YEP Jury: ‘Hopeless’ penalty decision sets the tone as Leeds United slip up at Fulham
Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s disappointing 2-1 defeat at Fulham and THAT penalty decision.
United’s mean defence had kept clean sheet after clean sheet during our unbeaten run but the floodgates have opened and we’ve now let in five in around two hours of football.
The first at Craven Cottage was thanks to an absolutely hopeless decision by referee Tim Robinson. He pointed at the spot with twice the vigour that Ben White had touched his man before he flung himself to the ground. That moment, followed by how close Casilla came to saving the penalty and coupled with the earlier loss of Pablo Hernandez to a hamstring injury – set the tone for this game.
It was bad tempered on the pitch and in the stands and, looking back, United clearly did enough to grab a draw. We were well in control after Patrick Bamford tapped in Eddie Nketiah’s shot-cum-cross and should have made Fulham pay. Their winner and subsequent winding down of the clock was unjust to say the least.
Lots of our players played well with nobody perfect. Ben White, Luke Ayling, Mateusz Klich and Kalvin Phillips were all kept very busy but Stuart Dallas, who played in several different positions, gets my vote for man of the match in an (albeit imperfect) all-action display.
Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.
Congratulations to fellow juror Andy Rhodes for correctly predicting a 2-1 win for the Cottagers.
I went for 2-2, but forgot to factor in the ability of this Leeds side, like all Leeds sides throughout history, to shoot itself in the foot! Another good chance of points went begging here as we controlled large parts of the game.
Okay, there was little we could do about the loss of Pablo Hernandez so early, but Ben White will be kicking himself for the needless push on Bobby Reid in the seventh minute that gifted Aleksandar Mitrovic a 17th goal of the season from the spot.
After Marcelo Bielsa told us last week he recognised our defensive frailty against set pieces and corners, it was still disappointing to see our lack of awareness as we stood off and allowed Josh Onomah to fire home.
But, wasting chances in front of goal is becoming more than just an annoyance now that we are pitted against the better sides in the Championship and there seems to be no solution to that either.
It’s still too early to panic and a good win on Boxing Day against Preston will restore most folks’ faith, but with no Pablo and no sign of sorting those corners, the next few games against the Championship’s elite will test our mettle.
Man of the match: Too close to call.
Leeds fell to their fourth defeat of the season and their third in the capital as Fulham beat them 2-1 at Craven Cottage. Leeds’ main rivals also dropped points so United are nine points ahead of third-placed Fulham going into the Christmas fixtures.
Leeds were forced to withdraw Pablo Hernandez as early as the third minute on Saturday. Gjanni Alioski replaced him then Fulham were given an early Christmas present by the same referee who sent off Gaetano Berardi and awarded Millwall a penalty earlier in the season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty was pushed onto a post by Kiko Casilla but it rolled from the post and into the net. Without doubt it was a poor decision and set the tone for rest of the game by poor official.
Leeds were level 10 minutes into the second half, substitute Eddie Nketiah’s shot was saved by Marek Rodak but he palmed it to Patrick Bamford who netted his 10th goal of the season. Leeds sought a winner but unfortunately it was the hosts that got the all-important second goal from a corner. Mitrovic was doing what he does best – unsettling the Leeds defence – and tried a bicycle kick but it was blocked and the rebound fell to Josh Onomah who fired past Casilla.
Leeds will hope to get back to winning ways when Preston North End visit Elland Road on Boxing Day.
I’d like to wish all the jurors and readers a very Merry Christmas.
Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.
This game was always going to go one of two ways. Either Leeds would redeem themselves after last weekend’s disaster or they’d succumb to a first defeat since October.
Unfortunately it was the latter but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Although they went behind early on via the softest of penalties, Leeds had their opponent where they wanted them in the second half.
Once Patrick Bamford equalised it looked like a tricky afternoon for the Cottagers.
Despite Fulham usually being in charge at home, Leeds dominated the ball and created 15 shots with seven on target. Marcelo Bielsa will once again be rueing the conversion rate.
He will also be sweating on the fitness of Pablo Hernandez for the busy Christmas period. The last thing he’ll need is a thinner squad.
Once again, his side will learn lessons from this defeat but these are the games you need to be winning to maintain the gap at the top.
Let’s hope they can do the business on Boxing Day against Preston.
Man of the match: Patrick Bamford.
In the recent past, Leeds fans could always console themselves when one of their bogey teams beat them. With the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa, a lot of these traumas were put to bed and the goblins were seen running back to their caves.
Unfortunately, Fulham do not fall into that category and hearing their fans singing Leeds are falling apart etc, stung the ears of any decent person.
Leeds did not fall apart, in fact they put up a pretty good fight. Fulham took an early lead after Bobby Reid was allegedly brought down by Ben White.
The prolific Aleksandar Mitrovic netted the penalty, just squeezing it in off the post.
Eddie Nketiah started the second half replacing Helder Costa. It was the Arsenal loanee who set up the equaliser.
After good work by Gjanni Alioski, Eddie whacked the ball goalwards from the right. Fulham keeper Marek Rodak could only parry the ball to the feet of Patrick Bamford who gratefully slotted it home. Sadly, the bogeyman in the form of Josh Onomah made it 11 games without a win for the Whites at Craven Cottage.
Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.