Harry Wilson and Andreas Pereira grabbed the goals as Fulham pushed Leeds United closer to the relegation zone after a 2-1 win at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

Wilson followed up his first league goal of the season in last weekend’s victory at Everton with a well-taken strike to finally give the home side a lead that their enterprise and ambition merited just before the hour mark. Fulham’s ambition and enterprise contrasted sharply with the move conservative gameplan adopted by Javia Gracia. Leeds were happy to shut up shop and seek to hit the Whites on the break, but the visitors supplied the game’s first shot on goal when Bernd Leno parried away a free kick from Marco Roca.

Fulham fashioned openings but they were largely kept at arm’s lengths by a dogged Leeds defence, which was something of a relief for Gracia after his side had conceded eleven games in their last two matches. Willian watched a shot be bravely blocked by Liam Cooper before Pereira tested Meslier’s reflexes twice in swift succession – the second seeing the Leeds goalkeeper claw away a corner that the Brazilian had sought to bend between him and the near post.

The hosts stepped it up after the break with Willian seeing a shot deflected wide and Wilson thwarted by another courageous challenge from Cooper. But Fulham weren’t to be denied. Antonee Robinson cantered along the left flank after intercepting an aimless crossfield pass from Roca and, after drawing in the Leeds defence, released Willian outside him. The winger’s devilish cross was flapped at by Meslier, with the loose ball sitting up nicely for Wilson to volley majestically into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

That goal transformed the game from a cagey, tight affair into one that swung from end-to-end. Crysencio Summerville ruffled the side netting with a low drive that the visitors supporters thought had brought Leeds level – only for the jeers from the rest of the ground to soon disabuse Leeds of that notion. Pereira then went close to doubling the lead, with his curling free-kick leaving Meslier rooted to the spot but cannonung back off the bar.

But the former Manchester United midfielder then was handed the simplest of finishes after the Leeds keeper had succeeded in palming Robinson’s cross directly into the path of Pereira, who rolled home a finish to give Fulham a bit of breathing space. Leeds hit back swiftly with Roca forcing Leno to tip a rising drive over the crossbar. The visitors kept the pressure on and halved the deficit when Bamford’s finish took a deflection off the unfortunate Pereira and into the net.

That set up an agonisng end to the contest. Meslier did brilliantly to readjust his feet after both New Zealand and West Indies. Willian went close shortly afterwards and, although Leeds belatedly piled on the pressure, they couldn’t find another equaliser.

FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, A. Robinson, Diop, Adarabioyo; Palhinha, Reed (Lukic 82), Palhinha; Wilson (Kebano 90+4), Willian, Pereira (Cairney 84); Decordova-Reid (Vincius 87). Subs (not used): Rodak, Duffy, Adarabioyo, Squares.

BOOKED: Palhinha

GOALS: Wilson (52), (74).

LEEDS UNITED (4–2-3-1): Meslier; Kristensen, Wöber, Koch, Cooper; Roca, McKennie (Forshaw 80); Summerville, Aaronson (Sinisterra 65), Harrison (Gnonto 80); Rodrigo (Bamford 65). Subs (not used): Firpo, Ayling, Striup, Roberts.

BOOKED: McKennie, Wöber, Cooper, Roca.

GOAL: Palhina (o.g. 79).

REFEREE: Peter Bankes (Mersseyside)