Whites progress on penalties in the cup!
Fulham 0 (5)
Leeds United 0 (6)
Leeds win on penalties.
Fulham: Rodak (GK), Hector, Reed (Adarabioyo 83’), Kebano, Knockaert (Cavaleiro 71’), Muniz, Quina (De Cordova-Reid 71’), Christie, Bryan, Onomah, Mawson (c)
Subs not used: Ashby-Hammond (GK), Fossey, O’Neill, Stansfield.
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Firpo, Roberts (Forshaw 55’), Dallas (c), Rodrigo, James, Phillips, Cresswell, Summerville (McKinstry 75’), Klich (Gelhardt 68’), Shackleton.
Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Hjelde, Drameh, Greenwood.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side progressed into Round Four of the Carabao Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage, in front of 5,500 travelling Leeds United supporters in the away end.
When the match got underway in West London, the first good chance went the way of the hosts.
Neeskens Kebano whipped in a dangerous cross to the back post, where Rodrigo Muniz had found space to win the header, but it was into the ground and then over the bar. Just a couple of minutes later, the striker did hit the target with a low effort, forcing Meslier into a good save.
Still inside 10 minutes, Crysencio Summerville - making his first start for the Whites - was alert to intercept a loose pass from Anthony Knockaert. The winger raced into the box and laid it off for Tyler Roberts who had an effort on target well saved by Marek Rodak.
Leeds had a number of corners as their early chances, but the Fulham backline stood firm. The first time the Whites managed to carve their opposition open was following good interplay between Mateusz Klich and Rodrigo, with the Spaniard shooting wide on his right-foot.
Rodrigo did then go close a couple of minutes before the interval. Summerville was chopped down just outside the box by Joe Bryan, allowing the forward to step up and take the free-kick with his favoured left-foot. The strike was low and on target, but Rodak saved well again.
In an almost identical position down the other end, Fulham had their own free-kick. They decided to go with the right-foot of Kebano and his curling strike around the wall was pushed clear by Meslier at full-stretch, in the final bit of action before the whistle.
HALF TIME: Fulham 0-0 Leeds United
Both Bielsa and Marco Silva opted not to make any changes at the break as they sent their teams out in search of progression to the next round.
The first chance of the second period of play was created by Dan James. The winger burst forward and played it wide to Rodrigo, but the strike was blocked and cleared by Michael Hector.
It was a half where not too many chances were created inside the opening 20 minutes. The game had gone into a stop-start nature, with both teams receiving plenty of fouls for and against, which meant the clash struggled to flow like in the first.
Bielsa went to his bench all three times, bringing on Adam Forshaw for Roberts, whilst Summerville and Klich were replaced by two debutants, Joe Gelhardt and Stuart McKinstry.
Most of the chances that did come in the match for the home side, continued to fall the way of Muniz. The striker put two headers over the bar and also a volley when well placed inside the box.
For all their neat possession and hard work, Leeds didn’t trouble Marek Rodak much in the Fulham net. The ‘keeper watched on in the closing stages as Charlie Cresswell put a header wide, and the whistle went shortly after to send the match to penalties.
FULL TIME: Fulham 0-0 Leeds United
𝐅𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞: After 90 minutes at Craven Cottage, the game remains goalless. We're heading to penalties... pic.twitter.com/L1eYJcEWK9— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 21, 2021
The spot-kicks were taken in front of the Fulham fans down the opposite end to the travelling Whites. First up was Rodrigo and he dispatched, before Onomah struck the bar for Fulham to give the visitors an early advantage.
The next four efforts were scored, with James and Phillips finding the net for Leeds, whilst Cavaleiro and Kebano responded for Fulham. They were followed by two misses, from Dallas and Joe Bryan, which meant Leeds had an opportunity to win the tie with their final penalty.
However, Forshaw was unable to find the net and Hector did for the Cottagers, which meant we were level after five strikes each and went to sudden death.
The next four penalties were all struck well and beat the ‘keepers, the scorers being Junior Firpo and Gelhardt for Leeds, whilst Alfie Mawson and Bobby De Cordova-Reid notched for Fulham.
The final two penalties were where the tie was decided. On his debut, McKinstry coolly stepped up and slotted into the bottom corner. That meant the home side had to score when Muniz placed the ball down, but Meslier was the hero as he guessed correctly and saved!
🔥 Some heroes don’t wear capes! pic.twitter.com/gP0YZWvfGq— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 21, 2021
Leeds progress into Round Four of the competition, with the draw taking place upon the conclusion of the matches on Wednesday evening.
FULL TIME: Fulham (5) 0-0 (6) Leeds United
Venue: Craven Cottage
Referee: Tim Robinson
Booked: Summerville (Leeds)