Whites hit seven past Fulham at Thorp Arch.
Premier League 2
Leeds 7 (Roberts 3’, Cresswell 28’, McAvoy OG 34’, Hernandez 54’, Kamwa 65’, Gelhardt 81’, Costa 89’)
Fulham 1 (Carvalho 71’)
Leeds: Caprile, Drameh, Davis (Huggins 45’), Jenkins, Cresswell, Casey, Poveda, Greenwood, Roberts (Kamwa 61), Hernandez (Gelhardt 61’), Costa. Subs not used: Christy, Kenneh.
Booked: Poveda (Leeds)
Venue: Thorp Arch
An excellent performance from Mark Jackson’s U-23s side, saw them end the year of 2020 in thumping fashion by comfortably beating Fulham.
The Whites remain at the top of Premier League 2 following the win, which saw seven different scorers for Leeds.
Jackson’s side began with intent and desire to get on the front foot and they opened the scoring after just three minutes. A couple of early corners allowed Helder Costa to whip in a pinpoint cross which found the head of Tyler Roberts, who placed his effort into the top corner.
The Whites caused more problems from corners for the Fulham defence, but it was the visitors who would have been level if not for a superb diving block by Olly Casey to deny a goal bound effort.
Close to the half-hour mark, another set-play would be Fulham’s undoing. It was Costa again with the ball in, this time Leeds captain Charlie Cresswell leapt highest to power a header beyond everyone and into the back of the Fulham net, making it two-nil.
Leeds were then threatening to run riot, and just a few minutes later they added a third. Ian Poveda and Pablo Hernandez linked up well down the right hand side of the pitch and when the latter cut the ball back into the middle, Connor McAvoy was unfortunate enough to turn the ball beyond his goalkeeper for three-nil.
In further chances before the half-time whistle, Hernandez saw a free-kick on target well saved by George Wickens in the Fulham net, before the ‘keeper was beaten again by Roberts. Only this time, a covering defender on the line managed to block and clear the danger from the Leeds forward.
An excellent first 45 minutes from Jackson’s side was brought to a close, with his team having a three-goal advantage.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 3-0 Fulham
Just the one change at half-time this week for United, which saw Leif Davis come off and Niall Huggins on. Just nine minutes into the second half, Leeds began where they had finished the first.
Poveda, who was in great form throughout the match, played a neat through ball to Hernandez, who turned and lashed a shot into the top of the net, giving the ‘keeper no chance and making it four-nil.
Hernandez and Roberts would then both be replaced, by Joe Gelhardt and Bobby Kamwa. An instant impact was made by the subs, with Gelhardt dancing his way into the box and winning a penalty. The forward stepped up to take the spot-kick himself, but his effort came back off the post allowing Kamwa to net the rebound, making it 5-0.
Fulham got one back for their efforts, a curling effort from the lively Fabio Carvalho, but the constant wave of Leeds attacks were not to be over for his side despite their best efforts.
With 10 minutes to go, Gelhardt made amends for his penalty miss by thundering in a shot from outside the box. The forward picked his spot and struck it cleanly, making it 6-1.
The final goal of the match came from Costa, who had been so productive in helping his teammates to score. Poveda once again was the provider, crossing accurately for Costa to smash home.
The win cemented top spot in the Premier League 2 table for Jackson’s side and ends 2020 on an excellent victory.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 7-1 Fulham