FA Cup: Fulham FC 2 Leeds United 0 – unwelcome distraction from the premier league. Leeds United are undone by two curled shots curlier than a Curlywurly. Fulham FC are a success story in the Premier League and show their class.
In their second match under Gracia Leeds carry on from Southampton with the patient passing and use of wingers, Gnonto and Summerville using the width to push up the pitch.
The best early opportunity comes from the first corner of the match with Rutter kicking home the keeper’s deflection but a nudge from McKennie rules it out. The theatrical jump by Wilson fools the referee.
In a game of fine margins Leeds are punished by mistakes. Roca dispossessed in the middle of the Leeds half allowed Paulhina to take one look at Meslier off his line and bends it round Koch off the post it into the top corner.
Leeds had the ball in the net a second time in the first half but this deflection comes to Gnonto who is well off side. In extra time Rutter had two opportunities to score his first goal..First with a floating header that beats the keeper but comes off the post, Gnonto crosses it back into the box but goes through Rutter’s legs.
Fulham edged the better team putting a lot of pressure on Leeds in their own half forced Leeds to give the ball away too often. But under Gracia Leeds are creating more opportunities in front of goal.
Fulham show their class when Solomon curls an acute strike into the far corner. Leeds have had their opportunities but not taken them like Fulham have. Fulham grew in confidence and largely tackled Leeds into their own half. A good example was Kristensen losing the ball just outside the penalty box trying to pass out.
Whilst Leeds have improved in creating chances they lack confidence sees them all go wanting. Adams, Koch, Summerville, and Aaronson all can only shoot wide. An example is when five Leeds players are around the Fulham keeper trying to score but the ball trickles past the post. Aaronson and Harrison on as subs make the difference in the final quarter of an hour adding pace on the left.
This is Rutter’s best game so far repeatedly testing the keeper with his dribbling – he shows promise. But the night is ultimately one to forget. Leeds need to concentrate on surviving relegation.
Man of the match: Rutter