Victory over Fulham lifts Leeds United’s London curse

20 Mar 2021 09:27 am, by YorkshireSquare

One thousand, one hundred and ninety-five days! Before Friday night’s victory at Craven Cottage, on the banks of the River Thames that is how far back you would have to go to find Leeds United’s last victory in the City of London and any of its 32 boroughs. That day on Saturday 9th December 2017, getting on for three and a half years ago, a Kemar Roofe hat-trick gave Leeds a 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers. But since that day there had not been a single victory for Leeds United in the capital until victory over Scott Parker’s Fulham side all but secured Premier League safety for the Whites in their first season back in the top-flight for sixteen years.

The London curse had extended all the way back to April 2018 when Paul Heckingbottom's side were beaten 2-0 at Fulham. Since then Leeds had played sixteen games in all competitions in the capital with fourteen defeats, two draws (against Millwall in September 2018 and Brentford in February 2020) and not a solitary victory to their name. It’s an unbelievable, quite inexplicable run of results, especially given Leeds United’s form over the past three seasons under Marcelo Bielsa. It had such an effect that Leeds were as long as 2-1 with the bookies to beat Fulham on Friday, helps their readers understand the odds to reach a greater sense of success in sports entertainment. But finally, thanks to Patrick Bamford and Raphinha the curse has been lifted and we need speak of the place no more!

But it nearly wasn’t to be! It looked to be an excellent start of Leeds as Luke Ayling headed home Tyler Roberts cross after eight minutes. But Bill should know not to undo the top knot and unleash his flowing locks too soon in this day and age, not with VAR waiting in the wings to chalk off a goal at the slightest whiff of a nose hair in an offside position. On Friday it was Roberts’ armpit that was adjudged to be offside, a week and a half ago it was Helder Costa’s knee hair that dared to stray past the last man meaning Roberts’ own goal against West Ham was chalked off. Maybe we were never destined to win in London again?

VAR was certainly making it extremely difficult for us! But Patrick Bamford, with a point to prove having missed out on Gareth Southgate’s England squad, reacted well to Jack Harrison’s fired in cross to drive the ball home (with his shin) to give Leeds the lead. The tension increased again as Joachim Andersen drew Fulham level from a corner, set piece defending as much our Kryptonite as playing in London itself. Victory would come though, Bamford involved again (he can provide assists too Gareth) as he put Raphinha through to secure victory and a first win in London for seventeen games.

Victory against Fulham means Leeds have hit the 39-point mark and almost certain Premier League safety, though Bielsa would not concede this yet. Leeds can rest and recuperate over the international break ahead of the Sheffield United game on the third of March and with the pressure off to a certain extent it will be interesting to see how we get on against Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United second time round. What looked to be a tricky run of games when the fixtures were first announced now seems like a period where we can really show how far we have come. It’s just a shame we don’t play in London again this season, because we are undefeated there!

Fulham 2 Leeds United 0 (April 2018)
Millwall 1 Leeds United 1 (September 2018)
QPR 2 Leeds United 1 (January 2019)
QPR 1 Leeds United 0 (February 2019)
Brentford 2 Leeds United 0 (April 2019)
Charlton Athletic 1 Leeds United 0 (September 2019)
Millwall 2 Leeds United 1 (October 2019)
Fulham 2 Leeds United 1 (December 2019)
Arsenal 1 Leeds United 0 (January 2020)
QPR 1 Leeds United 0 (January 2020)
Brentford 1 Leeds United 1 (February 2020)
Crystal Palace 4 Leeds United 1 (November 2020)
Chelsea 3 Leeds United 1 (December 2020)
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Leeds United 0 (January 2021)
Arsenal 4 Leeds United 2 (February 2021)
West Ham 2 Leeds United 0 (March 2021)
Fulham 1 Leeds United 2 (March 2021)

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Byebyegeegee wrote on 20 Mar 2021 10:32 am

YorkshireSquare wrote: Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:21 am Opps!

VAR ruled our goals out overnight!
Wouldn’t surprise me!

YorkshireSquare wrote on 20 Mar 2021 10:21 am

Ken Jarvis wrote: Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:19 am Oh no you have a Fulham win for last night's game on your list of results - was the scoreline changed overnight 🤣🤣


VAR ruled our goals out overnight!

Ken Jarvis wrote on 20 Mar 2021 10:19 am

Oh no you have a Fulham win for last night's game on your list of results - was the scoreline changed overnight 🤣🤣