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Leeds gives Areola rude Premier League welcome, escapes over Fulham

Leeds players celebrate after scoring a goal against Fulham. Oli Scarff/AP
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Alphonse Areola became the second player of Southeast Asian descent to get a Premier League start, but he struggled to keep Leeds from scoring a bunch of goals as Fulham fell on the road, 3-4, at the Elland Road Stadium in Leeds on Saturday.

The Filipino-French goalkeeper, who was loaned to Fulham by mother club Paris Saint-Germain, gave up four Leeds goals in just 57 minutes, dictating the outcome of the match.

Helder Costa struck first for Leeds in the fifth minute, but Areola and Fulham's backline contained Leed's offense later in the first half even as Alekasandar Mitrovic equalized for Fulham with a 34th minute penalty.

The breakaway began in the 41st minute when Mateusz Klich converted a penalty to put Leeds ahead anew at halftime.

Patrick Bamford made it 3-1 in the 50th minute before Costa sealed a brace with a 57th minute strike.

Fulham gave Leeds some scare midway into the second half as Bobby Reid scored in the 62nd minute and Mitrovic completed his own brace in the 67th, but Fulham's comeback came up short.

Leeds scored its first win in its Premier League comeback season and is currently in ninth place.

Fulham, on the other hand, fell to 0-2 in the season and is down to 19th place, just above West Bromwich Albion on goal difference.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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