Leeds United fans were furious with goalkeeper Illan Meslier when Tomas Soucek scored for West Ham in the first half at Elland Road on Friday night.
Mateusz Klich – after his initial spot-kick was saved – put Leeds ahead early on after Patrick Bamford won a penalty but the Whites couldn’t hold onto their lead until half-time thanks to being exposed at a set-piece once again.
After Soucek’s goal, Leeds drew level with Leicester for the number of goals conceded at set-pieces in the Premier League this season , according to stats by WhoScored.
But the goal was totally avoidable if it wasn’t for Meslier’s poor goalkeeper in the eyes of a number of Leeds supporters on Twitter.
Jack Harrison should have done better to not concede the corner and Stuart Dallas’ marking of Soucek was poor. However, you can excuse those two as Harrison is not a defender and Dallas is quite a bit shorter than Soucek, who’s been superb in the air for West Ham this season.
But Meslier’s soft attempt to save Soucek’s header was a bit unforgivable because the French goalkeeper basically flapped at the ball.
Most Premier League goalkeepers would have dealt with that but from what we saw, Meslier’s inexperience shone through.
He’s 20-years-old so we don’t want to be too harsh on the former Lorient ‘keeper but the same cannot be said for a bunch of fuming Leeds fans on social media.
Here is a selection of their tweets:
That’s awful from Meslier. He has to be saving that
— Jake Harris (@Jake_Harris15) December 11, 2020
Awful from Meslier
— Shaun Meddings (@medds14) December 11, 2020
Got to do better there Meslier
— Scott (@LufcScott) December 11, 2020
Im sorry but Meslier regardless of how good of a shot stopper he is, he is terrible at claiming corners and as we are such a small team, he needs to do more
— olly clarke (@ollyclarke4) December 11, 2020
Shocker for Harrison and Meslier that
— Albert (@Albertlufc) December 11, 2020
meslier should save that
— kian🍋 (@kianlufc) December 11, 2020
Meslier is the new poppadom hands.
— Ant (@AntVeress) December 11, 2020
What happened to Meslier’s hand there? Bizarre non attempt to stop the ball as he ran behind his own line. Kepa-esque save.
— Andrew Turmer (@AndrewTurmer) December 11, 2020
Leeds fans were not the only ones critical of Meslier.
David Preece, who is the goalkeeping coach for Swedish side Ostersunds and previously played for Aberdeen and Barnsley, took to his personal Twitter account to say: “Meslier never really attempts to anchor his feet to be ready for the ball coming back at him, which results in a poor reaction.”
In other Leeds United news, Emma Jones silenced Robbie Savage as he was about to make a shock relegation claim about the Whites.