ulham missed the chance to exit the Premier League relegation zone and heap pressure on rivals Newcastle and Brighton – who lock horns this weekend – as they slipped to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat by mid-table Leeds United on Friday night.
Influential Lyon loanee and captain Joachim Andersen volleyed in from an Ademola Lookman corner to cancel out the impressive Patrick Bamford’s 14th goal of the season before half-time at Craven Cottage.
However, below-par Fulham could not build on that equaliser after the interval and suffered a second consecutive loss when Bamford teed up Brazilian winger Raphinha for what proved to be the winning effort shortly before the hour mark.
Victory for Scott Parker’s side would have seen them leapfrog Newcastle – who have two games in hand as things stand – into 17th spot with only eight matches left to play and the struggling Magpies facing a huge relegation six-pointer against 16th-placed Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Saturday evening.
However, they were comfortably second best on the night and Leeds had earlier seen two goals ruled out, with Tyler Roberts adjudged by VAR to have strayed narrowly offside before crossing for Luke Ayling’s headed finish and Raphinha also having an initial effort chalked off for offside.
However, Gareth Southgate did strongly hint that the former Chelsea forward – and not current Blues frontman Tammy Abraham – would likely be handed a call-up in the event of an injury sustained ahead of World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.