Leeds United traveled to West London looking for a famous upset, but once again were denied any points because of crap finishing and a ruthless Fulham side that is looking to catch Cardiff City for the final playoff spot. And as much as Leeds fans would like to see Neil Warnock fail to get automatic promotion, losing to Fulham in this fashion is still too much.
Fulham took their chances while Leeds wasted their chances on the ball, and Leeds limped to yet another defeat away from home and Fulham is now 18 matches unbeaten and looking like a team that will be playing in the Premier League next season.
Leeds were put under some early pressure, as the post denied an open goal from Fulham’s Floyd Ayite. Off the resulting corner, Alexander Mitrovic had an open header on goal, but the shot was well saved by Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
Eunan O’Kane went off injured in the 22nd minute with Kalvin Phillips replacing him in a like-for-like swap of central midfielders. O’Kane going off earned him some banter on Twitter, but given the length of the injury list, it is a tad worrying to see him go down in the first half of the match.
Corner comes in, Mitrovic wins the header again, McDonald knows nothing about it but it flies in off his thigh, wrong-footing BPF. A genuinely crap goal. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 3, 2018
After a Kalvin Phillips mistake, Fulham were able to drive forward and earn a corner kick that was promptly put into the back of the net. The ball appeared to go in off of McDonald’s backside and into the back of the net. The opposition scoring off a pinballing shot in the box that ultimately rebounds in off of the backside of an opposing player pretty much sums up the season.
Not much else went on for Leeds during the rest of the half. A few decent balls between Hernandez and Saiz were the only real chances for Leeds, and despite a volley from Gaetano Berardi that appeared to go into orbit, Leeds looked fairly toothless going forward while Fulham looked in decent control for most of the half. Leeds trailed 1-0 at the half.
Leeds attempted to get something going in the first part of the second half, but once again the final ball seemed to once again let the team down. For all of the possession and passing, nary a chance on goal was created by Leeds as Fulham looked to contain the attack.
Sessegnon was denied a goal by Mitrovic, as the Serbian striker was somehow placed right in the way of the young England winger’s shot. Sessegnon had another shot that was saved by Peacock-Farrell and out for a corner that Leeds broke out from, only for Alioski to be a few miles offside after Saiz dithered on the ball instead of passing it early.
Caleb Ekuban missed what absolutely was a glorious chance as Kalvin Phillips laid the ball out perfectly for Ekuban to strike home, but the striker could only hit the onrushing keeper. Fulham broke out perfectly for the counter attack, and Tom Cairney made Leeds pay by playing a neat 1-2 with Alexander Mitrovic that the Serbian slotted home.
Both Jay-Roy Grot and Pierre-Michel Lasogga were brought on in the 72nd minute for Gjanni Alioski and Caleb Ekuban, in a vain attempt for Leeds to try and get back into the game.
Caleb Ekuban: I can’t believe I missed that sitter, how did I not score?!— Tom Banks (@tombanksUK) April 3, 2018
Jay-Roy Grot: Hold my beer.#lufc
Grot did nothing to quell his critics after a perfect pass from Saiz found both Lasogga and Grot completely unmarked in the six-yard box, only for the Dutchman to miss an impossibly easy header. Literally, any player on the pitch except for Grot would have scored from that header. Leeds, once again, totally failed to convert an easy chance.
Saiz won a free kick in stoppage time, but even Hernandez couldn’t salvage at least a goal out of this mess. Leeds would go on and fail to get even a point against Fulham after missing some excellent chances and falling victim to a fluke goal and a perfectly timed counter-attack.
Fulham picked up three vital points in their race for automatic promotion spots while Leeds are once again left to pick up the pieces and make the long journey back to Yorkshire.