Leeds United held to another goalless draw at home

Pablo Hernanadez holds off the Fulham defence. Picture: Bruce RollinsonPablo Hernanadez holds off the Fulham defence. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Pablo Hernanadez holds off the Fulham defence. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Leeds United remain unbeaten after three matches in the EFL Championship, but had to settle for a second goalless draw in four days at Elland Road after a hard working display against Fulham.

Up against the side that pipped them for a play-off place last year, the Whites were distinctly second best for the first half-hour, but then closed their opponents down better and got a grip on the game after the break when they could have snatched all three points.

Leeds head coach Thomas Christiansen thought a draw had been a fair result against one of the best teams in the division.

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He said: “I believe there were two games. The first half we weren’t fast enough and they passed the ball a lot better. But the second half we closed the spaces, we didn’t let them play the way they wanted. We dominated, created our chances, but couldn’t take them.

“I’m very happy with the second half. We were facing one of the best teams in the league. Perhaps we deserved a little bit more in the second half.

“In the end it was a fair result and I am satisfied with it.

“We have to be more dangerous up front, but it is the beginning of the season and we are getting better with each game.”

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Fulham started like the top side they are as they moved the ball smartly in midfield, although they struggled to create clear chances and often settled for strikes from the edge of the box, none of which were on target.

Ibrahima Cisse did hit the post with one strike from range, but Sone Aluko, Stefan Johansen, Aboubakar Kamara and Kevin McDonald were all high and wide with their efforts from outside the box.

Samuel Saiz got in behind the Fulham back line only to see his pull back well defended with Chris Wood lurking for a tap in.

Despite all Fulham’s better play it was Leeds who had the best chance in the opening half when Wood raced clean through only to see his attempted chip well saved by visitors’ keeper David Button.

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Conor Shaughnessy, a late call to play at centre-back after Liam Cooper was left out with an injury in the afternoon, got forward for a free-kick, but miskicked after getting free in the box.

Wood had the ball in the net after chesting down Saiz’s clever ball into the area, but he was given offside.

The second half saw a marked improvement from United all round the pitch with Kalvin Phillips having a shot deflected wide and Luke Ayling sending a volley wide.

Pablo Hernandez failed to make the most of a free-kick just outside the box when his shot hit the defensive wall before Aluko dragged a shot wide at the other end.

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Saiz, an impressive figure again for the Whites, was inches away with a fine strike from the edge of the box, but for all their improved play Leeds could not create enough as Fulham also defended well.

The visitors almost snatched the points when Aluko raced through only to be denied by home keeper Felix Wiedwald in almost the same manner that Button had saved from Wood earlier.

Only a great challenge by Shaughnessy denied Neeskins Kebano late on after he got in behind Ayling, but Leeds kept going and substitute Stuart Dallas dragged a shot wide when well placed in the box.

Dallas created one last half-chance when he got clear on the right wing only for his driven cross to just evade Wood in the middle.

Match facts

Fulham 0

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

EFL Championship

Attendance: 28,918

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Leeds: Wiedwald, Ayling, Shaughnessy, Jansson, Anita, Alioski (Roofe 63), O’Kane, Phillips, Saiz (Dallas 82), Hernandez, Wood.

Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Odoi, Ream, Sessignon, McDonald, Cisse, Johansen, Piazon (Kebano 35), Aluko, Kamara (Norwood 76).

Referee: Darren Bond.