By David Woods

21st Dec, 2019 | 7:30pm

Leeds ace has genius touch but left side disjointed – 3 things we learned from loss v Fulham

Leeds United lost 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Saturday, continuing their terrible run in London. 

The referee contributed to the result, as did the injury to Pablo Hernandez, but Leeds should still have got something from the game.

It wasn’t to be though and they stay second with a nine-point gap back to third place.

We’ll take that at the midway point of the season but you can’t help but feel we should be out of sight already.

Here are the three things we learned from a very disappointing afternoon…

Hernandez will be a big loss
We don’t know how long he’s going to be out for – just that he’s out against Preston on Boxing Day – but you never want to see your best attacking player go off with a hamstring just before the busy Christmas period. We think Hernandez would have made a real difference today and exploited the space that Fulham left. Gjanni Alioski was a very willing replacement but he’s no substitute for the real thing, despite a lovely pass through to Eddie Nketiah who set up the Leeds goal. Fingers crossed he’s not out for an extended period or we’ll suffer. The only positive is that Tyler Roberts is back next week.

Referee was shocking
It wasn’t just the penalty decision, although that was pretty bad. The push on Bobby Reid just wasn’t enough to give a free kick, let alone a penalty. There were stronger shouts for a penalty later on that Tim Robinson completely ignored and he’ll know this wasn’t his best day. The Championship deserves better and the ref ruined what could have been a classic game today.

Nketiah and Bamford experiment didn’t work
It might seem odd to say that when the two strikers combined for a goal but the two of them on the pitch left things disjointed elsewhere. Marcelo Bielsa talked about the link between defence and attack after the game and Leeds lost something after Helder Costa went off and Nketiah came on. That’s not Nketiah’s fault and it’s easy to have real sympathy for the 20-year-old. His touch to spin on the Alioski pass to create the goal for Bamford is what he does. He’s brilliant. It just doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out for him at Leeds. We’re expecting him to be recalled in January.

In other Leeds United news… ‘Massive’ – BBC pundit delivers exciting QSI update as Leeds takeover talks progress