,” Sky Sports expert Andy Walker said.

“The lack of preparation for season-defining games has left the new manager cruelly exposed.”

The loss was described as a “catastrophe” but Postecoglou hit back in an interview with BBC, declaring: “This is far from the end”.

“It’s pretty strong language mate, I don’t know what your version of catastrophic is but it certainly doesn’t fit my definition of what happened tonight,” he said.

“This is obviously a disappointing night, disappointing we didn’t get through, I can’t fault the effort of the players, I think they worked their socks off, we controlled the game.

“We scored and then had a good chance to go 2-0 up and then straight away they scored and we lost a bit of momentum.

“No, catastrophic to me means the end. This is far from the end.

“You are suggesting this is a club falling apart and our season is finished, I don’t see it that way.

“Yes, it’s absolutely disappointing, Champions League football is a priority but I can’t ask any more of the players.

“We have our league campaign starting on Saturday.

“Blame? We don’t blame people, I take responsibility, the responsibility is mine.

“You are using really strong language for something I don’t think merits that sort of view.”

The Danes now go on to face experienced Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven, who won 2-1 away at Turkey’s Galatasaray for a 7-2 aggregate success, in the third qualifying round.

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Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer breaks silence on Raphael Varane after Brentford draw

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Manchester United drew 2-2 with Brentford on Wednesday night.

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